OFAC Sanctions

What Are The OFAC Sanctions Lists?

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is a U.S. Department of Treasury agency that implements commercial and economic sanctions to support U.S. security and foreign policy objectives. It is the most functional organization in the United States in the fight against financial crimes. The U.S. may apply these OFAC Lists of sanctions to individuals, institutions, and countries. There are also OFAC sanctioned countries. The legal basis of OFAC's sanction programs has been the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) since 1977.

OFAC Check is part of the U.S. Treasury, which concludes whether an entity or blocked persons can do business with the United States, especially finances and trade. If an entity or individual is caught violating this, they can have criminal penalties against them, including fines between $50,000 to $10 million and imprisonment between 10 and 30 years.

OFAC's Sanctions List Search tool employs fuzzy logic on its name search field to look for potential matches on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List and its Consolidated Sanctions List. It's also called the OFAC Screening Tool and OFAC Search.

OFAC publishes sanctions lists of individuals, institutions, or countries that threaten national security. These lists are called OFAC Sanctions Lists. Some of these lists are:

  • Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN List):  Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) Lists, published by OFAC, list persons who are prohibited from doing business by U.S. citizens and those who must comply with U.S. regulations.
  • The Consolidated Sanctions List: Consolidated Sanctions List is another sanction list other than SDN sanction lists published by OFAC.

Some lists in the Consolidated Sanctions OFAC List:

Foreign Sanctions Evaders (FSE) List: It is an OFAC list of foreign individuals and organizations that have been found to have violated U.S. sanctions against Syria or Iran.

 Sectoral Sanctions Identifications (SSI) List: OFAC lists the people, companies, and organizations in the Russian economy's energy and finance sectors. U.S. citizens and institutions are prohibited from doing business with people on this list.

 Palestinian Legislative Council (NS-PLC) List

 The List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Part 561 (the Part 561 List

 Non-SDN Iranian Sanctions Act (NS-ISA) List

 List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Correspondent Account or Payable-Through Account Sanctions (CAPTA List)​

OFAC License

There are two types of licenses general and specific licenses. General licensing practices are carried out to provide exceptions to the sanctions applied on a country basis. These licenses offer exemptions from sanctions and prohibitions in certain transactions. These exceptions generally cover a few rights such as humanitarian aid, legal consultancy, information services provided through the website, and personal communication to the relevant countries. However, although these licenses are valid for US government citizens, a third country person or institution can't obtain them. A special license requires an application. The OFAC provides an exception to a specific person or organization in response to its application. The person or institution transacting for both private and general licenses must comply with all the terms of the licenses.

How to Comply with OFAC Compliance?

OFAC regulations apply to all U.S. citizens, U.S. companies, and individuals or businesses doing business with the United States. OFAC lists impose heavy penalties on firms and persons dealing with persons in the sanction lists. Companies have to follow customer transactions and report suspicious transactions to OFAC. 

There are numerous and different formats of OFAC sanction lists. Firms must follow the sanction lists to ensure OFAC compliance. Controlling the sanction lists manually can be a waste of time for companies. Sanction Screening Tool such as Sanction Scanner automatically performs control operations. Your queries in Sanction Scanner are scanned in thousands of sanctions lists simultaneously.

Sanction Scanner's database consists of over 3000 Sanctions, regulatory and law enforcement, and other official global and local sanction and pep lists, including those issued by the USA, U.K., U.N., and other global major minor government departments. For more information, you can contact us or request a demo. 

AML Name Screening Software for OFAC Sanctions


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