On November 06, 2019, the Swiss Government adopted selective adjustments to the Swiss sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, thereby implementing the exceptions to the export ban agreed by the UN SC Sanctions Committee. The amendment will come into force on 1 December 2019.

The Ordinance on Measures against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea dated 18 May 2016 prohibits the sale, delivery, export, transit and transport of all goods under customs tariff numbers 72 to 89, including some medical and orthopedic equipment. In accordance with the corresponding UN SC Resolutions, the Ordinance has until now only provided for a possible exemption for ships.

The amendment to the Ordinance will in future allow for the delivery of humanitarian aid and other goods for which an exception has been granted by the UN SC Sanctions Committee to also be authorised under Swiss law. This change will increase legal certainty for those companies involved. Nothing will change for exporters of such goods though. SECO will still have to be notified in advance of all such exports. In addition, all shipments to North Korea will continue to be physically inspected.