The Office of Foreign Assets
Control (OFAC) today launched a new and improved tool for searching its Specially
Designated Nationals List (SDN). The
SDN List is a compilation of entities and individuals that have been targeted
under one or more of Treasury’s sanctions programs. Inclusion on the SDN List generally prohibits
U.S. banks from maintaining accounts for those listed and U.S. persons could
face civil or criminal penalties for engaging in business dealing with them. Today’s update to the SDN Search will
significantly improve the accessibility for those trying to access information
about individuals or entities that are subject to U.S. sanctions.
The new version of SDN
Search provides users with much greater leeway when searching for names for the
tool no longer returns only exact matches.
SDN Search now makes use of multiple algorithms to provide the user with
a broader set of results. This gives SDN
Search the ability to account for differences in spelling and
transliteration. OFAC is offering this
upgraded search tool free to the public to give users of the SDN List an
improved search experience that will help them meet their compliance
obligations. Users, such as financial institutions, businesses or even private
individuals, can now benefit from easier and more flexible access to the list
data. OFAC hopes this upgraded search
tool will be particularly useful for medium-sized to small companies and
individuals with fewer resources to expend on compliance.
The SDN Search tool was
first released to the public in December of 2011. This upgraded version of SDN Search,
previously available as a beta release, replaces the earlier version. As with the previous version, SDN Search is
completely web-based and offers users the ability to print their results or
save them as a spreadsheet. OFAC
received and reviewed feedback from the public on its new search tool. Many users requested the ability to leverage
SDN Search in an enterprise setting. OFAC
is currently researching options as to how to make the capabilities of SDN
Search available for integration into external business systems.
Please see the related FAQs
for additional information on algorithms, scoring, and other technical
details. Feedback and suggestions about
SDN Search can be provided at the following e-mail address: O_F_A_C@do.treas.gov.
SDN Search is available at http://sdnsearch.ofac.treas.gov/.
James Kostiw is a Senior Advisor at the Office of Foreign
Assets Control in the U.S. Department of the Treasury.