It’s Not Rocket Science: Taking the Steps Necessary to Avoid Costly Sanctions Violations

The $963 million settlement OFAC recently reached with French banking giant BNP Paribas SA (BNP) was both the largest OFAC settlement to date and represents only a small fraction of the nearly $9 billion in total fines imposed on the bank by state and federal agencies. With figures this high and the additional imposition of a one-year ban that will prevent certain BNP units from clearing transaction in U.S. dollars, it’s obvious why this is big news in the world of international trade and finance. But for SME exporters (and internationally-oriented businesses of all sizes for that matter), the story should simply serve as a front page reminder that taking the necessary steps to ensure your company’s actions do not violate OFAC’s sanctions should be a no-brainer. Implementing a sanctions compliance program is relatively straightforward while the peace of mind you’ll enjoy knowing your company is protected against potentially crippling government fines is priceless.

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