What to Do When Facing OFAC Sanctions

The violation of OFAC sanctions can have serious consequences for an individual. For example, if you are attempting to wire funds to a sanctioned country, the wire might be halted. Furthermore, you may become the subject of a bank inquiry. That is why it is important to work with an experienced attorney. If you want to know more about what to do when facing OFAC sanctions, reach out to a capable OFAC sanctions lawyer that could answer your questions.

Advice When for When Someone is Suspected of Violating an OFAC Sanction

When considering what to do when facing OFAC sanctions, there are certain aspects an individual should keep in mind. Firstly, it is important to be as truthful with US banks when a person has a suspected OFAC sanction against them, but also provide enough detail and diligently review the detailed information provided to the bank for any legal issues. Sometimes, providing too little or too much information may be against the client’s interests and may result in a blocking of the funds. If too many questions arise, then the bank is legally required to block the funds and only permit OFAC to release the funds. It is also important to cooperate with the bank, respond accordingly, to not delay any responses unnecessarily, and to provide detailed and comprehensive responses to any bank’s questions with regards to a wire transfer that has gone through their bank or is being held by their bank.

Sanctions on Different Countries

OFAC has a sanctions regime on several countries, including Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Syria. The Crimean region of Ukraine is also sanctioned. Any other sanctions regime is not necessarily country-based or region-based. There are different forms of sanctions, but the above-listed ones are sanctions that are enforced based not on an individual person, entity, or sector, but rather on a geographical territory.

What is the Difference Between Country-Specific, Region-Specific Actions, and the Magnitsky Act?

The difference between the Magnitsky Act and region-based or country-based sanctions is that the Magnitsky Act sanctions a targeted person or entity in any country, whereas these country-based sanctions regimes target US persons’ interactions with all persons and entities, generally speaking, in that country. Country-based sanctions are broader, more expansive, and target a much larger amount of persons and entities, whereas the Magnitsky Act is more limited and specific. There are other types of targeted sanctions as well, such as counter-narcotic sanctions or counter-terrorism sanctions. Sometimes, persons or entities are designated and put on the SDN because of their continued interactions with a specific country and lack of abidance by US sanctions.

If an Iranian citizen is in a different country and the benefit of an interaction does not enter into Iran directly, they are exempt. They are not defined as an Iranian-origin person at that moment. The definition for a Cuban person is different and includes when they are abroad. If they are still a Cuban citizen or if they represent any Cuban entity abroad, the situation differs. On the other hand, if one is an Iranian entity but they are located abroad, it is still likely that the benefit would enter into Iran even when transacting with the Iranian entity abroad, so that would be covered under the sanctions. Typically, exemptions for country-wide sanctions regimes are for the sharing of information, as well as humanitarian exemptions. This includes agricultural, pharmaceutical, and medical exemptions. There can be exemptions for legal services, exemptions for travel-related sanctions, and exemptions for the transfer of human remains.

The Benefit of an OFAC Sanctions Lawyer

If an individual is unsure of what to do when facing OFAC sanctions An OFAC sanctions attorney can help a person seeking an exemption for a country that is under a sanctions regime by determining whether the exact facts of the person’s case align with the applicable exemptions in place under a country-based sanctions regime and OFAC sanctions. They can review the facts, make the determination, and provide practical compliance and guidance on how best to abide by these exemptions so as to not violate US sanctions regimes. An OFAC sanctions attorney can ask the person questions and ask for different documents that can allow them to make that determination with the person. This can also improve compliance for any kind of international trade or transaction that, in any way, relates to a person or entity in a sanctioned country.