The enforcement of financial sanctions breaches in the UK
Produced in partnership with Roger Matthews of Dentons, John Binns and Umar Azmeh of BCL Solicitors LLP

The following Corporate Crime practice note produced in partnership with Roger Matthews of Dentons, John Binns and Umar Azmeh of BCL Solicitors LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The enforcement of financial sanctions breaches in the UK
  • Who is responsible for enforcing sanctions in the UK?
  • Detection of breaches of financial sanctions
  • The FCA role
  • Reporting by other parties—mandatory or voluntary
  • Self-reporting
  • Should I self-report a breach?
  • What should I disclose?
  • How will OFSI respond?
  • OFSI monetary penalty powers
  • More...

The enforcement of financial sanctions breaches in the UK

The UK has introduced a UK specific sanctions framework under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (SAMLA 2018) and regulations made under it. See Practice Notes: , The UK sanctions framework under SAMLA 2018 and UK sanctions regimes currently in force.

Who is responsible for enforcing sanctions in the UK?

In the UK, the handling at national level is split between:

  1. the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), which is part of HM Treasury and which administers and enforces financial sanctions, and

  2. the Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU), which is part of the Department for International Trade and which administers and controls trade sanctions

In broad terms, the term ‘financial sanctions’ refers to the designation of person and entities and the imposition of restrictions upon such persons. The term ‘trade sanctions’ refers to other measures (import or export bans, restrictions on investment in a region or country, etc) which may be included as part of a package of sanctions restrictions relating to a country.

For information about financial sanctions, see Practice Notes: International sanctions—an introduction, Licences and exemptions in financial sanctions and Financial sanctions—offences.

For information about export controls, see Practice Notes: Export controls—Requirement for an export licence, The enforcement of export control breaches and Export control compliance visits and audits—What to expect.

Detection of breaches of financial sanctions

The UK has

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