What are the main changes:

  • For breaches of financial sanctions that are committed after 15 June 2022, OFSI will be able to impose civil monetary penalties on a strict civil liability basis. This means that going forward OFSI will not have to prove that a person had knowledge or reasonable cause to suspect that they were in breach of financial sanctions. OFSI will continue to have the burden of proving that the financial sanctions breach occurred.
  • There will be greater flexibility on challenging OFSI’s decisions to issue monetary penalties for sanctions violations. This means that reviews of OFSI’s decisions requested after 15 June 2022 may now be undertaken by someone other than a minister. This change does not in any way change or weaken the ability to further challenge OFSI’s monetary penalties at the Upper Tribunal.
  • OFSI will now have the power to publicise details of financial sanctions breaches in cases where a breach has been found, but it has not imposed a monetary penalty. In such instances, OFSI will consider publication on a case-by-case basis and will notify persons prior to publication to provide an opportunity to make representations. This applies to financial sanctions breaches committed after 15 June 2022.

These changes are introduced by the SI 2022/638 – The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 (Commencement No. 2 and Saving Provision) Regulations 2022.

OFSI has updated its monetary penalties guidance to reflect these changes. The updated guidance applies to sanctions breaches where the potential breach took place on or after 00:00 15 June 2022.


Tristan Grimmer is a partner in Baker McKenzie's London office and the UK Head of the International Trade Practice Group. He is also a member of the Compliance & Investigations and the International Trade and Competition practice groups. Tristan joined Baker McKenzie as a trainee in March 2004, qualifying in March 2006. He has advised on parallel investigations by authorities in the United States, Switzerland, Brazil and Japan, and has spent time working in Baker McKenzie's Chicago office. Tristan is named as a "Leading Individual" for EU And Competition: Trade, WTO Anti-Dumping and Customs in the UK Legal 500 2023 directory.


Ben Smith is a Partner in Baker McKenzie’s London office and a member of the firm’s Compliance & Investigations and International Trade practice groups. Both these practices are ranked Tier 1 by Legal 500 UK. Ben joined the London office of Baker & McKenzie in September 2007. He has also worked in Baker McKenzie's San Francisco and Brussels offices, as well as on secondment to the legal and compliance teams at three FTSE 100 UK plcs. The Legal 500 UK ranked Ben as a “Rising Star”, noting “Ben Smith is a pleasure to work with. Professional, knowledgeable and always ready to assist with practical solutions.”