The Specially Designated Nationals list (also known as the SDN list) is a list of individuals, groups, and entities subject to economic sanctions by the United States Treasury and the Office of Foreign Assets Control. In addition to companies and people owned, controlled by, or acting on behalf of countries are targeted by OFAC, the list also includes non-country-specific designated entities like suspected narcotics traffickers or terrorists. In most cases, U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and U.S.-based businesses are forbidden from working with SDNs, whose assets are typically frozen.
Currently, the OFAC sanction list includes thousands of names, including the following:
- Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb
- Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
- Dokka Umarov
- Egyptian Islamic Jihad
- Union of Good
- Saderat Bank of Iran
Obviously, screening for your clients’ presence on the SDN OFAC list is essential in order to avoid civil and even criminal penalties for you and your organization. Therefore, entities want to avoid inclusion and the limits on their activities that may result. An effective OFAC screening tool will keep track of name changes and other attempts to evade controls.