May 20, 2024
OFAC API Documentation

OFAC API Documentation – How It Works

OFAC API Documentation

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) API document is a detailed resource that provides information on how to access and utilize OFAC’s sanctions data through its Application Programming Interface (API).

The API allows developers to integrate OFAC’s data into their applications, enabling them to screen for sanctioned individuals, organizations, and countries.

In this article, we will delve into the details of the OFAC API document, including its features, endpoints, parameters, response formats, and implementation guidelines.

Key Features of OFAC API Documentation

The OFAC API document highlights the following features:

  • Real-time data access: Get the latest sanctions data in real-time
  • Flexible search options: Search by name, ID, or keyword
  • Comprehensive data coverage: Access data on SDNs, sanctioned countries, and OFAC programs
  • JSON data format: Easy-to-parse data format for seamless integration

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Getting started with OFAC API Documentation

To use the OFAC API, first obtain an API key by authenticating on the OFAC portal (

Having authenticated or registered, you will be given an API key which you may use to authenticate the requests you make.


The OFAC API endpoint to search the sanctions list is:


The API supports the following parameters for searching the sanctions list:

  • Query (required): The search query to be performed.
  • Type (optional): Specifies the type of search to be conducted. Possible values include “individual” or “entity.”
  • Limit (optional): Specifies the maximum number of results to return. The default is 10.

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Responsive Formats

The OFAC API document specifies the following response formats:

  • JSON: Default response format
  • CSV: Comma-separated values format (available for certain endpoints)

Implementation Guidelines

The OFAC API document provides the following implementation guidelines:

  1. API key: Obtain an API key by registering on the OFAC website
  2. Authentication: Use API key for authentication
  3. Rate limiting: Be aware of the 100 requests per minute rate limit
  4. Error handling: Handle errors and exceptions gracefully

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Best Practices

The OFAC API document recommends the following best practices:

  • Use the latest API version
  • Use secure protocols (HTTPS)
  • Cache responses to reduce requests
  • Use pagination to limit results

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Q1: Does OFAC have an API?

Yes, OFAC has an API that can be used to screen individuals, entities, vehicles, and IDs against the sanctions database using Fuzzy Logic.

Q2: What are the 3 types of OFAC sanctions?

There are three types of OFAC sanctions which include:

  • Country-based sanctions: This type of sanction targets entire countries and prohibits virtually all activity and transactions with that country.
  • List-based sanctions: This type of sanction targets specific individuals, entities, and organizations.
  • Sectoral sanctions: This type of sanction targets specific sectors of a country’s economy.

OFAC also has Secondary sanctions which target non-U.S. persons who do business with individuals, countries, regimes, and organizations already sanctioned by OFAC.

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Q3: What does “OFAC” stand for?

OFAC is an acronym for the Office of Foreign Assets Control which is a component of the United States Department of the Treasury.

The administers and executes economic sanctions programs aimed largely at countries and groups of people, such as terrorists and drug traffickers.

They also grants customized licenses on a case-by-case basis in certain circumstances and conditions.

Q4: What is an OFAC Check?

An OFAC check is a screening process that determines whether a person, organization, or country is on the OFAC’s sanctions lists. These listings contain Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs), Blocked Persons, and Sanctioned Countries. OFAC inspections are critical for organizations to maintain regulatory compliance while avoiding fines or legal concerns.

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Q5: What details are required for an OFAC check?

To perform an OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) check, you need to provide certain information to ensure accurate screening against OFAC’s sanctions lists. Here’s what you typically need:

  • Name: The full name of the individual or organization you want to screen.
  • Date of Birth (for individuals): The date of birth of the person being screened.
  • Address: The current or known address of the individual or organization.
  • Country of Origin (for individuals): The country where the person was born or is a citizen of.
  • Entity Type: The type of entity being screened (e.g., person, company, organization).
  • Identification Number (optional): Passport number, driver’s license number, or other government-issued ID numbers.

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For organizations:
  • Company Name: The full legal name of the company.
  • Address: The registered or principal address of the company.
  • Country of Incorporation: The country where the company is incorporated.
  • Entity Type: The type of entity (e.g., corporation, partnership, limited liability company).

This information helps OFAC screening tools match against their sanctions lists, which include:

  • Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs)
  • Blocked Persons
  • Sanctioned Countries
  • Sanctioned Entities

Keep in mind that additional information might be required depending on the specific screening tool or service you use. It’s essential to consult with the tool’s documentation or support team for specific requirements.

Remember, accurate information is crucial for effective OFAC screening to ensure compliance with regulations and prevent potential violations.

Q6: How to Run an OFAC Check?

To run an OFAC check manually:

  • Visit the OFAC website
  • Search the SDN list using the search bar
  • Enter the name, date of birth, or address of the individual or organization
  • Review the search results to determine if the entity is listed.


The OFAC API document is a comprehensive resource that provides developers with the necessary information to integrate OFAC’s sanctions data into their applications.

By following the guidelines and implementation details outlined in this article, developers can ensure compliance with OFAC regulations and build robust and compliant applications.

Remember to check the OFAC website for the latest API documentation and updates. I hope this comprehensive article provides you with a thorough understanding of the OFAC API document!

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