West of England Club has warned that the extended US sanctions against North Korea will probably have a “significant” impact on the shipping industry The US President issued an Executive Order on September 21st which, in conjunction with more stringent United Nations Security Council measures, significantly increased sanctions against North Korea.
The escalation was a reaction to recent ballistic missile firings and nuclear weapon tests. The measures include the designation of any party which owns or operates a port in North Korea and the imposition of a 180-day rule – similar to that which the US has operated against Cuba for many years – so that any vessel which calls at a North Korean port or engages in a STS operation with a North Korean vessel may not trade in US waters for six months subsequent to this.
The Club’s US attorneys Freehill, Hogan & Mahar have released details of all the new measures (link below). They write: “Shipowners will need to exercise great caution in any dealings with North Korea to ensure that they are not violating either the UN Security Council Resolutions or the US sanctions. If a shipowner engages in sanctionable activity under the US sanctions, that shipowner could lose access to the US financial system. Additionally, any vessel that calls at a North Korean port is banned from US ports for six months thereafter.”
West Of England reminded Members that the Club would probably be unable to support Members who do trade legitimately to North Korea. Payment of claims and fees and the provision of security was liable to be very delayed and perhaps completely prohibited.
The Club concluded that “any Member considering trading to North Korean is therefore strongly urged to re-assess the risks of undertaking that business and to contact the Managers for advice before doing so.”