Philippe M. Reich


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…

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.

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…

The Swiss Government (Federal Council) today decreed a completely revised Ordinance on Sanctions against the DPRK, replacing the former one dated 25 October 2006, as amended. It hereby implements UN-SC Resolution 2270 (2016) and will enter into force today at 6pm CET.

The Ordinance provides for the following significantly tighter restrictions on the trade in goods, financial transactions, maritime and air transport and in the education sector:

In the financial sector, financial sanctions (the freezing of assets and a ban on the provision of finances) now apply to a wider group of persons. All funds and economic resources connected with North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes have been blocked. This also applies, subject to one exception, to funds and economic resources owned or controlled by the government or the Korean Workers’ Party. The exception relates to funds required for the activities of diplomatic representations. 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, 2016. The same applies to branches of North Korean banks in Switzerland.