Today, on 22 February 2017, the Swiss Federal Council further tightened the Swiss trade sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) by amending its Ordinance on Measures against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of 25 October 2006. The new provisions enter into force today at 6pm.
Switzerland hereby implements binding UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2321 (2016) of 30 November, adopted in response to DPRK’s fifth nuclear test, conducted on 9 September 2016 in violation of all previous UNSC resolutions. The resolution imposed tougher sanctions on trade in goods, on finance, shipping, air transport and education.
Financial sanctions now specify that North Korea’s diplomatic and consular representations in Switzerland as well as their diplomatic staff may hold only one bank account each. Any supernumerary accounts must be closed. Real estate owned or rented by North Korea may be expressly used only for diplomatic activities. Branches, subsidiaries and representations of Swiss banks may not be opened or operated in North Korea, nor may Swiss bank accounts, unless they are used for humanitarian purposes, or for diplomatic or UN activities. Existing branches, subsidiaries, representations and bank accounts in North Korea must be closed by 31 March 2017. Any public or private financial support for trade with North Korea is prohibited.
In terms of trade sanctions, additional goods have been added to the current export ban on luxury goods and on certain dual-use goods for the production of conventional weapons. The purchase of certain raw materials (copper, nickel, silver and zinc) and statues of all kinds from North Korea is prohibited, as is the delivery of new helicopters and ships to North Korea. A new global limit not exceeding approximately USD 400m or 7.5m tonnes per year has been imposed on the export of coal originating in North Korea. Compliance with these limits is monitored by the UN.
Additional sanctions are being introduced to shipping and air transport, including a ban on the procurement of crew services in North Korea. The provision of insurance or reinsurance is prohibited for ships owned, controlled or operated by North Korea, with the exception of cases where the activities of the ship are for the sole purpose of transporting essential goods or for humanitarian purposes.
Existing education sanctions will also be extended. North Korean students will no longer be admitted to higher education programmes in materials science, machinery or electronics in Switzerland. Switzerland will suspend scientific and technical cooperation with North Korea, with the exception of medical cooperation.