May 5, 2016: EU, HMT adopt expanded DPRK sanctions

Last Thursday, Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT) announced updated EU sanctions on North Korea: 


The following is a summary of the additional prohibitions:
i. By 31 May 2016, credit and financial institutions are obliged to:

  1. close existing branches, subsidiaries or banking accounts in North Korea if it has been determined by HM Treasury that such branches or accounts could contribute to North Korea’s illicit programmes; and

  2. terminate existing joint ventures, ownership interests and correspondent banking relationships with North Korea’s banks.

  1. Credit and financial institutions are also obliged to inform HM Treasury if they consider that the operation of any account or office might contribute to North Korea’s illicit programmes.

  2. The current prohibitions on credit and financial institutions to open new banking accounts with North Korea or North Korean owned/controlled entities, open new branches, subsidiaries or representative offices, and enter into new correspondent banking relationships and joint ventures remain. All new acquisitions of ownership interests in a North Korea or North Korean owned/controlled entity, joint ventures with designated persons, and financial support for trade with North Korea are now prohibited.

    iv. It is now prohibited to make funds or economic resources available to the Government of North Korea, the Worker’s Party of Korea, or any person acting on their direction or behalf, if HM Treasury has determined that to do so would contribute to North Korea’s illicit programmes. 

as enacted in Council Regulation (EU) No 2016/680. 

Here’s the fun thing – the notice notes that UK law hasn’t been updated yet:


Although the UK Statutory Instrument containing the criminal penalties for breaching the Regulation is yet to be amended to cover all of these additional measures, please note that EU Regulations take direct effect in the UK and despite the temporary absence of criminal penalties you will be breaking the law if you do not abide by the Regulation. 


HMT Notice

Council Regulation (EU) No 2016/680


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