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U.S. identifies two Chinese shippers that violated North Korea sanctions

U.S. identifies Chinese shippers, sanctions violation

The U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), today announced the designation of two shipping companies based in China that have helped North Korea evade U.S. sanctions.


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As noted in the OFAC release, the OFAC—along with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Coast Guard—has updated the North Korea shipping advisory and added dozens of vessels that are believed to have engaged in ship-to-ship transfers with North Korean tankers or exported North Korean coal.

As a result of today’s action, any property or interests in property of the designated persons in the possession or control of U.S. persons or within or transiting the United States are blocked, and U.S. persons generally are prohibited from dealing with the designated persons.

The shipping advisory [PDF 1.4 MB] updates a February 2018 advisory with new information about North Korea’s deceptive shipping practices, additional guidance on how to mitigate the risk of involvement in these practices, a new graphic depicting certain ports of call, and three new annexes:

  • Guidance for member states and industry to avoid illicit North Korean maritime trade
  • Dozens of vessels that are believed to have engaged in ship-to-ship transfers with North Korean tankers
  • Dozens of vessels that may have exported North Korean coal since August 5, 2017

As further detailed in the advisory, North Korea employs deceptive shipping practices such as disabling or manipulating automated identification systems, physically altering vessels, conducting ship-to-ship transfers, and falsifying cargo documentation.  Since initial publication in February 2018, North Korea has altered the geographic location of ship-to-ship transfers and has resumed exports of coal in the Gulf of Tonkin.  


For more information on this topic or to learn more about KPMG’s Trade & Customs Services, contact:

Doug Zuvich
Partner and Global Practice Leader
T: 312-665-1022

John L. McLoughlin
Principal and East Coast Leader
T: 267-256-2614

Andy Siciliano
Partner and National Practice Leader
T: 631-425-6057

Luis (Lou) Abad
Principal, Washington National Tax
T: 212-954-3094

Irina Vaysfeld
T: 212-872-2973

Amie Ahanchian
Managing Director
T: 202-533-3247

Robert Waldrop
T: 212-954-8117

Gisele Belotto
Managing Director
T: 305-913-2779

Christopher Young
T: 312-665-3229

Andy Doornaert
Managing Director
T: 313-230-3080

George Zaharatos
T: 404-222-3292

Jessica Libby
Managing Director
T: 612-305-5533

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