CSS Certification Courses Registration Association of Certified Sanctions Specialists (ACSS)

Certified Sanctions Specialist “CSS”

Certification Program
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The Association of Certified Sanctions Specialists offers an examination that addresses knowledge and skills common to all sanctions professionals in varied employment settings, including financial institutions, international corporations, law firms, consulting companies, government, and other trades and businesses.

The objective of the certification program is to set the standard for the sanctions profession, and to make Certified Sanctions Specialists (CSS) widely recognized as trained and credentialed specialists in the sanctions field. It is a multiple-choice, proctored exam that can be taken in testing centers across the globe.

Why this Certification?

Career opportunities abound for the sanctions specialists, but the days are over that just anyone can fulfil that role. Especially in these days, the “consumer” of the services of a compliance officer or other sanctions expert has become more vigilant, demanding quality. This demand is exacerbated by the media’s constant attention to sanctions issues arising at financial institutions, or international businesses. Certification of the sanctions professional in organizations that are vulnerable to the problem is designed to meet this consumer concern.

Benefits of Certification

For the certified sanctions specialist

For the employer




Financial Rewards



Testing Centers

We have partnered with a world leader in brick and mortar testing centers.

    Over 5,100 test centers in over 190 countries. Located at over 2,560 different cities.
    A scheduling portal finds the center nearest to you and helps you schedule the date and time of the test.
    Get support, reminders, and directions to the test center.
  • HELP
    Our testing centers are started with personnel that will guide through the identification process and testing protocols.

CSS Certification Packages

Option 1: CSS Certification Standard Package


The CSS Standard Package is design for self-study. It includes:

  1. Electronic CSS Study Guide (PDF)
  2. The CSS Exam

Option 2: CSS with Prep Virtual Classroom Package

The CSS Virtual Classroom is a live web-based study course, which provides candidates of the Certified Sanctions Specialist (CSS) designation additional guided instruction to help retain and reinforce the key concepts covered in the CSS study guide. The CSS Virtual Classroom will keep you on track towards success through:

  1. Electronic CSS Study Guide (PDF)
  2. The CSS Exam
  3. CSS Virtual Classroom – Exam Prep
    • 6 easy-to-follow 2-hour virtual classes over a six week period
      NOTE: All our sessions are recorded in case you cannot attend the live virtual classroom
    • In-depth analysis of the content covered in the CSS Study Guide
    • Practice questions to assess understanding of the material and raise test-taking confidence

94% of the attendees rate the CSS Exam Prep Sessions as “Excellent” or “Very Good”.


Xie Jiaoning

Executive Director at FTI Consulting

Expert in international trade and customs affairs, certified trainer of the World Customs Organization. Member of the UN Security Council Sanctions Compliance Experts Bank. Eleven years of working experience in China Customs and eleven years of working experience in trade compliance consulting and training.

As a member of the China Customs Think Tank, he provided policy research and intellectual support for China’s WTO accession negotiations. His research areas include: commodity classification, customs valuation, rules of origin, anti-dumping and countervailing, tax collection and management, intellectual property protection, trade control, etc.

In terms of export control and economic sanctions, Mr. Xie Jiaoning is one of China’s earliest pioneers and one of the most experienced professionals. Relying on a deep understanding of the multilateral export control framework, China’s trade control, and the US export control and economic sanctions system, Mr. Xie has been actively helping Chinese regulatory agencies optimize control policies, strengthen supervision and management, and improve law enforcement mechanisms for the past 20 years; assisting the general public Companies plan and establish export control, economic sanctions, and trade compliance systems, and further coach them to put various systems into practice.

Mr. Xie also often assists companies in conducting trade compliance strategic reviews, export control and sanctions audits, and the formulation of internal control plans. Both multinational companies and local Chinese companies have benefited from his services and recognized their systemicity and practicality.

As a member of expert groups of many international organizations, Mr. Xie also actively participates in the establishment of export control systems in other developing countries, and provides policy advice and intellectual support to the competent government departments of Cambodia, Mongolia, Malaysia and other countries.

Mr. Xie is currently the executive director of FTI Consulting Company, responsible for leading export control and sanctions in Asia.

Obtain your CSS Certification

Check your Eligibility Purchase your CSS Course Schedule you CSS Exam


Who can take the exam?

Individuals who have met the minimum qualifications can sit for the exam. Eligibility requires a minimum scoring based upon a combination of factors. Persons who have not yet met the minimum levels required can take continuing education programs with ACSS or other sources to reach the minimum requirements. (40 credits, see www.sanctionsassociation.org)

What topics will be on the exam?

The CSS exam focuses on various aspects of the sanctions subject. A job analysis will determine the content and the importance of each knowledge area for the specialists in the field. The certification exam will be tailored to international best practices and basic frameworks for sanctions efforts around the world.
I. Sanctions Regime Types, Goals, Prohibitions and Effects
II. Sanctions Imposers and Targets
III. Sanctions Evasion: Typologies and Schemes
IV. Essential Components of a Risk-Based Sanctions Compliance Program in Different Industry Settings
V. Role of Technology and List Screening
VI. Other Operational Issues Contributing to an Effective and Efficient Sanctions Compliance Program
VII. Enforcement and Conducting or Supporting Investigations into Sanctions Violations

Who is eligibility to take the exam?

ACSS Certification eligibility is based on a points system. Candidates who wish to take the CSS Examination must have a minimum of 40 qualifying credits based on education, other professional certification, and professional experience in the sanctions field, in addition to providing 3 references.

About the exam

The CSS exam is the product of collaboration between ACSS, its job Analysis Taskforce, and an independent company with expertise on research, testing, measurement, management and technology. The result will be a psychometrically sound exam that assures the quality and soundness of the ACSS certification program.

How is the administration of the exam?

Since ACSS members reside worldwide, we will use a computerized exam. Administration method, ACSS will begin to offer exams in 2019, multiple times per year. ACSS also will offer an online exam preparation publication with sample exam questions. Requirements to sit for the exam include the completion of an ACSS exam application and payment of an application fee plus the costs for the testing service at the time of them exam.

Which is the CSS credit award system for examination eligibility?

I. Education:
a. Associate Degree: 10 credits
b. Bachelor’s Degree: 20 credits
c. Master’s Degree/PhD/JD or equivalent: 30 credits
II. Professional experience:
a. Each year of full-time experience in sanctions or related duties.
b. Professional experience is limited to 3 years: 10 credits per year.
III. Training:
a. Professional Certification – CPA, CPP, CRCM, CAFP, CFE, CAMS, CGSS, ETCI ECoP, Finra Series, etc: 10 credits per certification.
b. Attendance at a course/seminar/webinar/conference/training/certificate courses or educational session on the topic of sanctions, trade compliance or export controls or related subjects (includes internal training, external training, government agency training) – 1 credit per hour.