What Is OFAC Screening?
Restricted parties screening has never been more complicated than it is today. With the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) rules and regulations in play, many companies are faced with a dizzying set of requirements before they can engage in business … or even accept one sale from a foreign party.
A comprehensive OFAC screening solution will, at minimum, address the following:
- Specially Designated Nationals List
- Foreign Sanctions Evaders List
- Sectoral Sanctions Identification (SSI) List
- Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) List
- List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Part 561
- Persons Identified as Blocked (PIB) Solely Pursuant to EO 135999 Treasury Dept. (Vessels identified)
- Other Programs
The OFAC rules vary from one country to the next, and also depend on industry sectors, intricate ownership structures, payment terms and more. For example, OFAC sanctions can be:
- Comprehensive (for example, Iran, Cuba, North Korea)
- Targeted specifically to individuals and entities (for example, the SDNs and SSIs)
- Controlling of activities (such as human rights, diamond trading, terrorism, and narcotics trafficking)
- Designating certain activities or industry sectors (for example, oil and gas)
- Targeting certain financial transactions and the flow of assets
That said, it is possible to engage in sales with customers from certain foreign countries. You just need the right expertise and know-how to understand your company’s risks, and to know which parties to avoid.
OFAC provides companies with a variety of authorizations, including: general licenses, limited or specific licenses, and exceptions for medical and/or other agricultural transactions. That said, understanding these authorizations and correctly applying for them can be a daunting task for most individuals.
What is the OFAC Screening Process?
Software programs exist to help with this analysis, but the software will only get you so far. You need someone with the knowledge and experience to understand the software results, interpret them and provide guidance to your sales teams and compliance department. Export Solutions has this expertise and can help you comply with the OFAC regulations.
Export Solutions has the resources to perform screening against both the required lists as well as other international lists including Canada’s denied list, European lists and many others.
In addition, through our subscription to the Dow Jones Sanctions Ownership Research (SOR) tool, we can also take the screening to the next level and evaluate your customer or partner’s ownership structure for any other OFAC restrictions.
The ability to conduct this level of screening, analysis and research is crucial for complying with certain OFAC programs.
Let Us Help You Screen Parties for OFAC Sanctions/Embargo Compliance
Don’t go this alone! Let our team of experts work to enhance your screening efforts to comply with OFAC’s requirements. Below is a brief summary of the value we can bring to your restricted parties screens:
- We understand the Sanction Ownership Research (SOR) rules and can do the legwork to keep your company safe. This includes intimate knowledge of the 50% Rule, the 33% Rule, and other Sectoral Sanctions programs.
- We take a comprehensive view of screening across all applicable U.S. and foreign governmental agencies (including DDTC, BIS, OFAC and more).
- We never just hand you the screening results. With Export Solutions, you also get our research and recommendations to avoid risk and keep your company out of trouble.
- Our team has developed comprehensive checklists and forms to ensure that we are covering everything for your OFAC party screening. These provide great recordkeeping and due diligence for any issues that may arise.
- We know the end-use controls, countries and programs by heart! And we also know how to help you comply with financial transaction rules, deemed export issues and general prohibitions.
- If necessary, we can help your organization submit Voluntary Disclosures and implement plans to improve your OFAC compliance program.
Let’s talk about your restricted party screening and how we can help you avoid costly fines, penalties and delays that result from OFAC sanctions/embargoes.