OFAC sanctions guidance is a “toolkit for compliance”

Author: John Crabb | Published: 28 May 2019

The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued guidance on how it evaluates sanctions compliance programmes that lays out how companies can ensure they do not breach its rules.

OFAC has outlined a number of 'root causes' it suggests have led to apparent violations of its sanctions programmes. In the past OFAC has put out limited guidance on such programmes – so this would appear to be what the agency considers a robust compliance framework.

The agency has formalised policy already in place, suggesting that these violations often stem from a misinterpretation or misunderstanding of existing regulations.

"OFAC has been talking for some time in the context of individual enforcement actions about what causes concern and what leads it to bring actions and seek penalties," said Doug Davison, partner at Linklaters in Washington DC.

"It really helps clients understand. Does this apply to us...