Singapore prohibits trade in goods with North Korea


Effective from 8 November 2017, there is a prohibition on the import, export, transshipment and in-transit movement of all commercially traded goods through Singapore, including sanctioned goods, under UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSC) 2371 (2017) and 2375 (2017).

Permits are required for non-commercial transactions that are imported, exported, re-exported, transshipped or in-transit from or to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).

The non-commercial transactions of sanctioned goods are prohibited under UNSC Resolutions 2371 (2017) and 2375 (2017) as published in the Regulation of Imports and Exports (amendment No. 2) Regulations 2017. Under the regulations, prohibited imports include North Korean coal, iron, iron ore, seafood, lead, lead ore and textiles. Prohibited exports to North Korea include condensates and natural gas liquids, refined petroleum products and crude oil.

Fines of up to three times the value of the goods or S$100,000 (US$74,000), whichever is greater, and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years is possible for the first conviction for the first violation. Subsequent convictions include fines up to S$200,000 or four times the value of the goods, whichever is greater, and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years.

Non-commercial transactions

For non-commercial transactions where no sanctions are applicable, traders are required to obtain a TradeNet® permit for goods that are imported from, exported or re-exported to, or transshipped or brought in-transit from or to North Korea through Singapore. The TradeNet® permit should be submitted to customs at least three working days before the intended date of shipment, and traders should comply with all conditions stipulated in their permits.

More information may be found in circular No. 14/2017 issued on 7 November 2017 to traders and declaring agents.

Business Law Digest is compiled with the assistance of Baker McKenzie. Readers should not act on this information without seeking professional legal advice. You can contact Baker McKenzie by emailing Danian Zhang at