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Any financial sanctions which are imposed by the United Nations must be implemented by the countries they are relevant to – they can use Resolutions passed by the UN Security Council to do this.
The European Union must also implement all financial sanctions which are imposed by the UN, but the EU can impose its own financial sanctions on member states too, including the UK.
The United Kingdom has some measures in place to ensure that EU and UN sanctions are adhered to. According the OFSI, there are regulations which will ‘impose penalties for breaches of EU regulations’. In some circumstances, the UK also has the capacity to impose its own domestic sanctions, under legislation like the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018, or the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001.
Screening sanctions lists for your potential customer or client is an important element of AML compliance, and your company’s risk-based approach. This is because it is illegal to do business with an individual, corporation or country that has been sanctioned, if that business breaks the terms of the restrictions in place against them.
There are some exceptions to this law, but even in these instances you need a license to work with anyone who has been sanctioned. Whether your dealings with a sanctioned customer are conscious or not, they increase how vulnerable your business is to financial crimes like money laundering.
Even if you do have access to all the sanctions lists required to do a thorough screening, carrying out these checks manually is a time-consuming, inefficient process, with no guarantee that you won’t miss something.
SmartSearch’s sophisticated platform carries out an automated screening for sanctions as part of a series of comprehensive AML checks. Using the Dow Jones WatchList, which is comprised of 1,100 different databases worldwide, we can find a match for your potential customer or client, even if they’re registered with a nickname or an abbreviation. We weed out the false positives too, so you won’t waste time carrying out due diligence on the wrong individual.