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.
Sanctioned organizations, companies and individuals are listed on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) list and many other lists. Often 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 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 with restricted businesses, organizations and individuals on its 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 helps companies and non-profits verify their vendors against OFAC and other critical lists. Call (678) 335-5735 today or request more information online!