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New Zealand's United Nations Sanctions (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) Regulations 2017(external link) are complex and prohibit a wide range of dealings with North Korea, North Korean citizens, and North Korean companies.
MFAT strongly recommends that anyone thinking about doing business with North Koreans or North Korean companies obtain independent legal advice to avoid breaching the sanctions regulations.
New Zealanders considering travel to North Korea may also wish to seek legal advice. We also strongly recommend that you read the advice available on SafeTravel(external link).
A person breaching the sanctions regulations could be liable for up to 12 months imprisonment or a fine of up to $10,000. A company breaching the sanctions regulations could be liable for a fine of up to $100,000.
You can find out more about the UNSC sanctions resolutions(external link) on the UNSC website. Since 2006, the UNSC has adopted a series of sanctions resolutions in response to international concerns about North Korea's nuclear weapons programme and proliferation activities.
United Nation Sanctions (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) Regulations 2017
Amendments to New Zealand's sanctions regulations(external link) came into force on 28 June 2018.
Some of the key restrictions in the sanctions regulations are outlined below. The following list is a summary only and is not comprehensive. We recommend that you look at the detailed regulations when making decisions about any dealing with North Korea.
The regulations prohibit the direct and indirect export and import of any arms to or from North Korea. The regulations also prohibit loading or carrying arms to North Korea on a New Zealand craft, providing training or assistance to any person in North Korea on the use of arms, and other dealings in arms that are intended for North Korea (see regulations 4-10).
The regulations prohibit transferring, selling, or otherwise dealing with any property (including land, shares, or money) that is owned or controlled by the Government of North Korea, a person designated by the UN's North Korea sanctions committee, or someone who is assisting in evading the sanctions regime (see regulations 44-46). You can access the list of people and entities designated by the UN(external link) on the UNSC website.
The regulations prohibit procuring any crew (for an aircraft or a ship) from North Korea (see regulation 37).
Detention and deportation
The regulations require New Zealand to detain and deport certain people if they are in New Zealand (see regulations 48-53). These people include:
- people designated by the UN or people acting on their behalf
- people assisting in evading or violating sanctions, and
- people working for North Korean financial service providers.
You can access the list of people and entities designated by the UN(external link) on the UNSC website. North Korean nationals may also be deported from New Zealand if the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade determines that they are earning income in New Zealand to benefit the North Korean regime (see regulation 3(1) and the definition of “designated person”).
Export ban: Crude oil
The regulations prohibit exporting (directly or indirectly), selling or transferring crude oil for use in or for the benefit of North Korea (with one exception). The regulations also prohibit loading or carrying crude oil to North Korea on any New Zealand craft (see regulations 22-27).
Export ban: Petroleum products
The regulations prohibit exporting (directly or indirectly), selling, or transferring any "specified petroleum products" for use in or for the benefit of North Korea (with some narrow exceptions). The regulations also prohibit loading or carrying specified petroleum products to North Korea on any New Zealand craft (see regulations 29-34A).
Specified petroleum product means aviation fuel, any other refined petroleum product, and any natural gas liquid or condensate.
Export ban: Restricted export goods
The regulations prohibit exporting (directly or indirectly), selling or transferring any of a list of “restricted export goods” to North Korea. They also prohibit loading or carrying restricted export foods to North Korea on any New Zealand craft (see regulations 11-16).
The regulations specify a list of restricted export goods at Schedule 1. Part 1 of Schedule 1 provides a list of specified luxury goods that cannot be exported to North Korea. Examples of luxury goods include alcoholic beverages, cameras, chocolate, designer clothing, jewellery, mobile phones, precious metals, and sporting goods. Part 2 of Schedule 1 sets out other goods, such as industrial machinery, iron, steel and other metals, and transportation vehicles (defined further at regulation 3).
There are some exceptions to the prohibition, including the export of luxury goods to North Korea if the goods are for personal use and the goods are intended to be returned to New Zealand (see regulation 11(2)).
The regulations prevent any financial service providers incorporated in North Korea from establishing branches or subsidiaries in New Zealand and prohibit New Zealand financial service providers from establishing branches or subsidiaries in North Korea.
