Canadian Sanctions Related to North Korea

Types of sanctions

Arms embargo

Asset freeze

Export and import restrictions

Financial Prohibitions

Technical assistance prohibition

Recent developments

  • 2019-03-04 - Regulations were amended (SEMA) and (UNA)
  • 2018-01-12 - Regulations were amended (UNA)
  • 2016-10-21 - Regulations were amended (UNA)
Do you need a permit or certificate?

Prohibitions

Sanctions related to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) have been enacted under the United Nations Act and the Special Economic Measures Act in order to pressure the DPRK to abandon all existing weapons of mass destruction programs, in response to the DPRK’s nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches.

The Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), as amended, impose an asset freeze and dealings prohibition on the individuals and entities maintained on the list of designated persons per Resolution 1718. The Regulations:

  • Prohibit the supply or transfer of bulk cash to or from the DPRK;
  • Prohibit the provision or acceptance of financial services in relation to any act or thing prohibited by these Regulations;
  • Prohibit financial support for trade with the DPRK
  • Prohibit the opening, maintaining, or operating of joint ventures with DPRK entities or individuals;
  • Prohibit Canadian financial institutions from opening branches in the DPRK;
  • Prohibit the export to the DPRK of:
    • arms and related material;
    • the vehicles, aircraft, vessels and associated transport equipment referred to in Harmonised System codes (HS codes) 86 to 89 of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System developed an maintained by the World Customs Organization;
    • luxury goods;
    • aviation fuel, including rocket fuel;
    • crude oil and refined petroleum products;
    • condensates and natural gas liquids;
    • the base metals and articles of base metal referred to in HS codes 72 to 83;
    • the machinery, mechanical appliance and electrical equipment referred to in HS codes 84 and 85; and
    • products contributing to the DPRK’s weapons program;
  • Prohibit the provision to the DPRK of technical assistance related to the sale, supply, transfer, manufacture, use or maintenance of arms and related material or products contributing to the DPRK's weapons program;
  • Prohibit teaching or training DPRK nationals in fields such as advanced physics, aerospace engineering, and advanced computer simulation that could contribute to the DPRK’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities or the development of nuclear weapons delivery systems;
  • Prohibit importing from the DPRK:
    • arms and related material;
    • vessels;
    • products contributing to the DPRK's program;
    • any salt, sulphur, earths and stone, plastering materials, lime, cement and other materials referred to in HS code 25;
    • coal, iron, iron ore, gold, titanium ore, vanadium ore, rare earth minerals, copper, nickel, silver, zinc, lead, lead ore;
    • any wood, articles of wood and wood charcoal referred to in HS code 44;
    • statues;
    • seafood;
    • the edible vegetables, roots and tubers referred to in HS code 7, the edible fruit, nuts and peel of citrus fruit or of melons referred to in HS code 8 and the oil seeds, oleaginous fruits, miscellaneous grains, seeds and fruit, industrial or medicinal plants, straw and fodder referred to in HS code 12;
    • textiles; and
    • the machinery, mechanical appliances and electrical equipment referred to in HS codes 84 and 85.
  • Prohibit the acquisition of fishing rights from the DPRK;
  • Prohibit the acceptance from the DPRK of technical assistance related to the purchase, acquisition, manufacture, use or maintenance of arms and related material or products  contributing to the DPRK’s weapons program;
  • Prohibit vessels and aircraft from carrying prohibited products and bulk cash to or from the DPRK;
  • Prohibit Canadians from transhipping, causing to be transshipped, or permitting to be transshipped, to or from DPRK-flagged vessels, any product destined to or from the DPRK;
  • Prohibit the provision of products or services for the operation or maintenance of vessels believed to be carrying prohibited items to or from the DPRK;
  • Prohibit providing Canadian-flagged vessels or aircraft to the DPRK and the provision of crew services to the DPRK;
  • Prohibit Canadians from procuring vessel and aircraft crew services from the DPRK;
  • Prohibit Canadians from registering a vessel in the DPRK;
  • Prohibit Canadians from obtaining authorization for a vessel to fly the DPRK flag;
  • Prohibit Canadians from owning, leasing or operating, directly or indirectly, any DPRK-flagged vessel;
  • Prohibit Canadians from insuring or re-insuring any DPRK-flagged vessel, any vessel owned, held, controlled or operated, directly or indirectly, by the DPRK or any vessel engaged in the transport or prohibited items; and
  • Prohibit Canadians from providing any vessel classification, certification or related service for any DPRK-flagged vessel.

