Compliance for the Travel and Tourism Industry
Since the USA PATRIOT Act’s passage in 2001 following the terrorists’ attacks of 9/11, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has targeted many other industries, including the travel industry.
OFAC administers numerous sanctions programs some of which include the Balkans, Cuba, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Burma (Myanmar), Zimbabwe, designated international terrorists and narcotics traffickers, Foreign Terrorist Organizations and designated foreign persons who have engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. For instance, did you know it is illegal to do business with Aero Continente, Aerocaribbean Airlines or Vinales Tours? Travel companies must check OFAC’s lists to ensure they aren’t doing business with a listed entity or they will be subject to violations and costly fines.
But OFAC updates their lists all the time. And what if a travel agent DOES overlook a name and does business with an entity on the list? The fines for violations of the statutes administered by OFAC can be substantial. Depending on the program, criminal penalties can include fines ranging from $50,000 to $10,000,000 and imprisonment from 10 to 30 years for willful violations. Civil penalties range from the greater of $250,000 or twice the amount of each underlying transaction to $1,075,000 for each violation.
The CSI compliance division has been serving the needs of the travel industry since 1998. Avoid government fines and increase your protection from fraud. Know your customers and reduce your risk. For more information on the travel industry’s compliance regulations, call us at 888.494.8449.