New sanctions against North Korea

Global Publication May 2016

In May 2016, the EU expanded its sanctions against North Korea in response to its “actions earlier this year, considered to be a grave threat to international peace and security in the region and beyond”.

The new measures include a prohibition on the import of petroleum products and luxury goods from North Korea, tighter restrictions on the transfer of funds and a ban on North Korean aircraft or vessels entering EU territory.

The UK’s notice on the changes in the context of financial sanctions is available here.

With effect from 29 May 2016, it is prohibited to (i) transfer funds to and from North Korea (unless for a specific purpose as listed in Council Regulation (EU) 2016/841), (ii) transfer any funds over EUR 15,000 to and from North Korea without specific authorisation from HM Treasury, (iii) provide financial support for trade with North Korea, and (iv) accept or approve investment in any commercial activity in relation to North Korea.

This follows the EU’s implementation of new sanctions against North Korea in March 2016, following the extensive sanctions resolution passed by the UN Security Council on 2 March 2016. The US also introduced new sanctions around the same time prohibiting the export of goods, services and technology to North Korea and preventing new investment in North Korea.

The new EU measures include a ban on importing North Korean coal, iron, gold and aviation fuel, a prohibition on financial institutions opening new branches and subsidiaries in North Korea, an asset freeze on government entities associated with North Korea’s nuclear or ballistic missile programs and the requirement to inspect any cargo originating in or destined for North Korea.

The EU has now placed an asset freeze on a total of 66 individuals and 42 entities in North Korea. The designated entities include North Korean banks and shipping and trading companies.

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