China and other UN member states had, in the past, refused to support a complete embargo against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (“DPRK”). The United Nations said that had made it hard for its regulatory agencies to determine whether the Chinese government was imposing substantive sanctions on the DPRK. Since the DPRK conducted its third nuclear test in February 2013, China has adjusted its export policies toward North Korea, including a complete ban on the export of dangerous goods.
For the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions and according to the Foreign Trade Law, China published an export embargo list of dual use items to the DPRK in an announcement made on September 23, 2013, officially announcing to the public that it is imposing sanctions on the DPRK.
The 236-page list covers the ban on dual-use items and technologies in four major areas including nuclear, missiles, chemicals and biological. While nuclear dual-use items in the embargo list are almost similar to those listed in the Catalog for the Administration of Import and Export Permit for Dual-Use Items and Technologies which is part of China’s export control system, the new list covers more items and technologies related to missiles, chemicals and biological, with more detailed technical specification.
As the DPRK list is not based on HS code and could potentially have broader coverage, exporters should verify to see if their products for export to North Korea are subject to control.
This is the first time China has issued an embargo list against a specific country.