The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation of HM Treasury has published its annual report, spanning the period from April 2018 through March 2019. The year’s activity included the first monetary penalties imposed by OFSI for breaches of financial sanctions (for breaches of the EU Egypt financial sanctions regime), and the issuance of 58 new licenses to permit actions or activity that would otherwise be prohibited. The UK implemented 32 financial sanctions regimes, and subjected 2,183 people to asset freezes during the course of the year. The three regimes with the greatest number of additions to the UK sanctions regime were the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Ukraine, and Syria.
A highlight of the year was the evaluation performed by the Financial Action Task Force giving the UK the highest rating for financial sanctions implementation, and attributing to the UK the strongest anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime of the 60 countries assessed.
The major focus throughout the year has been the preparation of guidance on the UK sanctions regimes in advance of the UK’s exit from the European Union.