The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has published amendments in the Federal Register to the North Korea Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. 510.101-.901 (NKSR), which became effective April 10, 2020. The new amendments incorporate into the NKSR certain provisions of the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 (NKSPEA), as amended by the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (CAATSA) and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA 2020). The amendments:

  • Expand the list of prohibited activity and transactions;
  • Add blocking and correspondent account sanctions provisions;
  • Add a new prohibition applicable to persons owned or controlled by a U.S. financial institution and established or maintained outside the United States;
  • Add new statutory exemptions relevant to certain newly added prohibitions;
  • Make technical and conforming edits to three definitions, including “luxury goods” and “significant transactions;”
  • Revise an interpretive provision; and
  • Update the authorities and delegation sections of the regulations.

On December 20, 2019, President Donald Trump  signed into law the 2020 NDAA, which, among other things, amended the NKSPEA by adding new blocking and correspondent or payable-through account sanctions at sections 104(g), 201B, and 201C. These have been incorporated by OFAC into the NKSR as  § 510.201(a)(3)(vii) through (x). OFAC is also incorporating additional correspondent or payable-through account sanctions of section 201B of NKSPEA into  § 510.210(c) of the NKSR, and of section 201C into § 510.214 of the NKSR.