Does South Korea have a sanctions regime in place?
Does South Korea implement UN sanctions?
As a member of the UN, South Korea is legally bound to accept and carry out measures brought into effect by the UN.
South Korea has implemented UN sanctions through its domestic legislation, such as the Foreign Trade Act, the Customs Law and the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act.
Does South Korea implement an autonomous sanctions regime?
Yes. Pursuant to the Act on Prohibition Against the Financing of Terrorism and Prohibition of Financing for Offences of Public Intimidation & Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, the Financial Services Commission can designate any individual, corporation or organisation that is deemed to be related to the financing of terrorism. Such designations are publically announced. Designation will occur where it is necessary to ensure that South Korea complies with treaties to which it is a party or accepted international laws. South Korea will also designate individuals and entities where it is necessary to do so to contribute to international efforts to sustain international peace and security. Further, pursuant to the Customs Law, the customs office may inspect goods and means of transportation and take necessary measures to prevent violations of UN sanctions.
What is the nature of the sanctions regime in South Korea?
Sanctions include restrictions on the ability of a designated person or entity to carry out financial transactions without a permit or approval. In addition, it is prohibited for any person to provide (or raise) funds or property to or for the benefit of a designated person or entity. Failure to comply with the relevant restrictions constitutes a criminal offence.
South Korea also implements arms embargoes, export controls and immigration controls.
Does South Korea maintain a list of sanctioned individuals and entities?
Yes. The Ministry of Strategy and Finance maintains a list of sanctioned entities and individuals, which reflects the UN’s lists.
Are there any other lists related to sanctions?
As described above, the Financial Services Commission can designate any individual, corporation or organisation deemed to be related to the financing of terrorism. As such, ad hoc notices or lists can be issued.
Does South Korea have a licensing or authorisation system in place?
Yes. The Financial Services Commission can authorise financial transactions related to persons which it has designated. It can also delegate its authority to grant a permit to the Governor of the Bank of Korea. Further, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the Council for Nuclear Safety or the Defense Acquisition Program Administration may authorise exceptions to exports or imports which seem to be related to sanctions, under the condition that it is proven that they are unrelated to sanctions and used only for peaceful purposes.
What are the consequences for a breach of sanctions in South Korea?
The “Act on Prohibition Against the Financing of Terrorism and Prohibition of Financing for Offences of Public Intimidation & Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction” sets out a number of penalties where funds or assets may be used for terrorism. It specifically states that a person providing funds or property to a person designated under the Act, without a permit, shall be liable to imprisonment for up to 3 years or a fine not exceeding 30,000,000 won.
Who are the relevant regulators in South Korea and what are their contact details?
Financial Services Commission is the central government body responsible for financial policy and supervision.
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