In Canada, travel restrictions imposed on designated individuals are implemented pursuant to the application of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Sanctions under the Special Economic Measures (DPRK) Regulations provide for the following:

  • a ban on all exports to the DPRK;
  • a ban on all imports to Canada from the DPRK;
  • a ban on all new investment in the DPRK;
  • a ban on the provision of financial services to the DPRK and to persons in the DPRK;
  • a ban on the provision of technical data to DPRK; and
  • a ban on the docking and landing in, and transiting of, Canada by DPRK ships and aircraft.

Exceptions

There are some exceptions under the Special Economic Measures (DPRK) Regulations, including the following:

  • goods consigned to certain organizations for the purpose of safeguarding human life or disaster relief such as food, medicine and medical supplies or equipment;
  • stabilization and reconstruction assistance and activities;
  • financial or other support provided by the Government of Canada; and
  • non-commercial remittances.

Permits and Certificates

The Special Economic Measures (DPRK) Permit Authorization Order, made pursuant to subsection 4(4) of the Special Economic Measures Act, authorizes the Minister of Foreign Affairs to issue to any person in Canada or any Canadian outside Canada a permit to carry out a specified activity or transaction, or any class of activity or transaction, that is restricted or prohibited pursuant to the Regulations.

The Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) allow for the issuance of ministerial certificates to authorize certain prohibited activities if it is established that the requirements for participation in such activities are met, including, when required, the approval of the Committee of the Security Council established per Resolution 1718.

Background

On October 14, 2006, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted Resolution 1718 (2006) imposing sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in response to a nuclear test conducted by the DPRK on October 9, 2006. On June 12, 2009, the UNSC adopted Resolution 1874 (2009) modifying and strengthening the sanctions imposed against the DPRK in 2006. Resolution 1874 (2009) was adopted in response to a nuclear test conducted by the DPRK on May 25, 2009, which violated Resolution 1718 (2006), and ballistic missile activities that the UNSC deemed to be a clear threat to international peace and security. Resolution 2094 (2013) was adopted on March 7, 2013, to strengthen and modify the measures contained in the previous resolutions. Resolution 2094 was adopted in response to a nuclear test conducted by the DPRK on February 12, 2013.

On March 2, 2016, the UNSC unanimously adopted Resolution 2270 (2016) to introduce additional sanctions against the DPRK in response to its systematic, ongoing and severe violations of past UNSC resolutions, in particular the nuclear test conducted by the DPRK on January 6, 2016 (its fourth such test since 2006). On November 30, 2016, the UNSC unanimously adopted Resolution 2321 (2016) after the DPRK conducted its fifth nuclear test on September 9, 2016. On June 2, 2017, the UNSC unanimously adopted Resolution 2356 (2017) in response the DPRK’s continued violations of previous Resolutions through nuclear weapon and ballistic missile development activities. On August 5, 2017, the UNSC unanimously adopted Resolution 2371 (2017), and on September 11, 2017, the UNSC unanimously adopted Resolution 2375 (2017). These Resolutions were adopted in response to multiple ballistic missile launches, some of which overflew Japan, as well as the sixth nuclear test conducted by the DPRK on September 3, 2017. On December 22, 2017, the UNSC unanimously adopted Resolution 2397 (2017) in response to the November 28, 2017 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test-launch by North Korea. The Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) implement decision of the UNSC in Canadian domestic law.

On August 11, 2011, Canada imposed sanctions against the DPRK under the Special Economic Measures Act. These sanctions are in addition to existing sanctions passed under the United Nations Act. The Special Economic Measures (DPRK) Regulations were adopted to reinforce the message to the DPRK government that its aggressive actions, such as the sinking of the Cheonan, are unacceptable.

Selected documents

Regulations

Regulations and Orders made under the Special Economic Measures Act:

Regulations made under the United Nations Act:

Announcements

Announcements related to the Regulations made under the Special Economic Measures Act:

Related links

Legal advice

Please be advised that Global Affairs Canada cannot provide legal advice to members of the public. For this reason, we cannot deliver an opinion as to whether or not a specific activity or transaction would contravene sanctions legislation. You should consider seeking legal advice in relation to an activity that may contravene a Canadian sanction law.

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