"Complying with international sanctions has become one of the most significant challenges for businesses operating across the globe … Companies are at risk of substantial fines whilst individuals can face criminal penalties including prison sentences. Equally important is the potential impact on business in terms of potential damage to brand, loss of reputation, contractual penalties and logistical problems if you come under scrutiny for alleged noncompliance. It is ... essential that you understand your sanctions responsibilities both nationally and internationally."
The above paragraph forms the introduction to the sanctions law section of global law firm Eversheds LLP's website.
But it fits with the themes of the compliance pages of the Bureau van Dijk website, where we discuss issues relevant to regulatory and reputational risk mitigation in relation to the companies you deal with and the people behind them.
With a clear overlap in each company's outlook and client base, it's no surprise that representatives of both often take part in events focusing on sanctions compliance.
In recent attendance at one for Eversheds was solicitor David Savage, a senior associate in the firm's Financial Services Disputes and Investigations Group, whose clients include large UK banks and multinationals, smaller Europe-wide banks, the shipping and logistics sectors, corporates, and estate agents, all of which have "astonishing laundering potential".
Part of the Group's Fraud and Investigations team, Savage specialises in anti-money laundering (AML), fraud, bribery and corruption, and sanctions, and he was one of five in-house editors of Eversheds' online global sanctions guide, which outlines a number of jurisdictions' sanctions regimes.
Checking the details of the countries in which your organisations operate is a good starting point for your sanctions compliance work.
But what of the broader and more conceptual questions surrounding sanctions compliance? What of the individuals and companies you might deal with? Of positively identifying them, tracing who controls them and seeing whether they're sanctioned?
To answer some of these, Savage agreed to work with us on these Q&As, which examine some of the wider issues and specifics.