Episode 275 — Five Steps to Enhance Your Sanctions Compliance Program

Even with the current focus on sanctions compliance, many companies have done little to assess and enhance their existing sanctions compliance program.  Instead, companies have stitched together a basic sanctions compliance program that centers on a screening tool and little beyond that.  Such a limited program provides just a  false comfort of compliance.  Many companies are not even conducting the mandated basic requirement of annual training of relevant employees.

If companies do not re-examine this issue and craft an enhanced strategy, they may face significant risk of government enforcement.  OFAC and the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) have been increasing attempts to gather information, follow up on leads, and conduct informal inquiries in an attempt to verify compliance with sanctions requirements. 

OFAC and BIS work closely with the Justice Department’s National Security Division, which is responsible for criminal sanctions and export controls enforcement.  In light of this relationship, it does not – and will not – take much for OFAC or BIS to provide DOJ with sufficient information to launch a criminal probe and issue grand jury subpoenas (or even execute a search warrant if appropriate). From our perspective, there are five practical areas that should be addressed in the near future to build out a sanctions compliance program.  After these near term items are accomplished, further refinements can be addressed.  

In this Episode, Mike Volkov reviews 5 steps to enhance a Sanctions Compliance Program.

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