Restricted Parties Screening – A Brief History.

The idea behind Restricted Parties Screening has existed since exporting began. In simpler times, if a person or country didn’t like another person or a country, the recipients were banned from receiving goods. If someone provided goods to this “enemy” anyway, they were punished in some form, and depending on the time, it may have been what we could consider cruel and unusual, maybe even barbaric. As the world civilized, this practice became more streamlined with official rules and regulations with more specific and rational penalties (fines, imprisonment, banned from importing/exporting).

What we know today as Restricted Parties Screening began in the 1970s after the Export Administration Act of 1969 as an official government function when processing exports. The Export Administration Act of 1969 focused on encouraging and requiring companies and individual entities to refuse to participate in foreign boycotts that the United States does not sanction. Basically, “thou shall not” do business as exporting activities would run against U.S. policy. Before the internet, compliance was limited to manual searches in listings or contacting the U.S. Department of Commerce and their partner networks for guidance.

Moving into the early 2000’s, as technology advanced, the searches were still mostly manual against websites that produced these lists. As these early websites were updated more often than published books, they did not provide auditing capabilities.

Today we see Restricted Parties Screening as online lists of entities worldwide (individual people, companies, and countries) that we cannot do business with. These entities may be on the Restricted Parties lists because of various reasons: political unrest, repeated violations of regulations, trade sanctions, ties to terrorism, etc, and online resources are updated all day, every day.

The government does provide its own resource, the Consolidated Screening List. This is updated daily at 5 a.m. EST.

There are many lists that make up the government’s Consolidated Screening List.

  • BIS lists
  • OFAC lists
  • Department of State/DDTC

Among the many reasons TRABEX’s screening is a more advanced solution for global trade, our lists are updated more frequently than the Consolidated List. More frequent updates mean lower risk in compliance issues when running Restricted Party searches.


It’s 2023 and we’ve seen news headlines that are affecting exporting and global trade like we’ve never seen before. Covid-19, the war in Ukraine, sanctions against Russia just to name three.  It’s the job of customs and government agencies to maintain compliance worldwide while possibly working with less staff and increased regulations. It’s manageable but is no small task. None of these current events are reasons to relax any regulations or policies even though economies are struggling with a decrease in sales and export activities and some companies might be tempted to take shortcuts in export compliance in an attempt to save any losses in revenue. It’s never the time to risk export compliance violations for the sake of profits…or anything else.

It’s been forty years since the government established the modern-day process of Restricted Parties Screening and the need will probably never go away. There seems to be a Restricted Parties system around every corner. In the 20+ years we’ve been providing the service, we’ve thrown all of that experience into our latest version, and it gets better with every feature we release.

Have you been searching for a Restricted Parties Screening application? Here we are – talk to us!