Risk and compliance solutions provider Accuity has launched a dual-use screening capability to help identify goods in trade that could have both civil and military use purposes.

The new tool will help flag goods that are on export control lists as companies and banks face increasing compliance regulation to intensify their efforts to fight financial crime and money laundering.

“This [product] was client-led and has come out of our innovation track,” vice-president of product and strategy Tom Golding told GTR on the sidelines of last week’s Sibos conference, where the new capability was launched.

“Clients who are facing huge amounts of data checks to ensure their products do not fall foul of regulations had asked us to build an engine that will help detect irregular trade against official sanctions lists,” he explains.

Just last week the European Commission (EC) added a 10th category to its dual-use exports control list. It proposed a new “human security” dimension to prevent human rights violations associated with certain cyber-surveillance technologies.

“We are living in turbulent times. Preserving peace and protecting human rights are core objectives of the EU and our trade policy is essential to that aim. That’s why we are proposing a set of modern rules to make sure that exports are not misused to threaten international security or undermine human rights”, says commissioner for trade Cecilia Malmström.

The new proposal is expected to come into effect within a couple of months.

The Accuity tool, which is aimed at banks and corporates with medium transaction volumes, enhances standard regulation lists with additional synonyms and data points to increase the chance of catching high-risk goods that could be used in terrorist or rogue state activity.

“This is the first time a cyber-security category has been included. We are reviewing the changes suggested in this 10th category and when it comes into force we will be adding it to the product too,” Accuity product lead, trade and compliance, Heather Lee tells GTR.

Standard generic language in trade documents, incomplete information and technical trade terms currently make detecting irregular trades against official sanctions lists difficult. Meanwhile, the complex paperwork that underpins the trade finance industry makes it easier for criminals and terrorists to disguise illicit transactions.

“Trade finance is one area we are seeing a lot more demand from,” says Golding.

“They are struggling because they are trying to move this very manual paper-based process to something that is more appropriate for a modern-day compliance-aware organisation.”

An early user of Accuity’s screening capability, chief operations officer of commodity trade and finance at Rabobank, Sam Moonen, says the tool “makes carrying out our due diligence checks on trades easier and simpler” and helps mitigate the risk of making a mistake.