On May 2, 2019, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”)—the U.S. agency tasked with administering and enforcing the U.S.’s economic and trade sanctions programs—published A Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments (the “Framework”). It summarizes and amplifies previous interpretative guidance on establishing and implementing an effective sanctions compliance program (“SCP”) for organizations subject to U.S. jurisdiction, as well as foreign entities that conduct business in or with the U.S. or U.S. persons, or that otherwise use U.S.-origin goods or services. 

2019年5月2日,美国财政部海外资产控制办公室,即负责管理并执行美国经济贸易制裁计划的美国政府机关,发布了《美国海外资产控制办公室合规承诺框架》(简称“框架”)。框架总结并强化了先前对于受美国司法管辖的组织以及在美开展业务、与美国或美国人开展业务或以其他方式使用美国原产货物或服务的外国实体建立并执行有效制裁合规计划的解释性指南。

As economic sanctions have been playing a greater role in U.S. regulations of international businesses, and in light of the increasing need from the private sector to seek guidance in a turbulent and perhaps perplexing sanctions environment, OFAC’s Framework is both timely and useful. It probably is not a coincidence that over the last few years other U.S. law enforcement departments and agencies issued similarly important guidance, based upon the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s guidelines for corporate compliance and ethics

随着经济制裁在美国对国际企业监管中发挥更大的作用,考虑到私营部门在复杂且令人迷惑的制裁环境中寻求指导的需求日益增多,美国海外资产控制办公室发布框架的时机恰当且有助于解决企业的困惑。。这和过去数年,其他美国执法部门和机关纷纷根据美国量刑委员会的公司合规和道德指南发布类似的重要指南绝非巧合。

Built on OFAC’s existing Economic Sanctions and Enforcement Guidelines (the “Guidelines”), the Framework establishes OFAC’s expectations for what an effective SCP should look like in a much more granular fashion than set forth in the Guidelines. The Framework highlights the essential components on which a risk-based compliance program should be predicated, including the following five components:  (a) management commitment; (b) risk assessment; (c) internal controls; (d) testing and auditing; and (e) training. The Framework also outlines how these components will be factored into OFAC’s evaluation of an SCP upon detection of apparent violations of the U.S. sanctions program. In addition, the Appendix to the Framework helpfully provides ten “root causes” of OFAC sanctions compliance program breakdowns or deficiencies that have resulted in enforcement actions.

基于美国海外资产控制办公室的现有《经济制裁和执行指南》(简称“指南”),框架更为翔实地阐述了美国海外资产控制办公室对有效的制裁合规计划的期望。框架强调,基于风险制定的合规计划应包含以下五部分:(a) 管理层承诺;(b) 风险评估;(c) 内部管控;(d) 测试与审计;及(e) 培训。框架还说明在检测到明显违反美国制裁计划的情况下,如何将这些组成部分纳入美国海外资产控制办公室对制裁合规计划的评估中。此外,框架附件非常有帮助地提供了美国海外资产控制办公室制裁合规计划失效或缺陷而导致执法行动的十大“根本原因”。

This alert highlights the main aspects and key implications of the Framework, and then offers our follow-up observation and recommendations.  
本报告归纳了框架的主要内容和重要影响,并提供我所的追踪观察和建议。

FIVE ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS OF COMPLIANCE

合规的五大基本组成部分

The Framework identifies the following components as being necessary for an effective SCP: 

框架确认,一个有效的制裁合规计划必需包含五大组成部分:

1. Management Commitment. OFAC considers senior management’s commitment to a company’s risk-based SCP “one of the most important factors in determining its success.” The Framework sets out five general aspects that a company’s senior management, including senior leadership, executives, and/or the board of directors, should be involved in. Senior management must ensure that “adequate resources” are allocated to a company’s compliance unit that effectively monitors and controls the company’s OFAC risks. Such efforts will be measured by a number of criteria, such as appointment of a dedicated OFAC compliance officer, the quality and experience of the personnel implementing the SCP, and the existence of sufficient control functions to support the SCP. The crux, therefore, is to create and promote “a culture of compliance throughout the organization.”

