The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has issued a final rule that will, effective March 5, amend the North Korea Sanctions Regulations to (a) implement three recent executive orders, (b) reference the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 and the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, (c) incorporate several general licenses that have previously appeared only on OFAC’s website, (d) add several new general licenses, (e) add and expand provisions to issue a more comprehensive set of regulations that will provide further guidance to the public, and (f) update certain regulatory provisions and make other technical and conforming changes.

Due to the number of regulatory sections being updated or added, OFAC is reissuing the NKSR in their entirety. OFAC is also publishing new and updated North Korea-related FAQs to provide further information.

Pursuant to the authorities listed above, all property and interests in property of the government of North Korea and the Workers’ Party of Korea are blocked. U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with these entities without OFAC authorization and must block property or interests in property that are in, or come within, the U.S. or the possession of a U.S. person. 

All U.S. persons must comply with the NKSR, including all U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens regardless of where they are located, all individuals and entities within the U.S., and all U.S.-incorporated entities and their foreign branches. Furthermore, all transactions within the U.S., including all financial transactions that transit the U.S. financial system, must comply with OFAC regulations.  

Each violation of the NKSR is subject to a civil monetary penalty of up to the greater of the statutory maximum under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act ($289,238 as of March 1, 2018) or twice the value of the underlying transaction. Criminal penalties can reach $1 million and 20 years’ imprisonment per violation.

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