The regulations prevent anyone from obtaining a financial service from a North Korean provider and prohibit providing financial services that contribute to North Korea's nuclear, ballistic missile or weapons of mass destruction programmes or any other activity prohibited by the regulations (see regulation 43).
The procurement or transfer of fishing rights from North Korea (directly or indirectly) is prohibited (see regulation 21).
Import ban: Restricted import goods
The regulations prohibit importing (directly or indirectly), selling, or transferring a "restricted import goods" from North Korea to New Zealand. They also prohibit loading or carrying restricted items from North Korea on a New Zealand craft (see regulations 17-20 and regulation 3).
The regulations specify a list of restricted import goods at Schedule 2 (individual goods are defined further at regulation 3). The following are all restricted import goods:
- Rare metals
- Base metals
- Earth and stone
- Electrical equipment
- Food and agricultural products
- Seafood (including fish, crustaceans, molluscs, and other aquatic vertebrates)
- Textiles (means any cloth or fabric, including any item of clothing)
There are some exceptions to the prohibition, including the import from North Korea of gold, silver, rare or base metals, or textiles if those goods are for personal use and originated in any place outside North Korea (see regulation 17(2)).
Goods (including luggage) that are either coming from or going to North Korea must be presented to the New Zealand Customs Service for inspection (see regulation 35).
The regulations prohibit entering into a joint venture or cooperative enterprise with any North Korean person or entity. They also require that any existing joint ventures are terminated before 8 January 2018 (see regulations 35A and 35B).
Prohibitions related to aircraft
Aircraft carrying prohibited items cannot take off from, land in, or fly over New Zealand (see regulation 38).
The regulations also prohibit leasing or chartering any aircraft to North Korea, a person designated by the UN, or someone who is involved in prohibited activities (see regulation 41).
Prohibitions related to ships
The regulations prohibit providing fuel, supplies or other services to a ship if you have reasonable grounds to believe it is carrying prohibited items (see regulation 36). Insurance or reinsurance services also cannot be provided to North Korean ships or ships that have been carrying prohibited items or involved in prohibited activities (regulation 42).
The regulations also prevent ships that have been designated by the UN(external link) or are carrying prohibited items from entering into New Zealand ports (see regulation 39).
Ships owned or controlled by North Korea, or that have been involved in prohibited activities or the transport of prohibited items, cannot be registered in New Zealand (see regulation 40) and registering ships in North Korea is also prohibited (see regulation 42). A ship also cannot be registered in New Zealand if it has been deregistered by another country for one of these reasons.
The regulations also prohibit leasing or chartering any ship to North Korea, a person designated by the UN, or someone who is involved in prohibited activities (see regulation 41).
The regulations prohibited transferring goods between a ship and any North Korean ship (see regulation 42A).
The regulations prohibit people designated by the UN, anyone acting on behalf of designated individuals, and anyone that New Zealand has determined is assisting in violating sanctions from entering or transiting through New Zealand (see regulation 47). You can access the list of people and entities designated by the UN(external link) on the UNSC website.
North Korean nationals are not entitled to obtain a visa or any other authorisation that would allow them to work in New Zealand (see regulation 46A).
United Nations Security Council resolution restrictions
In addition to the restrictions in the sanctions regulations, the UNSC resolutions also restrict the following activities:
Education and training
The UNSC has prohibited states from providing specialised teaching or training of North Korean nationals in any subjects which could contribute to North Korea's proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities.
These subjects include (but are not limited to) training in:
- advanced physics
- advanced computer simulation and related computer sciences
- geospatial navigation
- nuclear engineering
- aerospace engineering
- aeronautical engineering
- advanced materials science
- advanced chemical engineering
- advanced mechanical engineering
- advanced electrical engineering and advanced industrial engineering, and related disciplines.
Scientific and technical cooperation
New Zealand must notify the UN North Korea sanctions committee of any scientific or technical cooperation undertaken between New Zealand and North Korea, and New Zealand must suspend scientific and technical cooperation with North Korea in the fields of:
- nuclear science and technology
- aerospace and aeronautical engineering and technology, or
- advanced manufacturing production techniques and methods.