As one of the world’s most influential economic and political powers, Australia is a major player in the fight against international money laundering and terrorist financing.
To prevent these activities and to punish the regimes and individuals engaging or cooperating with them, the Australian government observes a range of economic sanctions, that are enforced and applied by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The DFAT Sanctions List contains the details of all individuals and entities that are subject to the Australian Government’s targeted sanctions. The list is available online and updated regularly to incorporate new targets and de-list others. In Australia, sanctions are organized into two categories:
As a member of the United Nations, Australia is bound to apply the sanctions issued by the UN Security Council.
The Australian government maintains its own autonomous sanctions regime derived from its foreign policy and implemented under the Autonomous Sanctions Act 2011.
The sanctions on the list contain asset freezing, market access restriction, business relationships, imports and exports, and travel to or through Australia. Breaches are punishable by a fine of AU$450,000 or up to three times the value of the transactions (if that is greater), and prison sentences up to 10 years if individuals found guilty.
The sanctions on the DFAT list are applied to all financial institutions operating in Australia and to all Australian nationals. That means Australian firms have to integrate DFAT sanctions screening into their internal risk-based AML/CTF compliance programs to verify their customers’ sanctions status precisely. For instance, firms may apply to DFAT for a license that permits business activity with individuals or entities included in the DFAT sanctions list.
Running DFAT sanctions search manually can be a time-consuming and difficult process –with the additional risk of inaccuracy as a consequence of the human error. By contrast, an autonomous sanctions screening tool minimizes those risks, adding speed and administrative efficiency to the AML/CFT process and delivering the compliance performance demanded by DFAT.