OFAC stands for the Office of Foreign Asset Control.
Country IP Blocks has been working for years to develop an effective OFAC sanctions list. There are several hurdles we faced in order to be as comprehensive as possible. There are several issues related to the problem.
The first question we asked is “Where is OFAC’s Country List.” Here, according to their website, is the answer:
Where is OFAC’s Country List? What countries do I need to worry about in terms of U.S. sanctions?
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) does not maintain a specific list of countries that U.S. persons cannot do business with.
U.S. sanctions programs vary in scope. Some are broad-based and oriented geographically (i.e. Cuba, Iran). Others are “targeted” (i.e. counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics) and focus on specific individuals and entities. These programs may encompass broad prohibitions at the country level as well as targeted sanctions. Due to the diversity among sanctions, we advise visiting the “Sanctions Programs and Country Information” page for information on a specific program.
OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (“SDN List”) has approximately 6,300 names connected with sanctions targets. OFAC also maintains other sanctions lists which have different associated prohibitions.
Many individuals and entities often move internationally and end up in locations where they would be least expected. Accordingly, U.S. persons are prohibited from dealing with SDNs regardless of location and all SDN assets are blocked. Entities that an SDN owns (defined as a direct or indirect ownership interest of 50% or more) are also blocked, regardless of whether that entity is separately named on the SDN List.
Because OFAC’s programs are dynamic, it is very important to check OFAC’s website regularly. Ensuring that your sanctions lists are current and you have complete information regarding the latest relevant program restrictions is both a best practice and a critical part of your due diligence responsibility.
For additional information about sanctions and OFAC, please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions.