What is Sanction Check?

Blog / What is Sanction Check?

Sanctions are a form of punishment for individuals or institutions that violate laws or regulations. Governments or international organizations often enforce sanctions against states or individuals as a means of exerting pressure to enforce compliance. Sanction checks are performed to prevent transactions with entities that have been prohibited from engaging in specific activities or transactions.

The imposition of sanctions is typically driven by political and economic conflicts between nations. For example, in the case of political differences, a nation may impose sanctions on another as a means of expressing disapproval and exerting diplomatic pressure. Economic sanctions may be imposed in response to trade disputes or as a means of preventing the flow of financial resources to entities that are deemed a threat to international security or stability.

In either case, sanctions are an important tool in global relations, used to signal disapproval and enforce compliance with international laws and regulations. It is crucial for individuals and institutions to understand the potential consequences of sanctions and take steps to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

What Are The Types of Sanctions?

There are several types of sanctions that are based on different reasons in two scopes, which are governmental and individualistic. The reasons and types of sanctions are significant for companies.

Diplomatic SanctionsDiplomatic sanctions signify political dissatisfaction, involving actions such as canceling high-level visits and downgrading diplomatic ties. These measures aim to pressure a country to alter its behavior while signaling the state of relations with the international community.
Military SanctionsMilitary sanctions restrict a country's access to weapons and military technology, reducing capabilities or opposing aggressive actions. Common measures include bans on military equipment sales, arms embargoes, and restrictions on technology transfer.
Sanctions on IndividualsIndividualistic sanctions target political leaders, those with economic interests, or criminal figures. Governments and organizations impose measures like trade bans or freezing bank accounts to deter the actions of individuals such as terrorists and drug traffickers.
Travel SanctionsTravel sanctions limit the movement of individuals associated with a targeted country, utilizing measures like visa denials and entry bans to influence behavior or express opposition to specific actions.
Economic SanctionsEconomic sanctions apply pressure through restrictions on trade, investment, or financial activities. Methods include trade embargoes, asset freezes, and limitations on international financial access to achieve desired outcomes.
Cultural and Sports SanctionsCultural and sports sanctions isolate a country by restricting participation in international events. This involves measures like event boycotts and exclusion from competitions, serving as a means of expressing disapproval.
Technology and Arms Control SanctionsThese sanctions focus on limiting the export or import of military technologies and equipment. Measures include bans on weapon sales, arms embargoes, and restrictions on technology transfers to influence behavior or prevent military buildup.

Why Is The Sanction Check and PEP Check Required For Companies?

The sanction check and PEP (Politically Exposed Person) check are crucial for companies to comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations and to avoid association with individuals or entities involved in illegal activities such as money laundering, bribery, corruption, or terrorism financing. These checks help ensure that a company is not knowingly or unknowingly engaging in transactions with individuals or entities that are subject to economic sanctions or are considered high-risk due to their political position. Compliance with these checks helps companies maintain the integrity of their operations, reduce legal and reputational risks, and avoid severe penalties and fines imposed by regulatory authorities. Financial crimes like money laundering, bribery, financing of terrorism, and corruption are major concerns globally and occur largely through financial systems. Therefore, regulators aim to prevent these crimes by regulating companies in the financial sector through various Anti-Money Laundering regulations. A sanction search is the most important process for financial institutions to ensure AML compliance, and Sanction Screening Services such as Sanction Scanner can help companies automate this process.

Sanction and PEP Screening in the Customer Onboarding Process

The customer onboarding process is a critical procedure for financial institutions. According to Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, companies have to make some before onboarding and mediating their financial activities. These checks aim to identify the customer's potential to pose any threat. In the first stage, the accuracy of the customer information is determined. After the customer identification information is verified, the customer's risk level must be determined. Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) procedures enable companies to determine the risk level of customers. The customer is scanned in sanction, PEP, and Adverse Media data in this process. As a result of these controls, the risk level of the new customer is determined. If there is no suspicion, the customer's account can be opened. However, companies have to carry out checks at specific intervals.

Sanction and PEP Screening in the Transaction Screening Process

Millions of financial transactions take place over the day through financial systems. Therefore, the regulators determined that the crimes were committed through financial transactions. Herefore, according to AML regulations, financial institutions must control the financial operations of their customers. If financial transactions are not controlled, money laundering and terrorist financing are committed. However, annually controlling all transactions can be a waste of time. Action Scanner provides automatic control of financial transactions with its  PEP Screening service with API support. Receivers and senders performing the process are checked in seconds in various data from 200 countries. If there is a suspicious transaction, the system gives an alarm and stops the financial transaction. Thus, financial crime is prevented.

case study with DLL Group on how it complies with AML regulations by making their customer onboarding easy, fast, and secure

Challenges in Sanction Check

Sanction screening is a critical yet challenging process for businesses engaged in international operations. Here are some key challenges they face:

  • Sanctions lists are constantly updated, making it difficult for businesses to stay current and ensure compliance.
  • Understanding the intricacies of various sanctions programs, which can target individuals, entities, or countries, adds to the complexity of compliance efforts.
  • Distinguishing between true and false matches is a major challenge. False positives can waste resources, while false negatives pose significant legal risks.
  • Effective screening relies on high-quality, standardized data. Variations in name spellings, use of non-Latin alphabets, and other inconsistencies can hinder accurate screening.
  • The effectiveness of screening tools varies, and integrating them into existing systems can be complex and resource-intensive.
  • Especially for smaller businesses, the resources required for effective 
  • Navigating the maze of international and local sanctions regulations across multiple jurisdictions adds another layer of complexity to compliance efforts.

Screening in Employee Background Check Process

The most important thing for companies, other than financial gain, is the company's reputation. If a company loses its reputation, it loses its customers. Companies make internal controls at regular intervals to avoid these risks. Employment Background Check, Pre-employment background check ve the company takes company background check measures to protect the company's reputation. Employment Screening is performed on our employees to check the possibility of any risk for our company. With the pre-employment screening, the compliance of the person we will employ to our company values ​​is determined. Companies present their Employment history records as evidence of their audit status. 

How Do Companies Comply With Regulations?

Financial institutions have to sanction check their customers to comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. Financial institutions need sanction screening to protect their reputation and not violate sanction decisions. With the development of technology, manual sanction checks have become a waste of time. There are over a thousand sanctions lists in the world. Companies can't check them manually. An artificial intelligence-driven compliance software solved this problem. This software automates the compliance process of companies. Financial institutions can quickly check their customers with compliance software. It is software that scans the sanction lists and alarms instantly for suspicious transactions.

Sanction Scanner provides AML Name Screening Software and Transaction Screening Software or AML Solutions to monitor comprehensive global sanction, PEP, and Adverse Media data in real-time. Met your AML obligations in customer onboarding and transaction screening with Sanction Scanner.

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