Overview and purpose
The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the University complies with sanctions laws and regulations issued by the UK and US governments.
This policy sets out areas of responsibility for all staff and the sources used in assessment of activities.
Sanctions are imposed by the UK and other governments to uphold international peace and security. Sanctions prohibit or restrict the transfer of certain items, services and economic resources to designated individuals, organisations and countries. In addition to UK law, the University may also have to comply with certain US sanctions, which often apply more restrictions than UK measures.
This policy aims to clarify which activities are within the scope of sanctions law and which are not. It outlines how the University will assess activities so that it can make informed decisions about which activities it can undertake.
The University is legally required to comply with sanctions as determined by UK and, in certain cases, US law. Non-compliance could lead to fines, withdrawal of funding, and reputational damage. Compliance with US sanctions are not a legal requirement, but in practice we must take these into account due a number of commercial relations, notably our US based funders (MetLife & Northwestern), our Bankers, Barclays have a US Banking license, this means we cannot make payments to or receive funds from countries and individuals named on the US sanctions list. Our Insurers will not be able to provide assistance to staff or students who require it if they are in a sanctioned country, as they are unable to move funds into these countries.
This policy is relevant to all University staff who propose to conduct any activity with individuals or entities (‘person’) in, from or with links to sanctioned countries. No substantive contacts with such persons may proceed without prior written approval from the Director of Finance or delegated member of staff.
A list of sanctioned countries is available at the bottom of the page. These are divided into two categories: Broadly and Narrowly Restricted Countries. Sanctioned countries and individuals
A Narrowly Restricted Country is subject to closely cast sanctions targets, the majority of which are focused on the prohibition of activities related to the trading of weapons. For all proposed activities with persons in or from to an narrowly restricted country, an assessment must be completed using the financial sanctions assessment template. This assessment screens countries against the UK and US sanctions lists. Any decision to continue to work with a person from an narrowly restricted country must be approved by the Director of Finance or delegated member of staff.
A Broadly Restricted Country is subject to a wide range of sanctions measures with a significant list of individuals who are subject to sanctions. For all proposed activities with persons in or from a broadly restricted country an assessment must be completed using the financial sanctions assessment template. This assessment screens countries against the UK and US sanctions lists. Any decision to continue to work with a person from a broadly resticted country must be approved by the Deputy Director of Finance before receiving final approval from the Director of Finance. The Finance and Procurement Office will conduct enhanced checks on the proposed organisation or individual. If the proposal is approved, then assessments will be routinely repeated in case they become newly subject to sanctions. If work with a sanctioned person is approved, then enhanced compliance measures may need be followed, including a regular review of activity and associated risk.
Cuba, Iran, Crimea, Syria and North Korea. All proposals for collaboration with any individual or organisation from or based in these countries must be referred to the Director of Finance in advance of any agreement being signed. US sanctions in countries are very strict and it unlikely any activity can be undertaken with organisations based in these countries.
All University staff are responsible for understanding this policy and for arranging a sanctions assessment where necessary to determine whether a person is subject to sanctions and, if so, whether the proposed activity may proceed and under what conditions.
Assessments are completed by the relevant Professional Service team, as outlined below. Professional Services teams complete assessments using the financial sanctions assessment template and a record the results will be retained on a shared sanctions register owned by the Finance and Procurement Training and Compliance Officer.
|Students||Recruitment and Admissions|
|Donations||Development Alumni and Relations (DDAR)|
|Research Contracts & Grants||Research and Innovation Services (RIS)|
|Procuring goods and services||Procurement|
|Approval of contracts||As shown in list of delegations|
|Other Income, including Consultancy||Finance and Procurement Office as advised by relevant PS team/Head of Academic Department|
The Standing Group for Financial Probity will be responsible for amendments to the country list and any changes to the assessment template and the procedures for its submission and review. The Standing Group for Financial Probity will also delegate to the Finance and Procurement Training and Compliance Officer responsibility for recommending changes to Standing Group for Financial Probity to the list of sanctioned countries , details of which will be maintained on a Finance and Procurement web page.
The Finance and Procurement Training & Compliance Officer will support departments in undertaking assessments and maintain a register of assessments received and the outcomes. The post holder will recommend to the Standing Group for Financial Probity changes in procedures.
The Finance and Procurement Training & Compliance Officer will assess training requirements and where appropriate make recommendation to the Director of Finance for the procurement of training materials.
A sanctions check must be performed where a transaction is proposed with any individual who is a national of or is based in a broadly or narrowly restricted country or any organisation operating from a base within or registered in a broadly or narrowly restricted country. A transaction in this case refers to contracting with a third party which may give rise to a payment or a receipt of money. In every instance the University must conduct a check on the third-party payer/recipient or rely upon a check performed by another organisation such as a financial service provider. This includes all students coming from a narrowly or broadly restricted country and they will check against the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation and the Office of Foreign Assets Control - Sanctions Programs and Information
Assessments are completed by Reviewer/s from the responsible team.
Instructions on completing assessments are available on the financial sanctions assessment template.
Assessments are approved by Approver/s from the responsible team. This cannot be the same person as the Reviewer and should ideally be the Head of Service or Department or one of their delegated staff members.
Teams may approve their own assessments for persons based in or working with NRCs. Teams will need secondary approval from the Director of Finance where the person is based in or working with a BRC or if teams have any doubts about their own assessments. Secondary approval can be given by a delegated member of staff if the request relates to NRCs. If work with a sanctioned person is approved, the Director of Finance will if appropriate agree with the team on enhanced compliance measures to be followed in all dealings with the sanctioned person.
If dealings with a person based in or working with a BRC are approved, the Finance and Procurement Office Training and Compliance Officer will support the relevant department under take an assessment review, this should take place at a minimum of every two years (depending on risk) of such a person.
Reviewers will update and send completed assessments (along with any supporting documentation) to the Finance and Procurement Office who will save these, or where appropriate send them to Director of Finance for approval. Confirmation of such approval will then be provided to the Department concerned.
In the event of a breach
In the event of a suspected breach of applicable sanctions laws, whoever uncovered it will report this immediately to both: - Their relevant Approver/s - The Director of Finance and the Finance and Procurement Office Training and Compliance Officer.
The Finance and Procurement Office Training and Compliance Officer will subsequently report the breach, if it is confirmed as such, to:
- In respect of financial sanctions: the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) following OFSI guidelines:
[Reporting information to OFSI – what to do - GOV.UK[(www.gov.uk)
- In respect of trade sanctions: HM Revenue and Customs following HMRC guidelines
If it is felt appropriate one or all the following organisations - Relevant external stakeholders e.g. Barclays bank & OfS. - The Department or School which holds the arrangement; an - The party which is being investigated.
Financial sanctions assessment template
Please note RIS & DDAR have their own due diligence questionnaires which include reference to Financial Sanctions.
Financial sanctions assessment template
Financial sanctions country list
Please note these lists are provide by Barclays Bank at 20 January 2023. Please refer to the UK Sanctions List to ensure the most recent guidance is followed:
Broadly restricted countries (BRCs)
- Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson & Zaporizhzhya (Ukraine
- North Korea
Narrowly restricted countries (NRCs)
(Subject to trade restrictions and/or limited Sanctions on specific government agencies, officials etc.)
- Central African Republic
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Guinea & Republic of Guinea-Bissau
- Myanmar (Burma)
- South Sudan
Russia* *Subject to change at short notice, covered by significant finance sector restrictions