On 28 March, 2018, the Federal Council adopted restrictive measures, namely an arms and repressive goods embargo and financial and travel sanctions, against Venezuela (Ordinance on Measures against Venezuela). It bans the sale, supply, export and transit to Venezuela of arms and goods which can be used for internal repression. A similar ban also applies to equipment, technology and software that can be used to monitor and intercept internet and telephone communications. Furthermore, assets have been frozen and entry and transit bans have been issued for listed natural persons, companies and organisations. These measures are currently directed against seven Venezuelan ministers and high-ranking officials. Assets frozen under the measures must be reported to SECO without delay. By adopting the Ordinance, Switzerland is aligning itself with the EU sanctions against Venezuela. The measures enter into force at 6pm CET on 28 March.
Today, taking effect at 6pm CET, the Swiss Federal Council further tightened sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), implementing UN Security Council Resolutions 2371 (2017) and 2375 (2017). As a consequence of the North Korean rocket tests on 3 and 28 July and the nuclear test on 2 September this year, in contravention of all previous UN Security Council Resolutions, on 5 August 2017 the UN Security Council issued Resolution 2371 (2017), closely followed by Resolution 2375 on 11 September 2017, tightening considerably the sanctions already imposed on North Korea. The resolutions include additional sanctions on the trade in goods, on the financial sector and on work permits. The Swiss Federal Council’s decree of today, 18 October 2017, implements these measures, which are binding under international law, by amending the Swiss Ordinance on Measures against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea of 18 May 2016. Work permits may no longer be issued to citizens of North Korea, with the exception of permits issued under employment contracts concluded before 11 September 2017. In the financial sector, joint ventures and cooperatives, both ongoing and new, with North Korean individuals or companies are no longer permitted. Existing joint ventures and cooperatives must be discontinued by 9 January 2018 at the latest.Read more…
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.
Further to UN Security Council Resolution (“UNSCR“) 2283 (2016) of 28 April 2016, the Swiss Federal Council repealed the Ordinance of Measures against Côte d’Ivoire yesterday at 18h (CEST), thereby removing the partial embargo on war materials, as well as the financial and travel sanctions.Read more…