管理层承诺。美国海外资产控制办公室认为,高级管理层对公司风险制裁合规计划的承诺系“确定其成功与否的最重要因素之一”。框架列出了公司高级管理层,包括高级领导、高管和/或董事会应参与的五个一般方面。高管层必须确保向有效监控公司美国海外资产控制办公室风险的公司合规部门分配“充分资源”。该项努力将通过若干标准来衡量,例如聘请专门的美国海外资产控制办公室合规官、执行制裁合规计划的员工素质和经验,以及存在支持制裁合规计划的具有充分控制力的职能部门。因此,关键是要创建并促进“整个组织的合规文化”。

2. Risk Assessment. OFAC recommends that a company adopt a risk-based approach when designing or updating its SCP. The central tenet is that a company should conduct a routine and ongoing risk assessment to identify potential OFAC issues that it is likely to encounter, consisting of a holistic assessment review of its touchpoints to possible sanctions-related transactions. Risks may be associated with, among other things, a company’s clients, products and services, third parties such as supply chain and intermediaries, and geographical locations. In particular, the Framework singles out two of the most significant areas of risk, namely, customer on-boarding and mergers and acquisitions. The latter, as stressed by OFAC, has “presented numerous challenges with respect to OFAC sanctions” in recent years, hence risk-assessment must be conducted “particularly in scenarios involving non-U.S. companies.”

风险评估。美国海外资产控制办公室建议,公司在设计或更新其制裁合规计划时,采用基于风险的方式。中心原则是公司应进行常规、持续的风险评估,以确定其可能遇到的潜在美国海外资产控制办公室问题,包括对可能与制裁相关的交易的接触点进行整体评估审查。除其他事项外,风险可能与公司客户、产品和服务、第三方(例如供应链和中介)以及地理位置相关。特别是,框架挑出了两个最重要的风险领域,即客户开户和并购。正如美国海外资产控制办公室强调的,近年来并购“面临有关美国海外资产控制办公室制裁方面的众多挑战”,因此必须进行风险评估,“尤其是涉及非美国公司的情况”。

3. Internal Controls. An effective SCP must include policies and procedures for an internal control structure relevant to a company’s day-to-day operations to clearly and effectively identify, interdict, escalate, report and keep records pertaining to activity that may be prohibited by relevant laws and regulations. Moreover, internal controls should adequately address the results of its OFAC risk assessment, and be capable of adjusting rapidly to constantly-evolving guidance and dynamic sanction-related lists published by OFAC. Among other things, OFAC expects a company to design and implement written policies and procedures outlining the SCP and communicate them to relevant staff, to appoint personnel for integrating the SCP into its daily operation, and to ensure internal controls remain effective through internal and/or external audit procedures.

内部管控。有效的制裁合规计划必须包含与公司日常运营相关的内部管控结构政策和程序,明确有效识别、拦截、升级、报告并保存与相关法律法规可能禁止的活动有关的记录。此外,内部管控应充分解决其美国海外资产控制办公室风险评估的结果,并且能够快速适应美国海外资产控制办公室发布的不断变化的指南和动态制裁相关清单。除其他事项外,美国海外资产控制办公室希望公司设计并执行书面政策和程序,载明制裁合规计划,并传达给相关员工,委派员工将制裁合规计划整合到日常运营中,确保内部控制在内部和/或外部审计程序中保持有效。

4. Testing and Auditing. A comprehensive, independent, and objective testing or audit function within a SCP ensures that a company identifies the weaknesses and deficiencies of the SCP. It is expected that the testing and auditing is accountable to senior management and sufficiently supported with expertise, resources and authority, proportionate to the level and sophistication of the company’s SCP.

测试与审计。制裁合规计划中的全面、独立和客观的测试或审计功能,可确保公司识别制裁合规计划的弱点和缺陷。框架期待看到高管层对测试与审计负责,并得到与公司制裁合规计划水平和复杂度相称的专业知识、资源和授权等充分支持。

5. Training. An OFAC-related training program accompanied by easily accessible resources and materials should be provided to employees and stakeholders with a scope and frequency appropriate to a company’s risk profile. The Framework also emphasizes that a company, upon learning of a deficiency or a negative testing or audit finding, must take immediate and effective action to provide training to relevant personnel.

培训。应向雇员和利益相关人提供美国海外资产控制办公室相关培训计划,以及易于获得的资源和资料,培训范围和频率应与公司的风险状况相对应。框架还强调,公司在得知缺陷或负面测试或审计结果后,必须立即采取有效行动,向相关人员提供培训。

ROOT CAUSES OF SCP BREAKDOWNS

制裁合规计划失效的根本原因

The Appendix to the Framework provides a non-exhaustive list of 10 “root causes” of OFAC sanctions compliance program breakdowns that result in enforcement actions. These root causes will factor into OFAC’s enforcement actions, including the determination of the amount of civil monetary penalties. 

