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Web Alert: US amends and reissues sanctions against North Korea

12 March 2018

On 3 March 2018, the US Treasury Department of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that they have amended and reissued the North Korean sanctions regulations in order to implement Executive order (EO) 13687, EO 13722, and EO 13810, and to refer to the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 and the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017. The new regulations took effect on 5 March 2018.

Pursuant to these regulations, property (and interests in property) of U.S. persons are blocked (i.e. frozen) in the U.S. if they engage in a signficant importation from or exportation to North Korea of any goods, services of technology. OFAC has published new North Korea FAQs which emphasise that all U.S. persons and U.S. incorporated entities and foreign branches must comply with OFAC regulations and that foreign financial institutions are prohibited from engaging in most North Korea-related transactions that transit the U.S. financial system.

Most importantly for the shipping industry, the “180 day rule” means that any vessel which has called at a North Korean port or has engaged in a ship-to-ship transfer with a vessel that has called at a North Korean port is barred from U.S. ports for 180 days. The club’s US attorneys, Freehill, Hogan & Mahar have published a client alert which provides a useful summary of the U.S. North Korean sanctions regime (a copy of which can be found on the right).

For more information on the principal U.S. sanctions against North Korea, please refer to the club’s previous web alerts dated 9 August 2017, 29 September 2017 and 28 February 2018.

Further details can be found on the U.S. Treasury Department's website here and here.

Members are encouraged to exercise extreme caution in their dealings with North Korea as violations of the North Korea Sanctions Regulations can result in substantial civil monetary penalties, criminal prosecution or both.