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OFAC List Equivalents in the UK

There are many similarities to doing business online in the United States and the United Kingdom, and while similar rules or regulations may apply there are differences between the two. One such example is the various lists of parties businesses are prohibited from doing business with due to sanctions in the UK and US.

You can’t just sell to anyone online. In the United States the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) maintains the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list which names parties that US persons are generally prohibited from doing business with. But such lists are not limited to the United States as the United Kingdom, United Nations and European Union maintain similar lists of their own.

In the United Kingdom the Asset Freezing Unit of Her Majesty’s (HM) Treasury maintains the Consolidated List of Financial Sanctions Targets. Similar to the Specially Designated Nationals list it names individuals and parties under trade sanctions based on foreign policy against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, drug traffickers, arms dealers and any other entity that threatens national security or foreign policy.

There is overlap between the Specially Designated National list in the US and the Consolidated List of Targets in the UK, but there are also entities that will be on one list and not the other. As a business operating in either of these countries, however, it is important to screen transactions against a blacklist derived from the most up-to-date versions of these lists of banned parties. Included on these lists are each entity’s name, alias, address and other information. When blacklisting and rejecting orders based off matches to these lists, be sure to look for a matching address and other information as rejecting orders based solely on the customer’s name could result in many sales insults.

The United Nations and European Union maintain similar lists as well. Both the UK’s Consolidated List of Financial Sanction Targets and the US’s SDN list include the entities listed for sanctions by the UN. The UK’s Consolidated List of Targets also includes entities on the European Union’s consolidated list of persons, groups and entities subject to EU financial sanctions as long as there is a legal basis for an asset freeze in the UK. The EU list, however, will not include all the names on the UK’s Consolidated List of Targets. When doing business in these regions it is important to maintain current and relevant lists of the sanctioned parties with whom business may not be conducted.

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