框架附件提供了美国海外资产控制办公室制裁合规计划失效从而导致执法行动的十大“根本原因”非详尽清单。这些根本原因将影响美国海外资产控制办公室的执法行动,包括确定民事罚款金额。

The 10 root causes are:

十大根本原因:

  1. Lack of a formal OFAC sanctions compliance program
    没有正式的美国海外资产控制办公室制裁合规计划
  2. Misinterpreting or failing to understand the applicability of sanctions
    错误解读或未能理解制裁的适用性
  3. Non-U.S. entities facilitating transactions with sanctioned parties
    非美国实体促进与受制裁方的交易
  4. Exporting or re-exporting U.S.-origin goods, technology, or services to sanctioned persons or countries
    向受制裁人士或国家出口或再出口美国原产货物、技术或服务
  5. Utilizing the U.S. financial system, or processing payments to or through U.S. financial institutions, for transactions involving sanctioned persons
    使用美国财政系统,或处理向美国金融机构或通过美国金融机构支付款项,用于涉及受制裁人士的交易
  6. Conducting screening with faulty or outdated sanctions screening software
    使用有错误或过时的制裁筛选软件进行筛选
  7. Conducting improper due diligence on customers/clients or transactions
    对顾客/客户或交易进行不适当的尽职调查
  8. Decentralized and inconsistent application of a compliance program
    合规计划分散及运用不一致
  9. Utilizing non-standard payment or commercial practices, and
    使用非标准支付或商业惯例;及
  10. Individual employees, particularly those in managerial positions, causing or facilitating apparent violations by a company.
    个人雇员,尤其是担任管理岗位的雇员,导致或促使公司明显违规行为

Among the 10 root causes, some deserve closer attention.
十大原因中,有一些值得更密切的关注。

The first root cause identified by OFAC is a lack of a formal SCP. While the Framework recognizes that OFAC’s regulations do not technically require a formal SCP, as a practical matter organizations subject to U.S. sanctions jurisdiction should adopt a formal SCP. In so doing there are at least two benefits: (a) the existence of a formal SCP will be considered favorably when considering the appropriate resolution of an enforcement investigation by OFAC under the Guidelines; and (b) the existence of a formal SCP will be considered in OFAC’s analysis as an element as to whether an alleged violation is egregious. 

美国海外资产控制办公室确定的第一大根本原因是没有正式的制裁合规计划。虽然框架承认,美国海外资产控制办公室的规则严格来说不要求有正式的制裁合规计划,但从实践看来,受美国制裁管辖的组织应制定正式的制裁合规计划。这样做至少有两个好处:(a) 存在正式的制裁合规计划,将在美国海外资产控制办公室根据指南对执法调查进行适当决议时,被视为有利证据;及(b) 存在正式的制裁合规计划,将在美国海外资产控制办公室的分析中,被视为涉嫌违规行为是否极其严重的一项因素。

OFAC is focused on non-U.S. companies. With respect to a formal SCP, for example, OFAC stated that it “particularly” encourages companies involved in international transactions with clients or counter-parties located outside of the U.S. to adopt a formal SCP. OFAC identified another root cause of enforcement actions as companies violate OFAC’s regulations “by referring business opportunities to, approving or signing off on transactions conducted by, or otherwise facilitating dealings between their organization’s non-U.S. locations and OFAC-sanctioned countries, regions, or persons.” OFAC’s position is amplified by several recent, high-profile sanctions-related enforcement cases against foreign financial institutions.  

美国海外资产控制办公室将重点放在非美国公司上。例如,就正式的制裁合规计划,美国海外资产控制办公室表示,“特别”鼓励与美国境外的客户或交易对方有国际交易的公司采用正式的制裁合规计划。美国海外资产控制办公室确认执法行动的另一根本原因,是公司违反美国海外资产控制办公室规则,“通过将业务机会介绍给受美国海外资产控制办公室制裁的国家、地区或人士,批准或签署由受美国海外资产控制办公室制裁的国家、地区或人士进行的交易,或另行促进其美国境外组织与受美国海外资产控制办公室制裁的国家、地区或人士的交易。” 最近数起针对外国金融机构的高规格制裁相关执法案件实际上强化了美国海外资产控制办公室的这一立场。

OFAC advises companies with integrated operations, particularly those involving or requiring participation by their U.S. locations or personnel, that they should “ensure any activities they engage in … are compliant with OFAC’s regulations.” (Among other things, this means understanding and avoiding so-called “facilitation” transactions which employ U.S.-based persons, entities, payment systems or other structures to effect a sanctioned transaction.) The fourth and fifth root causes identified by OFAC also refer to the role and activities of non-U.S. persons, signaling that foreign companies with operations or activities in the U.S. should focus on, and if necessary develop and strengthen, their SCPs.

