Restrictions regarding vessels and aircraft

This page summarises Australia's restrictions regarding DPRK vessels and aircraft.

UNSC sanctions regime

Australian law prohibits all of the following actions:

  • registering a vessel in the DPRK
  • obtaining an authority that entitles a vessel to fly the flag of the DPRK
  • providing a classification or certification service, or related service, in respect of a DPRK flagged or registered vessel
  • leasing or operating a DPRK flagged or registered vessel
  • insuring a DPRK flagged or registered vessel, and
  • insuring or reinsuring a vessel owned, controlled or operated by the DPRK or by a person or entity in, or a national of, the DPRK, and
  • chartering a DPRK flagged or registered vessel

without a permit.

Australian law also prohibits the ownership of a DPRK flagged or registered vessel without a permit.

Australian law also prohibits the provision of bunkering services to a DPRK vessel without a permit.

Australian law also prohibits:

  • transferring goods from a vessel to a DPRK flagged or registered vessel
  • transferring goods from a DPRK flagged or registered vessel to another vessel, and
  • facilitating a transfer of goods between a DPRK flagged or registered vessel and another vessel
where the goods are being exported from or imported into the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Directions – vessels

The Minister for Foreign Affairs must direct a vessel not to enter any port in Australia if the Minister has reasonable grounds to believe that:

  • the vessel is owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a person or entity designated by the UN Security Council or the Committee, or
  • the vessel contains cargo the supply, sale, transfer or export of which is prohibited by United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1718, 1874, 2087, 2094 or 2270.

The Minister is not required to give a direction to a vessel if the Minister is satisfied that the direction would be inconsistent with Australia's obligations under international law.

A person in command or charge of a vessel to which such a direction has been given, or which has been designated by the Committee for the purposes of paragraph 12(c) of resolution 2321, paragraph 6 of resolution 2371 or paragraph 6 of resolution 2375, commits an offence if the vessel enters a port in Australia. This does not apply if the person is the vessel's pilot, or if the vessel enters port:

  • because of an emergency
  • to return to its port of origination
  • in the case of a vessel in relation to which such a direction has been given, for inspection
  • in accordance with a determination in advance by the Committee, or
  • in accordance with a direction by the Committee

'DPRK vessel' means a vessel registered in the DPRK or owned or controlled by the DPRK.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs must direct an Australian flagged vessel designated by the Committee for the purposes of paragraph 12(b) of Resolution 2321 to enter a port identified by the Committee.

The Minister is not required to give a direction to such a vessel if the Minister is satisfied that the direction would be inconsistent with Australia's obligations under international law.

In addition, the Minister may, for the purposes of cooperating with an inspection in accordance with paragraph 8 of Resolution 2375 and paragraph 18 of Resolution 2270, direct an Australian flagged vessel to enter a port.

The port identified in a direction must be appropriate and convenient having regard to the vessel and its location.

A person who owns a vessel (in whole or in part) to which such a direction has been given commits an offence if the vessel does not, within a reasonable period of time after the direction has been given, enter the port that the vessel has been directed to enter.

Directions – aircraft

The Minister must direct an aircraft not to take off from, land in or overfly Australia if the Minister has reasonable grounds to believe that the aircraft contains items (prohibited items) the supply, sale, transfer or export of which is prohibited by resolution 1718, resolution 1874, resolution 2087, resolution 2094 or resolution 2270.

However, the Minister is not required to give a direction if the Minister is satisfied that the direction would be inconsistent with Australia's obligations under international law.

The Minister may revoke a direction if the Minister no longer has reasonable grounds to believe that the aircraft contains prohibited items.

Conditions for the grant of a sanctions permit

If you assess that your activity satisfies the applicable conditions set out below, you may apply for a sanctions permit using the Online Sanctions Administration System (OSAS).

Restricted activities (except bunkering services)

The Minister for Foreign Affairs may grant a permit authorising any of the following if the Committee has approved the action in advance:

  • ownership of a DPRK flagged or registered vessel
  • registration of a vessel in the DPRK
  • obtaining of an authority that entitles a vessel to fly the flag of the DPRK
  • provision of a classification or certification service, or related service, in respect of a DPRK flagged or registered vessel
  • the lease or operation of a DPRK flagged or registered vessel
  • the insuring of a DPRK flagged or registered vessel, or
  • the chartering of a DPRK flagged or registered vessel.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs may grant a permit authorising the insuring or reinsuring of a vessel owned, controlled or operated by the DPRK or by a person or entity in, or a national of, the DPRK if the Committee has determined that the vessel is engaged in activities exclusively for livelihood purposes that will not be used by DPRK individuals or entities to generate revenue, or exclusively for humanitarian purposes.

Bunkering services

The Minister for Foreign Affairs may grant a sanctions permit authorising the provision of a bunkering service to a DPRK vessel. The Minister must not grant a permit if the Minister has reasonable grounds for believing that the vessel is carrying 'export sanctioned goods', unless the provision of the bunkering service:

  • is for humanitarian purposes, or
  • is necessary to facilitate the inspection, seizure or disposal of the 'export sanctioned goods'.

Implementing legislation

Australian autonomous sanctions regime

The Minister for Foreign Affairs may direct a DPRK sanctioned vessel to:

  • leave Australia, including by a particular route, or
  • not enter a particular port or place, or any port or place, in Australia.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs must have regard to Australia's obligations at international law before giving such a direction.

A person commits an offence if a direction has been given to a sanctioned vessel and the person engages in conduct that causes the sanctioned vessel to contravene the direction.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs has designated 18 vessels as DPRK sanctioned vessels for their association with DPRK's WMD and missiles programs.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs has also, by the Autonomous Sanctions (Classes of Sanctioned Vessels – Democratic People's Republic of Korea) Designation 2017, designated each vessel within the 'DPRK vessel class' as a DPRK sanctioned vessel.  'DPRK vessel class' is defined as all vessels entitled to fly the flag of the DPRK or registered in the DPRK, or that are owned, operated or chartered by, or otherwise under the control or direction of, an entity or a person mentioned in an item of the following table:

Item

Entity or person

1

The government of the DPRK

2

The Workers' Party of Korea

3

The Korean People's Army

4

A public body, corporation or agency of the DPRK

5

An entity formed or incorporated in the DPRK

6

An official of an entity mentioned in item 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5

7

An individual who is in, or a resident of, or a citizen of, the DPRK

8

An entity or person acting on behalf of, or at the direction of, an entity or a person mentioned in item 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7

9

An entity owned or controlled by a person or entity mentioned in item 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7

Implementing legislation

De-listing requests in respect of a sanctioned vessel

Australian autonomous sanctions regime

The owner, or person in control, of a sanctioned vessel for the purposes of the Australian autonomous sanctions regime in relation to the DPRK may submit a de-listing request to the Minister for Foreign Affairs under regulation 11 of Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011. ​


Last Updated: 8 August 2017