Navigating sanctions data to make the most effective use of the insights can be challenging. Here are some frequently asked questions that will help you, your organisation, your buyers and suppliers understand the different flags and what actions to take.
What are sanctions?
Sanctions are restrictive measures that can be put in place to fulfil a range of purposes. In the UK, these include complying with UN and other international obligations, supporting foreign policy and national security objectives, as well as maintaining international peace and security, and preventing terrorism.
The UK implements a range of sanctions regimes through regulations made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (the Sanctions Act). The Sanctions Act provides the main legal basis for the UK to impose, update and lift sanctions.
There are four main types of sanctions that can be imposed under SAMLA 2018:
Financial sanctions – to have an adverse financial impact on particular individuals or corporate entities;
Immigration sanctions – preventing “excluded persons” for the purposes of the Immigration Act 1971, entering or remaining in the UK;
Trade sanctions – disrupting various trade activities involving particular individuals, prescribed countries and/or specified ships, including in connection with goods, technology, land, military activities, and/or services (generally, or of a prescribed description);
Aircraft and shipping sanctions – imposing prohibitions or requirements or authorising directions with respect to aircraft connected with particular individuals and/or prescribed countries & measures designed to do the same with respect to ships that are connected with particular individuals and/or prescribed countries, and/or that are specified ships.
Who needs to comply with financial sanctions?
Taken from the OFSI FAQ general guidance:
UK financial sanctions apply to all persons within the territory and territorial sea of the UK and to all UK persons, wherever they are in the world. This means that:
• All individuals and legal entities who are within or undertake activities within the UK’s territory must comply with UK financial sanctions that are in force.
• All UK nationals and legal entities established under UK law, including their branches, must also comply with UK financial sanctions that are in force irrespective of where their activities take place.
So that's all of us then..
What happens if we find we are in breach of sanctions?
You can find full guidance on what to do if you suspect a breach of financial sanctions in the aptly named OFSI faq. However in summary the sooner you let OFSI know the better. "Regulations require individuals, entities and bodies to supply OFSI as soon as practicable with any information that would ‘facilitate compliance’ with the regulations. Any information provided will only be used for the purposes for which it was provided or received. This requirement applies to natural and legal persons, entities and bodies in the UK or under UK jurisdiction."
Don't our banks take care of all this? Do we have to worry about it?
We asked this question to trade.gov.uk who recommended that businesses check for themselves. Banks will also be doing their own checks of course, but will not be able to see into your supply chains or your other dotted line connections with entities. Consequently it makes sense to ask your suppliers what they are doing in order to prevent potential breaches as part of your own due diligence, if you are not doing so already.
What do the matches mean on my dashboard?
You can browse any matches we have found against your suppliers on your supplier dashboard. If we have found a positive match the dashboard will explain how we came to that conclusion.
This will be presented as a label with a percentage e.g. Director 96% with the percent representing the level of accuracy. This accuracy percentage accounts for typos and incomplete data in the sanction information so we try to display this as transparently as possible.
The labels are defined as such:
Entity - We found matches against the organisation's name and possibly also their registered address.
Director - We found matches against a director of the organisation comprising of their full name, nationality and date of birth.