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Latest UN Annual Report on DPRK Sanctions

24 April 2020 Byron McKinney

The release of the United Nations North Korea Panel of Experts report for March 2020 outlines the main areas of activity deployed by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to circumvent security council resolutions. The report outlines DPRK methods to avoid restrictions on commodity imports and exports together with recommendations and practical measures to address any shortcomings when implementing sanctions compliance programs relating to the country.

The main areas of focus by the United Nations Panel include maritime activity especially in the transportation of oil, coal and sand by the DPRK via ship-to-ship transfers, luxury goods entering the country, foreign workers employed overseas in various industries in an effort to generate export earnings and trade, the increasing use of crypto currencies and cyber attacks to hinder the fight against sanctions efforts and the monitoring of trade in goods from various countries across the world.

Ship-to-ship (STS) transfers of coal and oil are still a significant trade activity for the DPRK in order to raise revenue and also for domestic consumption with the port of Nampo a particular hotspot. These STS efforts are being conducted through DPRK and foreign flagged vessels and in certain cases by vessels originally bought for scrap purposes. In the UN report, IHS Markit's role as the issuer of the IMO number for vessels and originating source for the IMO Unique Company and Registered Owner Identification Number Scheme is used with great effect to identify vessels engaged in sanctions evasion for the DPRK. The IHS Markit data is used to identify suspicious vessels, the historical and current flag registry and most importantly identifying the complex ownership structure that sits behind the vessel.

Furthermore, IHS Markit data has helped the United Nations understand import and export patterns to the DPRK through the use of its Global Trade Atlas functionality and its detailing of recorded trade. A set of HS Codes, described in previous UN resolutions, covering oil, coal, machinery, iron and steel are identified as the key industry items that the DPRK relies upon. The Global Trade Atlas has been able to provide an insight into the volume, value and historical trends of these traded items and commodities in terms of their origination and entry into North Korea.

The detailed report by the United Nations Panel of Experts offers unique insight into the DPRKs trading patterns and methods and IHS Markit is proud to support the UN through the use of its maritime and trade content as a means to identify and formulate new sanctions policy.

The latest annual report from the DPRK sanctions team at the United Nations can be viewed here.

Posted 24 April 2020 by Byron McKinney, Associate Director - Product Management, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit

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