February 16, 2024

OFAC amends North Korean Sanctions Regulations to modify general license to enable humanitarian-related activities

On February 15, 2024, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, in consultation with the U.S. Department of State, amended the North Korea Sanctions Regulations (“NKSR”) to modify the existing general license at § 510.512 in order to broaden the range of humanitarian-related activities and transactions that nongovernmental organizations (“NGOs”) in North Korea are authorized to handle.  The authorization includes transactions with certain government entities in North Korea that are necessary for the provision of services allowed by § 510.512.  NGOs relying upon this general license are required to submit a report to the Department of State no fewer than 30 days before engaging in activities to report whether their activities were approved under UN Security resolution 1718 or if such approval is not required.  Within two weeks of this submission, the U.S. Department of State will notify NGOs if the activities described in the submission are not authorized under the general license.

The regulatory amendment also added general licenses that authorize transactions related to the exportation and reexportation of items authorized by the U.S. Department of Commerce; the provision of certain agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical devices; and certain journalistic activities in North Korea.  The amendment will take effect on February 16, 2024, upon publication in the Federal Register.

OFAC also issued new and amended Frequently Asked Questions to clarify the provisions in the regulatory amendment.  OFAC issued new FAQs that provide an overview of changes made by the new amendment (FAQ 1160); confirm that the amended GL enables NGOs to engage in certain transactions involving the Government of North Korea (FAQ 1161); provide an overview of the new reporting requirements (FAQ 1162); and confirm that the amendment does not authorize the export of tobacco or other luxury items to North Korea (FAQ 1163).  OFAC also amended FAQs 459, 463, and 558 to reflect the changes in the regulatory amendment.  In FAQ 459, OFAC reiterates that Executive Order 13722, as implemented in § 510.512 of the NKSR, does not impact the regulations of the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security.  FAQ 463 provides an overview of the types of assistance that NGOs are now authorized to provide, and FAQ 558 provides an overview of the types of activities that reporting organizations and journalists are currently authorized to conduct in North Korea.

U.S. Department of Treasury Recent Action | Federal Register – NKSR Final Rule