16 March 2018
More Foreign Entities, Shipping Companies Hit with North Korea-Related Sanctions
The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control has imposed sanctions against one individual, 27 entities and 28 vessels for conducting certain trade with, and providing certain shipping- and vessel-related services to, North Korea. These 56 parties are located, registered or flagged in North Korea, mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Marshall Islands, Tanzania, Panama and Comoros. Any property or interests in property of the designated parties in the possession or control of U.S. persons or within the United States may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn or otherwise dealt in, and U.S. persons are prohibited from dealing with any of the designated parties.
Many of these actions are being taken under executive order 13810, which was issued in September 2017 and significantly expanded Treasury’s authorities to target those who enable the North Korean regime’s activity wherever they are located. This includes (i) targeting those conducting significant trade in goods, services or technology with North Korea and banning them from interacting with the U.S. financial system, (ii) blocking and freezing the assets of actors supporting North Korea’s textiles, manufacturing, information technology, fishing and other industries, and (iii) suspending U.S. correspondent account access to any foreign bank that knowingly conducts or facilitates significant transactions tied to trade with North Korea or certain designated persons.
OFAC’s designations include (i) nine international shipping companies and nine of their vessels that have been used to export coal from North Korea or to engage in prohibited ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum products, (ii) a Taiwan citizen and two companies he owned or controlled for co-ordinating North Korean coal exports, and (iii) 16 North Korean shipping companies and 19 of their vessels.
In addition, Treasury, the State Department and the Coast Guard have issued an advisory alerting the public to the significant sanctions risks to those continuing to enable shipments of goods to and from North Korea. This advisory also alerts industries to North Korea’s deceptive shipping practices, such as falsifying cargo and vessel documents, physically altering vessel identification and conducting ship-to-ship transfers, and lists a number of measures that can be used to guard against the use of such practices.