US Enforcement

If OFAC finds a sanctions breach, OFAC will in most cases issue civil monetary penalties and/or a cautionary letter, a finding of a violation, or other administrative actions e.g. a licence denial or a cease and desist order.  Most cases are resolved by settlement.

The Department of Justice enforces criminal US sanctions violations, usually, but not always, on referral from OFAC.  Penalties, as determined by the courts, may include imprisonment, seizure of assets, forfeiture of funds, and fines.

FinCen may impose additional penalties for failure to maintain controls to help ensure compliance with OFAC-administered regulations.  Financial regulators, such as the New York State Department of Financial Services and the Federal Reserve Board, may impose fines and other penalties for compliance failures associated with insufficient sanctions compliance programmes.

BIS can issue civil penalties for violations of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the Department of Commerce, on BIS’s request, can issue Temporary Denial Orders (TDOs) to deny export privileges of persons to prevent violation of the EAR.  TDOs may be renewed indefinitely.  Individuals can be imprisoned for violating the EAR.  The Directorate of Defence Trade Controls (DDTC) has the authority to enforce monetary penalties for violations of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).  Individuals can be imprisoned for violating the ITAR.


OFAC Reporting, Procedures and Penalties Regulations (31 CFR Part 501)

Enforcement Actions / Settlements

Consolidated List of OFAC Enforcements
Selected OFAC Settlement Agreements from 2023 to 2009
Consolidated List of BIS Export Violations

Guidance on OFAC’s Enforcement and Compliance Policies

A Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments
OFAC Enforcement Guidelines
Memoranda of Understanding Between OFAC and Bank Regulators
Memorandum of Understanding Between OFAC and the State of Delaware Department of Justice
OFAC Office of Compliance and Enforcement Data Delivery Standards Guidance: Preferred Practices for Productions to OFAC
Advisory and Guidance on Potential Sanctions Risks Arising from Dealings in High-Value Artwork
Sanctions Compliance Guidance for the Virtual Currency Industry
Sanctions Compliance Guidance for Instant Payment Systems
Myths and Facts about U.S. Defense Export Controls
Department of Commerce, Department of the Treasury, and Department of Justice Tri-Seal Compliance Note: Voluntary Self-Disclosure of Potential Violations
Department of Justice Voluntary Self-Disclosure Policy