OFAC Compliance

FinCEN / BIS Alert to Financial Institutions on Strengthening U.S. Export Control Vigilance

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) are calling on financial institutions to strengthen their support of export control regulations by proactively reporting potential violations.

It comes as global enforcement of export controls is being stepped up by the Five Eyes countries of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Key Takeaways

  • FinCEN and BIS implement a new Suspicious Activity Report key term “FIN-2023-GLOBALEXPORT”.
  • It’s designed to make it easier for the financial community to report potential evasion of U.S. export controls.
  • The initiative expands on existing measures to reduce the risk of controlled technologies being transferred to unauthorized entities.

Main Points of the FinCEN / BIS Export Control Alert

FinCEN is part of the U.S. Treasury Department, while BIS operates under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Commerce. In a joint press release, the two agencies have introduced a new Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) key term, “FIN-2023-GLOBALEXPORT” to make it easier for the financial community to report export control breaches in their industry.

This is in addition to a similar key term announced last year “FIN-2022-RUSSIABIS” aimed at identifying and shutting down illicit efforts aimed at circumventing sanctions against Russia.

Understanding the Scope of the Advisory

The alert provides financial institutions with the insights and steps needed to identify illicit transactions, especially with regards to international trade in controlled goods and technologies. This includes applying a risk-based approach to assessing risk exposure, and to having measures in place to quickly identifying and halting problem transactions.

“Disrupting the diversion of critical U.S. technologies to nation-state adversaries and malign actors around the globe is our highest priority,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Matthew S. Axelrod. “This powerful new SAR key term will enable even more BIS investigative and Entity List actions against global threats.”

How We Can Help with Export Controls

We are a provider of industry-leading international trade compliance solutions that seamlessly operates within a risk-based environment. These solutions help financial institutions to comply with export control rules and regulations in the U.S. and around the world.

This is an excerpt of an article in the Descartes Visual Compliance Export Compliance Journal which provides more details about the FinCEN / BIS export control alert. Read the full article here.