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OFAC issues framework on sanctions compliance


On 2 May, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a publication entitled “A Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments”.

In this document, OFAC “strongly encourages organizations subject to U.S. jurisdiction, as well as foreign entities that conduct business in or with the United States, U.S. persons, or using U.S.-origin goods or services, to employ a risk-based approach to sanctions compliance by developing, implementing, and routinely updating a sanctions compliance program (SCP)” (page 1).

The publication mentions several key elements of an SCP according to OFAC, focussing - among others - on risk assessment, internal controls, and an important role of senior management in SCPs. OFAC also elaborates on how it considers the existence of an SCP when conducting investigations of apparent sanctions violations and/or entering into settlements. Moreover, some root causes of sanctions violations according to OFAC’s previous investigations experience are analyzed.

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