Accuity, a provider of financial crime compliance, payments and counterparty know-your-customer solutions, has released a new vessel monitoring capability, Firco Trade Compliance Ship Enforcement Alerts that enables companies involved in trade finance to track shipping vessels in real-time to ensure they are not in breach of international sanctions. If a vessel should enter a sanctioned zone or port, the company will receive an alert and be able to take action, report suspected breaches of regulation, and protect itself from involvement in any wrongdoing.

In recent months, regulatory regimes have sharpened their focus on institutions involved in financing global trade, requiring them to know not only with whom they trade, but what they are trading, and more specifically whether the trading vessel is sanctioned, or whether it has visited sanctioned ports or anchored in sanctioned waters. In 2017, 4,500 container, bulker, and tanker vessels conducted 30,000 visits to OFAC-sanctioned terminals (Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and the Crimea). At the same time, active enforcements against breaches of UN sanctions by shipping vessels are increasing.

Accuity’s new vessel monitoring capability has been developed in response to this growing regulatory pressure for banks to intensify their efforts to fight financial crime and trade-based money laundering. It integrates global automatic identification system (AIS) vessel movement content provided by IHS Markit, within the Firco Trade Compliance workflow to provide an accurate, reliable and real-time notification system to monitor a vessel and its global port calls. Firco Trade Compliance SEA will enable Accuity customers to identify potential risks in relation to vessel shipments, as well as screening for sanctioned entities and dual-use goods efficiently within a single interface.

“International trade finance has been in the spotlight as a means for criminal organisations and terrorist financiers to launder money, and now banks are under intense pressure from regulators to avoid proliferating the financing of such individuals or entities associated with money laundering, terrorism, bribery and corruption,” said Byron McKinney, Accuity’s trade compliance product leader. “The problem is that those working in trade finance are not chemists or shipping specialists, so understanding the nuances of dual-use goods or identifying rogue vessels can be challenging.”

“Our customers are looking for a single screening solution that can provide them with the confidence to accurately detect risks involved in a shipment or trade, and thereby open up opportunities for business which might otherwise be overlooked,”  McKinney added. “Our enhanced trade compliance solution brings together proprietary data, on-the-ground intelligence, and regulatory expertise to give a comprehensive single view of risk in real-time, throughout the lifecycle of a trade.”

“In addition, we know our customers are looking to improve their compliance efficiency so we have automated this new vessel monitoring capability and digitized the audit trail. Firco Trade Compliance SEA is designed to run passively in the background and alert any vessel red flags as they happen, rather than requiring banks to actively search for suspicious vessel activity.”