On 25 April, the Swiss Federal Council announced that it once again tightened sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) thereby implementing UN Security Council Resolution 2397 (2017). The new provisions enter into force at 6pm on 25 April.

Following the North Korean ballistic missile tests of 28 November 2017, which violated all previous Security Council resolutions, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2397 (2017) on 22 December 2017, thereby once again significantly strengthening measures against North Korea. The resolution introduces additional measures on trade in goods, further maritime measures and bans on providing work authorisation for North Korean nationals.

As a new measure, North Korean nationals earning income must have their residence permits revoked. Permits which cannot withdrawn due to national or international legal norms are exempt. This measure tightens the existing ban on issuing work authorisations.

The existing trade restrictions have been extended. North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum products have been reduced to a maximum of 500,000 barrels a year. Crude oil imports are limited to 4 million barrels a year. Compliance with these limits will be monitored by the UN. The supply, sale, export, transit and shipment of industrial machinery, metals and any vehicles is now prohibited. The procurement, purchase, import, transit and shipment of wood, food of plant origin, agricultural products, machinery, electrical equipment and vessels from North Korea is also now prohibited. Compliance with the bans in goods transport will continue to be strictly monitored; all shipments to and from North Korea will be subject to physical inspections by customs authorities.

In terms of vessel-related measures, the provision of certain additional insurance and classification services will be prohibited. In addition, the Federal Council can remove ships from the Swiss register if they have been involved in prohibited activities.

The UN Security Council had already imposed sanctions against North Korea due to the state’s nuclear programme. The Federal Council adopted the Ordinance on Measures against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on 25 October 2006, which has since been tightened on a number of occasions. In so doing Switzerland is implementing UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2371 (2017) and 2375 (2017).