The Home Office and Treasury have published a factsheet on proposals in the Policing and Crime Bill for tougher penalties and alternative enforcement measures for breaches of financial sanctions. The government proposes:
- to harmonise criminal penalties, so the maximum custodial penalty for breach of EU sanctions is seven years, the same as under the Terrorist Asset Freezing etc Act;
- to allow the use of alternative enforcement tools, specifically:
- deferred prosecution agreements for corporates;
- serious crime prevention orders; and
- monetary penalties, up to a possible £1 million or 50% of the value of the breach, whichever is greater. These would be the responsibility of a new Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), which will sit within Treasury; and
- a “fast track” to allow the UK to implement UN sanctions before the EU does so. The government says the EU typically takes around four weeks to make Regulations implementing sanctions after the UN has recommended them, and this can lead to asset flight. The new powers would allow the UK to implement the sanctions for 30 days, extendable to 60, to bridge the gap between UN recommendations and EU action.
It also reminds users of the 28 current financial sanctions regimes. (Source: Home Office publishes financial sanctions factsheet)