Important technical notice for users of OFAC’s Sanctions List Data Files

Update: Corrected versions of the updated Data Specification for OFAC’s list-related flat files have been released.  Given this change, OFAC will be adding 30 additional days onto its implementation schedule for this change.  The change to the Program field will now be implemented on or about June 17th Additionally, sample files have been added below.     

On or about June 17th, OFAC will be expanding the “Program” field found in OFAC’s legacy data files (DEL, PIP, FF, and CSV) from 50 to 200 characters.  Users of OFAC’s XML files should not be affected by this update.  A full list of affected files is provided below.     

Here are updated Data Specification files for both the SDN and Consolidated Lists that OFAC will publish on June 17th as part of this update.    

SDN List Data Specification File
Consolidated List Data Specification File 

For sample files with the Program field containing the 200 character maximum limit, please see below.  Please note, these files are for testing purposes only and do not contain any SDN or non-SDN data.  


Users with questions about this update are welcome to contact OFAC at or contact OFAC’s technical support hotline at 1-800-540-6322 – Menu Option 8 for assistance.  


OFAC Notice

Mr. Watchlist’s professional persona will be at the Dow Jones booth at the ACAMS spring conference (the official title would give me carpal tunnel if I typed it all) this Monday through Wednesday. As usual, it’s being held at the Diplomat resort hotel (it’s a Hilton – yay!) in Hollywood, Florida. Come say hi and we can chat about sanctions till the cows come home (although I’m not sure there are any cows down by Fort Lauderdale).

Important technical notice for users of OFAC’s Sanctions List Data Files

In early February of 2019, multiple users of OFAC’s data files contacted OFAC’s technical support hotline to report difficulty in downloading sanctions list data files hosted at this URL:  After investigating the issue, the Treasury Department discovered that changes had been made regarding HTTP request methods.  These changes generally affected users that leverage command line connections to Treasury’s website.  Users who download OFAC’s sanctions list data files manually via browser will not be impacted by this change.  

Previously users were allowed to request sanctions list data files via HTTP using both POST and GET commands.  The change made in February eliminated users’ ability to use the POST command and only GET commands are allowed henceforth.  This change was made to improve the security for public file repositories and is a permanent change.  Users who continue to have difficulty downloading OFAC’s sanctions list data files due to this change are welcome to contact OFAC at or contact OFAC’s technical support hotline at 1-800-540-6322 – Menu Option 8 for assistance.  

OFAC understands that this change may have unexpectedly interrupted users’ ability to download and access OFAC data and is working with Treasury’s technical team to ensure advance notification of any future changes. 


Technical notice

Apparently, you can’t change the name of categories readily inside the WordPress iPad app… but it’s really easy if you just log into the website. So, no more references to “HMT Updates” – long live OFSI!

yes, it’s the little things that makes Mr. Watchlist happy…