We're creating a single website for everything to do with BIS but, while we do that, you'll find information in three places. > Find what you're looking for


Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)

North Korea map


Information on exporting strategic goods to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.



Current Situation

An arms embargo is in force on Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea). The export ban also extends to "luxury goods". This embargo is imposed by both the UN and the EU and has been implemented in UK law.

NOTE: This page outlines relevant information about the arms embargo only. See the link to other restrictions for more information about other potential sanctions.


Implications for exporters

Extent of the embargo

An arms embargo is a ban on the export of "arms and related material" (ie military ammunition, weapons and goods) imposed by either the UN (United Nations), European Union (EU), Organisation on Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The UK interprets this as covering all goods and items on the UK Military List.

Additionally some goods which are not on the UK Military List might also need an export licence. See more details about the Military End-Use Control.

There are also sanctions on "luxury goods" (see More Details).

Applying for a Licence

Exporters can apply for an export control licence for their goods. All applications will be considered by the Government on a case by case basis in line with the provisions of the Consolidated Criteria for UK and EU Arms Exports. See more details about Licence Decision Making.

For more details about applications see the Licences page. All licence applications should be made via the SPIRE website.

Exporters can also make a rating request for clarification on whether their goods are licensable. More information is available about the Rating Enquiry Service.

In applying and using any licence, exporters should be aware of their responsibilities. More information is accessible on the Compliance and Enforcement pages.


More Details

Further information is available in the following Notice to Exporters:

Keep updated with the latest changes to Sanctions and Embargoes by Joining the ECO Mailing List.


Key Legislation (Background)


UN Security Council Resolutions

The UN adopted Resolution 1718 on 14 October 2006. This imposed a partial embargo on arms exports to and imports from North Korea. The resolution prohibits the supply (directly or indirectly) of conventional weapons and certain WMD sensitive goods and technology and technical assistance. Additionally the resolution encompasses an export ban on luxury goods.

To access copies of any relevant UN Resolutions see the:


EU Legislation

Following the adoption of the UN resolution in 2006, the EU adopted Common Position 2006/795/CFSP in November 2006. The EU arms embargo prohibits the transfer of all arms and related material to North Korea. The embargo has subsequently been extended, renewed and modified.  

To access copies of any relevant and latest updates to EU legislation see the:


UK Legislation

The relevant statutory instruments implemented in UK law are:

  • Export Control Order 2008 (SI 2008/3231)

    • North Korea is a destination listed in this Order under Schedule 4, Part 1 (Countries and Destinations subject to stricter export of trade controls)
  • The North Korea  (United Nations Measures) Order 2006 (S.I. 2006/2958)
  • The North Korea (United Nations Measures) (Overseas Territories) Order 2006 (S.I. 2006/3327) as amended by The North Korea (United Nations Measures) (Overseas Territories)(Amendment) Order 2007 (S.I. 2007/1347)
  • The Export Control (North Korea) Order 2007 (S.I. 2007/1334)

See more information about the Orders made under the Export Control Act.

To access copies of any UK legislation see the:



Other Restrictions

North Korea is also subject to other sanctions including an assets freeze and travel ban. See further information on financial sanctions on North Korea (HM Treasury website) and North Korea sanctions information (FCO website).



Export Control Organisation

Updated: 6 April 2009

Back to Top