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Information on List File Formats and Downloads

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Information on List File Formats and Downloads

22. Does OFAC maintain or can it create a country-by-country list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs)?

OFAC has long maintained such a list. The file is available on OFAC's SDN Page under the link "SDN List Sorted by Country."  It is important to understand that many SDN individuals and entities may operate in countries other than those in which they are based. The relevant regulations prohibit transactions with and/or block the property of SDNs wherever they are located

Released on October 8, 2013

79. Does OFAC provide its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List in a format that can be easily imported into a database?

Yes. OFAC's SDN list is available in XML, fixed-field and delimited formats that can be imported into a variety of software programs.

Released on December 19, 2007

80. Does OFAC provide its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List in a spreadsheet format?

OFAC publishes the SDN data in a comma separated values format (CSV). This format is recognized by Excel and other spreadsheet programs and can be imported into spreadsheet format by simply opening the file in your default spreadsheet application.

Released on June 14, 2007

81. What is the delimiter in OFAC's delimited files?

The delimiter varies based upon the file type.  Files that end in .CSV have a comma delimiter. Files that end in .FF have a fixed width delimiter. 

Released on June 14, 2007

83. How are OFAC's delimited files structured?

Released on April 21, 2015

84. Does OFAC maintain its files on an FTP server or in locations other than on its website?  Does OFAC provide its files via Secure FTP (SFTP)?

Yes. OFAC maintains many of its sanctions list files on an FTP server.

This server can be accessed at: ftp://ofacftp.treas.gov.

The server will accept an anonymous login. OFAC's data is stored in the directories listed below.  OFAC does not currently support connections to this server via SFTP.

/fac_sdn - SDN legacy zip archive (XML and delimited files) and the advanced zip archive (advanced XML file)

/fac_delim - SDN data files (advanced XML file, legacy XML file, legacy delimited files) in un archived format

/ssi_list - All Sectoral Sanctions List files

/fse_list - All Foreign Sanctions Evaders List files

/ns_plc - All Non-SDN Palestinian Legislative Council Lists files

/consolidated_list - All Consolidated Non-SDN List data files

Released on April 13, 2017

87. Your FTP site has gone offline. Who should I contact to remedy this problem?

The FTP site is run by OFAC. Please contact OFAC's support hotline at 1-800-540-6322 for technical support.

Released on August 6, 2014

88. I am a developer looking to design an automated process that will download OFAC's Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list and other sanctions lists without human intervention. How can I do this given that changes to the sanctions lists can be sporadic?

OFAC cannot give specific advice on how to design an automated system for downloading its sanctions list data. Many institutions solve this problem by setting up a scheduled download of the SDN List and other sanctions lists. These firms conduct their own risk assessments and decide how often they need to download the lists in order to comply with U.S. law. Institutions should be aware that OFAC is updating its sanctions lists at an ever increasing pace. If an institution has set up a periodic download schedule, the institution should occasionally reevaluate that schedule to ensure that it remains an effective risk mitigation technique

Released on January 30, 2015

89. I am a database administrator at a financial institution and am responsible for keeping my company's sanctions list data current. Are OFAC's sanctions lists comprehensive or do I need to download some kind of supplement to the list every time there is an update?

The SDN list and OFAC's non-SDN Consolidated lists are comprehensive. Database administrators can overwrite any old data in their systems with the latest versions of the list's data files, thus ensuring that their database is current

Released on September 10, 2002

90. Do you offer a Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) changes file or "delta file" in a data format? Do you offer delta files for OFAC's other sanctions lists?

No. OFAC records changes to the SDN and other sanctions lists in human-readable form in the recent actions section of its website. An archive of changes files found on this page. Database administrators interested in refreshing their databases with new SDN and other sanctions list data should use the comprehensive data files available on OFAC's website and completely refresh the list.

Released on October 8, 2013

105. OFAC says it has updated one or more of its sanctions lists, but when I download the appropriate data files from the OFAC website, they appear to be out-of-date. Where can I get the latest SDN information?

OFAC has rigorous quality control procedures in place to ensure that all sanctions list data are current and accurate when they are released (including all of its human-readable list formats [in PDF and text]). All of the sanctions list information is downloaded and checked by OFAC personnel using the same interface that any member of the public might employ. A number of local issues can impact a user’s ability to download current information; many of these issues are associated with caching done by a user’s browser or by the firewall/security systems that protect a specific enterprise. OFAC can only offer technical support when it comes to OFAC provided data and OFAC managed systems (like the OFAC website or OFAC FTP servers). If you continue to have difficulty downloading the latest SDN information, OFAC recommends that you contact your internal IS/IT support and request their assistance in resolving a caching issue.

Released on May 8, 2018

422. How do I get a copy of one or more of OFAC’s other sanctions lists (in addition to the Specially Designated Nationals list)?

OFAC maintains other sanctions lists in addition to its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list. The names on these lists may also appear on the SDN list when such targets have a blocking provision associated with them. However, when the treatment of sanctions targets is unique and stops short of the blocking treatment, these names will appear on the one of OFAC's non-SDN lists. Links to the human-readable versions of these lists can be found here. Data versions of these lists are now being disseminated in a single, consolidated data file (known as the Consolidated Sanctions List). These data files can be located on OFAC's Consolidated Sanctions List (Non-SDN List) page

Released on February 2, 2015

1031. What is a UID?  And why does OFAC sometimes publish lists of UIDs in its Recent Actions notices?

Throughout OFAC’s sanctions list data products, such as the XML file, each entry is assigned a unique identification number (UID) as a means to help make sorting and filtering through information easier.  

In OFAC’s files, a UID is a numeric string that is associated with a single entry within a given system. OFAC's sanctions list data products are designed to be integrated into a relational database. As such, UIDs (which are typically considered “primary” or “foreign” keys) are assigned to all primary entries on the sanctions list(s) and are used to link the primary entry to its addresses, aliases, and other identifiers.

Occasionally, OFAC may only provide a list of UIDs in a Recent Actions notice when a clerical update is made to the sanctions list(s).  The purpose of such is to underscore the fact that these types of actions are solely administrative and that there have been no new entries added to OFAC's list(s).

For more information regarding the data specification and formatting of OFAC's files or on the use of UIDs within OFAC's files, please visit the following links: 

Released on April 29, 2022