The UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) has published the new Compliance Reporting Form (which can be found here) for individuals and organisations to comply with the UK financial sanctions reporting obligations. The new form has separate sections to be completed depending upon whether you are:
- reporting a suspected designated person (Part B);
- providing information on frozen assets (Part C); or
- providing information on a suspected breach (Part D).
It also provides more clarity on what information OFSI requires in each of these areas.
The new Compliance Reporting Form is intended to allow individuals and entities to comply with their reporting obligations under EU and UK law, including the UK reporting requirements on relevant businesses or professions as introduced by The European Union Financial Sanctions (Amendment of Information Provisions) Regulations 2017 in August 2017. The ‘relevant businesses or professions’ are defined to cover:
- dealers in precious metals or stones
- estate agents
- external accountants
- independent legal professionals
- tax advisers
- trust or company service providers
In a recent blog post, OFSI provided the following examples of potential circumstances where the reporting obligation might arise:
- Notifying us that you, a provider of professional services, have been approached by someone you suspect is a designated person (or someone working on their behalf). They may be attempting to circumvent sanctions and you must inform OFSI, and include any identifying information you hold about them.
- You work in a company, for example a law or accountancy firm, and become aware that one of your clients may be dealing in funds that belong to a designated person. Your client may be breaching financial sanctions and you must report this information to OFSI, along with any information by which they can be identified.
- A customer or client of yours becomes subject to financial sanctions. You must report to OFSI if you hold any of their assets and have frozen them. You also need to include any information by which they can be identified.
- You are a financial institution and have blocked a payment going to someone you suspect is a designated person. Your investigation into the blocked payment has given you reasonable cause to suspect that the person sending the funds has committed an offence by attempting to make funds available to a designated person. You must report this to OFSI as soon as is practicable along with any information you hold about that person by which they can be identified.