What are Sanctions Lists?

August 2020
Sanctions lists are compiled by governments around the world to indicate which countries, groups or individuals are prohibited from trading or conducting business in that government’s jurisdiction, usually due to definite or suspected involvement in illegal activities. Appearance on a country’s sanctions list usually indicates involvement with terrorism, financial fraud, narcotics trafficing and other illicit activities.

These lists form an integral part of the process of KYC and AML as they are checked by companies to determine which countries, groups or individuals they need to avoid and become increasingly important and more and more businesses seek to operate on a global scale. Without these sorts of checks, it would be a lot simpler for those with fraudulent or illicit intentions to access services - whether financial or other - to further criminal activity. It allows countries to express their values and ideals by leveling sanctions against those that break their laws and regulations. 


Some examples of sanctions lists include:


Not only can a sanction list involve thousands or tens of thousands of entries, but each entry can have a variety of notes attached to it, including aliases, severities or likelihoods of association, and significant data pertaining to the individual entry. On top of this, businesses looking to operate across numerous jurisdictions and countries, or worldwide, need to consider the sanctions lists of each country they will be providing a service to. The sheer amount of data makes it prohibitive for these checks to be carried out by a human and so technology must be used to ensure compliance. 


In order to facilitate compliance with sanctions list requirements, Blockpass facilitates the processing of this massive amounts of data through its KYC Connect® solution. It does this by checking individuals against sanctions lists (as well as other criteria) and issuing them a certificate detailing their Sanctions List and PEP status, ensuring the highest compliance standards. This certificate instantly shows businesses if individuals are matched with lists and gives details on those matches.


Blockpass’ KYC Connect® also facilitates communication between merchants and users so additional details or renewed certificates can be requested. This approach drastically cuts down on the time and cost of compliance and generally makes it a lot simpler to meet regulatory requirements. 


The Blockpass platform is fully automated and hosted in the cloud, with no integration or setup fee. Businesses can sign up to the KYC Connect® console in a matter of minutes, test out the service, and start conducting identity documents verification, KYC and AML checks. Sign up for FREE at