Before we dive into our tips, let's first provide some background about the  ACSS and why sanctions.io supports them.

Who Are the ACSS?

The Association of Certified Sanctions Specialists (ACSS) is an international organization for the sanctions profession that carries out the following crucial functions:

  • Professional networking
  • Career development
  • Essential resource for sanctions compliance professionals

A core facet of its mission is to promote the development and implementation of sound sanctions policies and procedures - a value that sanctions.io shares. The organization, founded in 2018, also provides professional qualifications and sets internationally recognized standards for sanctions practitioners. 

Worldwide Chapters: Plus the Frankfurt Chapter Launch

One of the most popular benefits of being an ACSS member is access to Chapters in your area. And what does that mean? You guessed it. You can meet, network, and learn from fellow professionals face-to-face. 

Click here to find out if you have a local chapter nearby. 

sanctions.io is proud to be the sanctions screening provider to the ACSS. And if you are in or near Frankfurt, you can personally connect with someone from our team! Jens Kettler, co-founder of sanctions.io, sits on the board of the ACSS Frankfurt Chapter, which launched in February 2024. 

To learn more about the Frankfurt chapter and join, click here. If you are an ACSS Member, Chapter Membership is included. 

Here Is Why the ACSS Is For All Compliance Professionals

ACSS is a large organization with 1000+ members from more than 40 countries. Professionals with membership typically work within financial services and have job titles such as OFAC Officer, Sanctions Manager, and Head of Sanctions. 

However, as we alluded to in the introduction, the ACSS serves all compliance professionals. And why is this distinction important? 

There are numerous people out there (perhaps some of you reading) who wear many compliance hats. In smaller companies, it's not uncommon for non-compliance professionals, such as a finance manager or operations specialist, to take on significant compliance responsibilities. 

And do you know what they are expected to do? To make sure their company or organization is compliant with sanctions laws.

It's a challenging task. Especially because sanctions laws usually apply to all companies, organizations, and individuals. 

That's right. Whether you're an individual managing your daily affairs, a small online retailer, or a global bank - non-compliance with sanctions laws poses the risk of legal consequences and financial penalties. 

To learn more, the following CNBC article may be of interest: With Russian sanctions, small companies may be in for a big surprise.

Top Tips: How All Businesses Can Get the Most out of the ACSS

Now that we have insight into the ACSS and its fundamental mission, let's delve into the invaluable resources available for professionals tasked with sanctions compliance. 

These tips are designed to help businesses of all sizes maximize the ACSS's offerings.

1. Sanctions Compliance Toolkit: Take Advantage

One of the most popular resources for small and medium-sized businesses the ACSS offers is its popular Sanctions Compliance Toolkit.

So, what is it? Smaller companies can create their corporate sanctions compliance program using an interactive, step-by-step guide that incorporates multimedia, documents, and questionnaires.

If you are a smaller business or organization - perhaps feeling lost in a complex regulatory environment - the toolkit is a perfect step to mitigating the risk of legal quagmires and financial penalties for non-sanctions compliance. 

2. Training Courses Covering the Essentials

The next valuable resource provided by the ACSS includes its top-notch sanctions training courses covering:

  • OFAC courses
  • EU Sanctions Essentials
  • UK Sanctions Essentials
  • US Export Controls

These foundation courses, designed for professionals with sanctions compliance functions within their broader roles, are offered virtually and taken over four weeks. 

3. Interactive Sanctions Map

Another popular resource (coming as a part of ACSS membership) is its popular Interactive Sanctions Map. Designed to be easy to use, it displays all sanctions imposed by the UN, US, EU, UK, and Canada.

Are you wondering what sanctions apply to the jurisdictions where your business operates? You can simply click on any continent and then a specific country to determine which sanctions apply to that territory. 

4. ACSS LinkedIn Group

The final top resource all businesses or organizations of any size should leverage is the ACSS LinkedIn group (available to ACSS members). In the group, you'll find other professionals with the same sanctions compliance challenges you face. By joining, you can ask questions, share knowledge with other members, and stay updated on current sanctions news.

Recommended Reading: Beyond Box Ticking: 5 Tips for Compliance Officers to Show Business Value

About sanctions.io and Our Role in Sanctions Compliance

sanctions.io is proud to be the sanctions screening provider of the Association of Certified Sanctions Specialists (ACSS). AI-powered, cost-effective, and with an enterprise-grade API with 99.99% uptime are reasons why customers globally trust us with their sanctions screening needs. 

To learn more about how our sanctions, PEP, and criminal watchlist screening service can support your organization's compliance program:

Book a free Discovery Call.

We also encourage you to take Advantage of our free 7-day trial (no credit card is required).