‘Sanctions Busting’: The Risks and Rewards to those Trying to Circumvent the System

June 15, 2018
By: Keith Preble and Dr. Bryan R. Early*

The main goal of imposing sanctions on a target country or entity has always been to disrupt the target’s commercial relationships and make it costlier for them to do business. Governments try to achieve this goal by imposing administrative and criminal penalties for individuals and entities that violate their sanctions.

Though these restrictions generally apply only to firms and citizens operating in the country imposing the sanctions, the United States has recently employed far more aggressive and wide-reaching methods in penalizing foreign firms.

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Wake Up To Sanctions

SanctionsAlert.com Sanctions Round Up
May 30, 2018

FinCEN CDD Rule Comes into Effect; FFIEC Issues Guidance for Compliance Suites, including for OFAC Officers

On May 11, 2018, exactly two years after being issued, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”)’s implemented its new Customer Due Diligence (CDD) Rule. This CDD rule enhances CDD requirements and also adds a new requirement for financial institutions to identify, and verify the identity of, the beneficial owners of certain legal entity customers.

OFAC Compliance Officers should take notice, as US Treasury expects financial institutions to use beneficial ownership information not only to comply with AML requirements, but also for compliance with the OFAC regulations.

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U.S. Shocks the World by Withdrawing from Iran Nuclear Agreement; OFAC Issues Important Deadlines for Compliance Suites

May 9, 2018
By: Saskia Rietbroek, Principal, SanctionsAlert.com

On May 8, 2018, President Trump announced that the U.S. would be withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal. The agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was reached in 2015 by Iran and major world powers – U.K., China, France, Germany, Russia and the U.S (the ‘P5’) in hopes of halting Iran’s nuclear capabilities. The decision to withdraw leaves the JCPOA in tatters and creates a host of new challenges for sanctions compliance officers worldwide.

“It has turned my world upside down,” says a compliance officer from an international insurance company.

The U.S. government says it will restore the strict sanctions it imposed on Iran before the 2015 deal and is considering new penalties. It is important to note that the JCPOA is not a treaty, but rather a political arrangement put into force largely through presidential executive orders, which the President can revoke without the approval of Congress. (more…)

Member Profile – Bryan Early: Approaching the Sanctions Profession from an Academic and Sanctions Policy Perspective

May 4, 2018
By Anna Sayre, Legal Content Writer SanctionsAlert.com

The use of sanctions as an international regulatory and compliance tool has risen exponentially in recent times. The increasingly complex nature of these sanctions programs has led to the need for qualified persons equipped with the knowledge to tackle the day-to-day compliance and operational duties brought on by the ever-changing rules that govern sanctions policy. (more…)

Experts from BIS Identify Key Issues for Exporters and How to Develop an Effective Export Control Program

April 24, 2018

Just as the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has great influence over the implementation of U.S. sanctions policy, its cousin – the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) – plays an equally vital role in the implementation of U.S. export/import policy.

BIS regulates less sensitive military items, as well as, commodities and technology referred to as “dual-use;” these are items that are designed for both commercial and military applications.BIS derives its power mainly from the Export Administration Act (EAA) and is responsible for administrating the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Similarly to OFAC, BIS keeps a list of regulated items called the Commercial Control List (CCL). BIS has broad jurisdiction over U.S. origin items.

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Wolfsberg’s New Correspondent Banking Questionnaire Incorporates Specific Guidance to Aid in Sanctions Compliance

April 11, 2018
By: Anna Sayre, Legal Content Writer SanctionsAlert.com

In direct response to increased regulatory expectations for enhanced due diligence in correspondent banking relationships, the Wolfsberg Group (Wolfsberg), published its new Correspondent Banking Due Diligence Questionnaire (CBDDQ) in February 2018, incorporating a number of important changes. The new Questionnaireis not only four times as long as its 2014 predecessor, containing 110 instead of 28 questions, but has also expanded its scope to specifically address due diligence issues relating to Anti-Bribery and Corruption, Counter terrorism Financing,and Sanctions exposure controls. (more…)