美国海外资产控制办公室建议有综合业务的公司,尤其是涉及或要求其美国境内公司或人士参与的公司,应“确保其参与的任何活动…均符合美国海外资产控制办公室规则。”(除其他事项外,这意味着了解并避免利用美国当地人士、实体、支付系统或其他结构来影响受制裁交易的所谓“促成”交易。)美国海外资产控制办公室确认的第四大和第五大根本原因也涉及非美国人士的作用和活动,表明在美国经营或活动的外国企业应当关注且必要时应当制定并强化其制裁合规计划。

Finally, OFAC is focused on large and sophisticated organizations, and it is arguable—and probably likely—that OFAC’s expectations are higher for those types of organizations. For example, with respect to OFAC’s enforcement actions in the context of improper exports or re-exports, OFAC focused on companies that were “large or sophisticated,” which either ignored or failed to respond to numerous warning signs. Similarly, with respect to enforcement actions for improper wire transfers, OFAC focused on “willful or reckless conduct” for an extended period, with actual knowledge or involvement by the organization’s management, and where the organizations were “large or sophisticated.”

最后一点,美国海外资产控制办公室重点关注大型、富有运营经验的组织,并且极有可能美国海外资产控制办公室对该类组织的期望更高。例如,对于不当出口或再出口情况下的美国海外资产控制办公室执法行动,美国海外资产控制办公室重点关注那些忽视或未能响应众多警示信号的“大型或富有运营经验”的公司。同样,对于不当电汇的执法行动,美国海外资产控制办公室重点关注组织管理层有实际了解或参与、在较长时间内有“故意或疏忽行为”、且 “大型或富有运营经验”的组织。 

OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

观察和建议

Entities subject to U.S. jurisdiction—regardless of location—should evaluate the effectiveness of their SCPs based on the roadmap and standards provided by OFAC in the Framework. If necessary, they should enhance their SCPs to meet OFAC’s expectations and to avoid preventable enforcement penalties.
受美国司法管辖的实体——无需考虑其地理位置——应根据美国海外资产控制办公室在框架中提供的路径图和标准,评估其制裁合规计划的有效性。如有必要,该类实体应加强其制裁合规计划,以符合美国海外资产控制办公室的预期,避免可预防的执法处罚。
When reviewing its SCP, a company should ensure that the SCP adopts all of the five essential components identified in the Framework. At a minimum, this means identifying categories of transactions that potentially impact OFAC sanctions prohibitions.

审阅制裁合规计划时,公司应确保其制裁合规计划采用框架中确认的所有五大基本组成部分。这意味着至少确认可能影响美国海外资产控制办公室制裁禁令的交易类型。

Finally (and possibly most importantly), fostering a culture of compliance is essential. OFAC makes it clear in the Framework that it expects management “to foster a culture of compliance throughout the organization.” That echoes the expectations of other regulators. In November 2017, for example, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York issued a white paper on Misconduct Risk, Culture and Supervision. Regulators increasingly recognize that regulations cannot cover all situations, so they expect financial institutions to create a culture of compliance that can fill any necessary gaps between regulations and guidance, on the one hand, and employee behavior, on the other hand. All organizations, especially large, sophisticated operations with multiple locations should expect the degree of their compliance culture to be an increasing focus in 2019 and beyond.  

最后(并且可能是最重要的),培养合规文化至关重要。美国海外资产控制办公室在框架中明确指出,希望管理层“在组织内培养合规文化。”这与其他监管机构的预期相呼应。例如,2017年11月,纽约联邦储备银行发布了《不当行为风险、文化和监管白皮书》。监管机构越来越认识到,规则无法覆盖所有情况,因此监管机构希望金融机构创立合规文化,一方面可弥补法规和指南之间的空隙,另一方面可弥补法规和员工行为之间的差距。所有组织,尤其是大型的、在多地富有运营经验的组织,均应在2019年及以后对其合规文化加大关注程度。

Stated another way, being able to demonstrate a commitment to compliance may be the most effective mitigation factor should OFAC initiate an investigation targeted against a U.S. or non-U.S. company for alleged sanctions violations.

换言之,如果美国海外资产控制办公室启动针对美国公司或非美国公司涉嫌违反制裁行动的调查,能够证明公司有合规承诺可能是最有效的量刑因素。