CUNA Comment Letter

Economic Sanctions Enforcement Guidelines

November 7, 2008

Attn: Request for Comments (Enforcement Guidelines)
Office of Foreign Assets Control
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220

Re:      FR Doc. E8-20704 Economic Sanctions Enforcement Guidelines

Dear Sir or Madam:

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC’s) interim final rule on enforcement guidance for persons subject to the requirements of U.S. sanctions statutes, executive orders and regulations. By way of background, CUNA is the largest credit union trade organization in this country, representing approximately 90 percent of our nation’s 8,200 state and federal credit unions, which serve more than 90 million members.

Last year, amendments to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, a principal statutory authority for most OFAC sanctions programs, substantially increased the maximum penalties for violations. As a result, these interim guidelines were developed for determining an appropriate enforcement response, including the amount of any civil monetary penalty, if applicable, to OFAC violations.

CUNA supports OFAC’s efforts to implement these statutory provisions, which will facilitate its enforcement process. Specifically, the guidelines describe the factors that will be considered in determining the appropriate enforcement response to an apparent violation of an OFAC sanctions program, superseding all previous guidance issued by OFAC in this area.

As outlined in the guidelines, several enforcement responses are available to OFAC after investigating an apparent violation. The type of enforcement action undertaken by OFAC will depend on the nature of the apparent violation and the harm caused to the relevant sanctions program. The guidelines also set forth the “General Factors” that OFAC will consider in determining an appropriate enforcement response. We agree that the general factors accurately identify the considerations that are most critical to a determination of appropriate agency action.

Thank you for the opportunity to express our views on the Economic Sanctions Enforcement Guidelines. If you have questions about our letter, please do not hesitate to give Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn or me a call at 202-508-6733.

Sincerely,

Lilly Thomas
Assistant General Counsel