In April, we published an e-bulletin on some of the changes being introduced in relation to the UK's implementation and enforcement of financial sanctions. These changes included the creation of the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (“OFSI”) within Her Majesty's Treasury (“HMT”) and proposed legislative changes contained in the current draft of the Policing and Crime Bill (the “Bill”). The Bill is currently expected to be enacted in April 2017, and amongst other things, provides for the creation of civil monetary penalties for breach of financial sanctions; these penalties will be applied by OFSI.

The Bill requires HMT to publish guidance to accompany the provisions relating to monetary penalties. This month, HMT opened a consultation seeking views on draft guidance in line with this requirement (the “Draft Guidance”). The Draft Guidance details the “circumstances in which [OFSI] may regard a monetary penalty as suitable, and how it will set the penalty amount”.

The consultation will run until 26 January 2017. Depending on the number of responses received, either final or interim guidance will be published before the power to impose monetary penalties comes into effect. The consultation paper notes that as changes may still be made to the Bill, the Draft Guidance will be reissued as necessary.

In this briefing, we provide an update on amendments to the Bill since our last briefing, and an overview of the content of the Draft Guidance, which provides more detail on how the new system is intended to work.