Though not required, there can be significant benefits to submitting a voluntary self-disclosure to OFAC in the event of an apparent violation. The benefits of self-disclosure include the reduction of the base penalty amount in the event of an enforcement action. Additionally, a company’s cooperation with OFAC throughout the enforcement process may be considered a mitigating factor which could also reduce the civil penalty amount.
In the UK, financial institutions are required to report known or suspected sanctions breaches to the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI). Other reporting obligations may also apply in relation to sanctions breaches, including to the FCA in the case of regulated entities. For more on reporting obligations, see here. As OFSI may refer cases to law enforcement agencies, institutions should consider the potential benefits of disclosure to such agencies, even where not required.
For more on penalties and enforcement, see here.
Under French law, there is no general, affirmative duty to report sanctions-related information to the authorities.
- applicable EU regulations generally provide that individuals and entities should supply to the competent authority (in France, usually the Treasury) any information which would facilitate compliance with them, such as accounts and amounts frozen;
- Article L. 562-4 of the French Monetary and Financial Code imposes sanctions-related reporting obligations on financial institutions; and
- voluntary reporting or disclosure is always an available option.