Pole Star, a maritime security software developer, has announced the launch of PurpleTRAC, a new risk management and sanctions compliance technology for the shipping industry.

The technology screens vessels, automatically checking them against global sanctions lists, enabling financial institutions (FIs) involved in international trade and shipping to better manage their exposure to non-compliance risks, money laundering or terrorist financing.

Entering a ship’s details into PurpleTRAC’s web-based platform determines if the ship, its owners or managers are on any sanctions lists, whether any issues have previously been found by port authorities, or whether it has recently docked in a blacklisted port or sanctioned country.

“Financial organisations need to know and prove with whom and where they are trading. PurpleTRAC provides certainty while simplifying and streamlining compliance procedures,” says CEO at Polestar, Andrew Peters.

“Sanctions and international regulatory policy grows by the day, and no other industry has been impacted more than shipping. The insight into a vessel’s exposure to risk that PurpleTRAC provides is crucial,” he adds.

According to data published by Polestar, 60% of the 2,300 vessels that were screened in Q3 2014 returned warning alerts that needed further investigation. A total of 21 ships and their associated trading companies were then found to be either on a sanctions list or based in a country where sanctions are comprehensively enforced.

Major global FI clients are rolling out PurpleTRAC, according to a statement by Pole Star, although a spokesperson for the company was unable to confirm to GTR their names or how many they number.