Sanctions Search API
Overview & Features

Overview & Features


The Sanctions Search API searches the global database for names, addresses, IDs, etc and returns any matching sanction targets found.

The Search API is designed to return results similar to the OFAC SDN search tool (opens in a new tab), meaning a result may be returned based on a single word or phrase.
This differs from the Screening API, which attempts to filter false positives by performing more in depth comparisons.
Because of this, the Search API is expected to return more results for a given query. Deciding which API to use will depend on your use case and expected volume.

Technical Notes

The Sanctions Search API is a JSON based web service that accepts HTTPS POST requests. Each request must contain:

  1. Authentication in the form of an apiKey header or parameter.
  2. Case information (person, entity, etc) you are screening. For example name, address or ID.
  3. Search configuration settings including which Data Sources you wish to screen against.

Data Sources

The Sanctions Screening API pulls sanctions and other data from a number of sources including government sanction and embargo listings, political publications, government eligibility databases and more.

Lists are refreshed at least every 5 minutes, and some every 2 minutes, to ensure the API is as up to date as possible.

For a full listing of data sources, as well as their refresh rate, see the Data Sources page.

Batch and Single Searches

The Sanctions Screening API can perform both batch and single screening. Batch and single screening use the same endpoint, API request structure and both are synchronous (opens in a new tab), meaning results will be returned directly once the search is complete. Screening a single entity can be thought of as a batch of 1.

Search Logic

OFAC-API's Fuzzy Search matching logic was designed in coordination with the US Treasury Department, based on Treasury guidelines. More on Treasury guidelines here (opens in a new tab).

Search Customization

The Sanctions Screening API default search logic can be customized to meet your organization's needs. Customization of screening logic and results can be done via API parameters and also with advanced settings via back end configuration.

Search Matching Customization Please contact us if you would like to know more about search logic advanced settings.