The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 (Commencement No. 2 and Saving Provision) Regulations 2022 brought into force Chapter 1 (monetary penalties) of Part 3 (sanctions) of the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 with effect from 15th June 2022.

A breach of financial sanctions is a criminal offence punishable by up to 7 years in prison.  In addition, OFSI may impose civil monetary penalties.  The effect of the above regulations is to allow OFSI to impose such civil monetary penalties on a strict liability basis, alleviating the need to prove that a person had knowledge or reasonable cause to suspect they were in breach.  

In addition, in cases where a monetary penalty has not been imposed but where OFSI is satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that a person has breached a prohibition, or failed to comply with an obligation, that is imposed by or under financial sanctions legislation it now has the power to publicise details of those breaches.  Whether a breach is publicised will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The new provisions are not retrospective but apply to financial sanctions breaches committed after 15 June 2022.  OFSI Guidance has been updated accordingly. 

Disclaimer: Nothing contained within this document represents legal advice to any person, nor does it represent a comprehensive statement of the law. Accordingly, it should not be relied on as such.