The Federal Council of Switzerland decided to impose considerably tighter sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), thereby implementing Resolution 2270 (2016) of the UN Security Council. The new Provisions entered into force on 18 May.
In response to the nuclear and missile testing carried out by North Korea on 6 January and 7 February, the UN Security Council issued Resolution 2270 (2016) on 2 March 2016, thus significantly tightening existing sanctions against North Korea. The resolution covers more extensive restrictions on the trade in goods, financial transactions, maritime and air transport and in the education sector. As a result of the numerous amendments required, the current ordinance will now be completely revised.
The existing ban on exports for luxury goods has been expanded to include additional products (luxury watches, certain recreational vehicles such as personal watercraft and snowmobiles, items of lead crystal and recreational sports equipment etc.). To ensure that no prohibited products are being exported to North Korea, exports and the transit of consignments of goods will now be checked by customs. The export and transit of goods bound for North Korea must be authorised by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) in advance. In a new move, the export of goods that could possibly increase the operational capabilities of the North Korean army has been prohibited. Furthermore, the sale and supply of certain aviation fuels is also prohibited. Also prohibited is the purchase of certain raw materials (coal, iron, gold and certain types of ore and rare materials) from North Korea is prohibited.
The financial sanctions (the freezing of assets and a ban on the provision of finances) now apply to a wider group of individuals. All funds and economic resources connected with North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes have been blocked. This also applies to funds and economic resources owned or controlled by the Korean Regime. Swiss banks are prohibited from opening branches, subsidiaries or agencies in North Korea, while existing branches and bank accounts in North Korea must be closed by 2 June. Conversely, North Korean banks are prohibited to run subsidiaries or branches in Switzerland.
In the education sector, citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will not be permitted to take certain courses (such as higher physics, advanced computer simulation or nuclear engineering). Moreover, military, paramilitary and police training for instructors, consultants and government officials from North Korea is also prohibited.