On 1 April 2017, Part 8 of the Policing and Crime Act 2017 (the “Act”) came into force, introducing new powers for HM Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (“OFSI”) to enforce financial sanctions in the UK.

The most significant of these new powers is the ability for OFSI to impose a monetary penalty on companies and individuals deemed to have breached financial sanctions on the civil standard of proof, rather than pursuing a criminal prosecution. Penalties may be imposed up to a maximum of £1 million, or 50% of the value of the breach in question, whichever is the higher. This new approach demonstrates the UK’s intention to “step up” its domestic enforcement of financial sanctions.

In this briefing we provide an overview of the new powers available to OFSI, and of OFSI’s guidance on the circumstances in which monetary penalties will be imposed. We also provide a summary of the other provisions of the Act which came into force on 1 April, and a round-up of other recent UK sanctions developments.