People and companies on the SDN list face financial penalties if they do business with American citizens. An effective workplace policy to run SDN and other OFAC lists is key for compliance.

The OFAC SDN list is a blocked list of individuals and companies that have been found to be involved in activities that endanger the United States foreign policy or national security initiatives. The OFAC SDN sanctions list prohibits all US persons (including citizens, permanent residents, and their dependents regardless of country or location, the US incorporated entities and their foreign branches, and all other individuals) from dealing with any international entities on the list unless authorized by OFAC or expressly exempted by statute. The Office of Foreign Assets Control is responsible for administering several economic and trade sanctions programs against countries, their leaders, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and others engaged in illegal activities. The Treasury Department regularly publishes a list of persons and entities involved in these sanctions, known as the OFAC SDN List, to prevent US persons from engaging in prohibited transactions with them.

When an individual or company’s name appears on the OFAC SDN list, the Treasury Department automatically freezes their assets and blocks all other transactions with them. This makes it a good best practice for businesses to check the SDN sanctions list before hiring employees or doing business with international entities and to regularly perform SDN checks as part of their ongoing compliance screening process. When conducting SDN searches, it’s also important to use a screening provider that provides additional context for potential matches to reduce the number of false positives and speed up resolution.

How Do I Find out if Someone is on Sanctions List?

How Do I Find out if Someone is on Sanctions List?

All organizations must conduct OFAC checks for new and existing business connections as part of their due diligence process. Screening for OFAC sanctions compliance is often conducted using a sanction list screening solution. These solutions allow users to search the OFAC website with precise criteria and identify potential risk based on that search. Additionally, these screening solutions can automate the process and scan OFAC lists in real-time, enabling them to be updated on an ongoing basis.

Performing an OFAC check for a customer or vendor can be difficult because of the complex nature of these sanctions programs. These restrictions may affect a number of different countries, territories, and groups of people. Moreover, a person’s name may appear on multiple OFAC lists for different reasons. This can make it hard to determine whether the person has been added to the OFAC sanctions list for legitimate reasons, such as money laundering or terrorist financing. In such cases, an individual may need to submit a petition to OFAC for administrative evaluation and possible removal from the SDN list.

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