⚠️? Are You Checking OFAC and SDN Lists Before Transacting Business with Your Vendors?

Courtesy of our Partner, InvoiceInfo

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals, threats to national security, foreign policy or the economy of the United States. Many of the sanctions are based on United Nations and other international mandates, are multilateral in scope and involve close cooperation with allied governments.

These organizations, companies and individuals are listed on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) list of federal Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and many other lists of sanctioned people and organizations.

Many companies and non-profit organizations are not aware that they are breaking laws by doing business with people or organizations on these lists and don’t check their vendors against them.

As a result, many companies and non-profits, large and small, are fined annually for inadvertently transacting business with U.S. sanctioned organizations. Companies slapped with steep fines – many in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and even multi-million-dollar range – usually had no idea that their supplier was on one of these lists.

In 2014, OFAC levied more than $1 billion in fines against American companies or subsidiaries that did business, often inadvertently, with restricted businesses, organizations and individuals on its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) list.

According to the Treasury Department’s website, companies sanctioned in 2014 include:

  • BNP Paribas ($963 million)
  • Fokker Services ($51 million)
  • Epsilon Electronics ($4 million)
  • Bank of America ($16 million)

According to OFAC’s website, in March of this year, “PayPal agreed to remit $7,658,300 to settle its potential civil liability for processing 486 transactions totaling approximately $43,934,” in apparent violation of sanctions programs administered by OFAC and others such as the Cuban Assets Control Regulations and the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations.

Learn how InvoiceInfo & IRS Compliance helps companies and non-profits verify their vendors against OFAC and other critical lists.

InvoiceInfo will be exhibiting at the upcoming 2015 IRS Compliance Regulatory Tax & Accounts Payable Conference and attending sessions to keep up to date on new regulations that will affect us all.

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