Searching for sanctioned ships, companies & individuals


  • Date: 19/07/2012

The United States Office of Foreign Assets Control regularly issues listings of all the ships, companies & individuals with whom trading would result in a breach of sanctions.

Known as the Specially Designated Persons (SDN) list it now runs to some 540 pages of closely typed text.  These lists are continually updated so the online search facility makes identifying such proscribed companies, individuals or ships a much more convenient task.

The search facility pictured above can be found in the left hand menu of the US Dept of Treasury website’s Resource Center within the “Financial Sanctions” section by clicking on the menu item “Search the SDN List

A number of search parameters are provided.  Focusing the search onto “Vessels”, “Entities” or “Individuals” creates much more manageable lists, but it can be refined further by entering data regarding the country or city of origin, or even just a street address.

The list of vessel names includes ex-names and other aliases.  The individuals also may have a number of aliases and the system will enable searches based on previously known names.

Whilst the system makes searches much easier, it carries a disclaimer warning that use of the search facility does not protect the user from liability for sanctions.

OFAC Disclaimer text

This SDN Search application (“SDN Search”) is designed to facilitate the navigation of the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list (“SDN List”). SDN Search uses literal character matching logic to identify exact matches between word or character “strings” exactly as entered into SDN Search, and any name or other information exactly as it appears on the SDN list. SDN Search will not detect misspellings or other incorrectly entered text, and will not return near matches to, or other variations of, the entered text. Use of this system implies understanding that searches performed by SDN Search are conducted at the user’s own risk, and that the search results provided by SDN Search do not represent an official confirmation by the Office of Foreign Assets Control or the Department of the Treasury of the existence or absence of a match between any information entered by the user and any information contained on the SDN List. The use of SDN Search does not limit or excuse any liability for any act undertaken as a result of, or in reliance on, such use.

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