Frequently Asked Questions

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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." The file is also contained within the SDALL.ZIP archive and is called ctrylst.txt. 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

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.

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.

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

The delimiter varies based upon the file type. Files that end in .DEL have an @ (at) symbol as the delimiter. Files that end in .CSV have a comma delimiter. Files that end in .FF have a fixed width delimiter. Files that end in .PIP use the | (pipe) symbol as a delimiter.

83. How are OFAC's delimited files structured?

All of OFAC's delimited files are described in OFAC's SDN data file specification guide and non-SDN data specification guide. In addition, OFAC published the following tutorial on how to construct a basic relational database using OFAC’s delimited list files

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:

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 human-readable lists, 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

85. Is there a version of the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) data file archive that works with UNIX, Linux or other command line operating systems?

Yes. The standard zip archive should work with most UNIX and Linux systems and is available on OFAC's website at and its FTP site at in the folder /fac_sdn.

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.

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

89. I am a database administrator at a financial institution and am responsible for keeping my company's Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) data current. Is the SDN list comprehensive or do I need to download some kind of supplement to the list every time there is an update?

The SDN list is 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

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.

105. OFAC says it has updated its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list, but when I download the appropriate SDN 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 SDN data are current and accurate when they are released (including all of its human-readable list formats [in PDF and text]). All of the SDN 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.

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 found here.