Humanitarian Exemption Requests

I. Relevant Security Council resolution and Implementation Assistance Notice No. 7

The comprehensive humanitarian exemption mechanism as established by the 1718 Sanctions Committee to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is provided by the following:

Implementation Assistance Notice No. 7 Document PDF (IAN No 7): “Guidelines for Obtaining Exemptions to Deliver Humanitarian Assistance to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”

II. Who can submit a request for a humanitarian exemption to the Committee?

  • Member States;
  • International Organizations; and
  • Non-Governmental Organizations

that carry out assistance/relief activities in the DPRK for the benefit of the civilian population of the DPRK.

International* and non-governmental organizations can seek exemptions from the Committee through:

1) Member States; or

2) the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator to the DPRK if a Member State is unable to route such a request to the Committee; or

3) through the Committee Secretary if both a Member State and the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in the DPRK are unable to submit exemption requests to the Committee.

For more information, please see IAN No 7 Document PDF.

*except United Nations agencies, the ICRC, IFRC, and the IOC who can continue submitting exemption requests directly to the Committee

III. What is the format of a request for humanitarian exemption?

Requests are to be submitted, on official letterhead, containing the following elements:

  • Nature of humanitarian assistance proposed to be provided to the DPRK for the benefit of the civilian population of the DPRK;
  • Explanation of the DPRK recipients and criteria employed to select beneficiaries;
  • Reasons for requiring a Committee exemption;
  • Detailed description with quantities and relevant specifications of the goods and services to be provided within the next six months to the DPRK for what purpose and to whom;
  • Planned date(s) of proposed transfer to the DPRK within the next six months;
  • Planned route(s) and method(s) of transfer including ports of departure and entry to be used for shipments;
  • All parties involved in the transfers that can be identified at the time of submission of the application;
  • Financial transactions associated with the transfers;
  • Annex containing itemized list of all planned transfers of goods and services with quantities and planned shipment date;
  • Confirmation whether the Committee approval letter and its annex can be published on the 1718 Committee website upon issuance, and
  • Measures to ensure that assistance to be provided to the DPRK are used for the intended purposes and not diverted for prohibited purposes.

Applicants obtaining exemptions should do their utmost to consolidate all planned shipments into one shipment every six months to the extent practicable and to seek exemptions approximately every six months. In case of necessary and well-justified changes to items planned for transfer to the DPRK (such as exact specifications and quantities), applicants and/or parties involved in the transactions should promptly notify the Committee of all changes needed for review through one follow-up letter.

IV. How to submit requests for exemptions for humanitarian assistance to the Committee

With copy to:

  1. Request from Member States are to be submitted to:
    • The Chair of the Committee, His Excellency Mr. Christoph Heusgen (Germany), through the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations
  2. Requests from international* and Non-Governmental Organizations if a Member State is unable to route such a request to the Committee are to be submitted to:
    • The United Nations Resident Coordinator in the DPRK a.i., Mr. Frode Mauring, Email address: rco.kp@one.un.org
  3. Requests from International* and Non-Governmental Organizations if both a Member State and the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in the DPRK are unable to submit exemption requests to the Committee:

*except United Nations agencies, the ICRC, IFRC, and the IOC who can continue submitting exemption requests directly to the Committee

V. Committee Exemption Approval Letter

If the Committee approves a request, it will issue a Committee Exemption Approval Letter to the requesting party that explains specifically what the Committee approves for transfer to the DPRK. An annex with an approved list of goods and services by quantity and planned shipment date will be appended to the Committee approval letter.

The Committee approval letter and its annex will be published on the 1718 Committee website upon issuance for the public, including relevant national authorities involved in reviewing the exempted transfers to the DPRK, for a period of six months, unless the exemption-seeking party requests the Committee to not do so. Furthermore, after authorized transactions have occurred and before the six-month period expires, exemption-seeking parties can request the Committee to remove the exemption letter from its website.

Limitations of 1718 Committee Exemptions

Receiving exemptions from the Committee for United Nations sanctions does not exempt those organizations and their proposed transactions from the relevant domestic regulations and licensing requirements of Member States involved in those transactions. All international or non-governmental organizations requesting exemptions from the Committee must also fully observe relevant regulatory and licensing requirements of Member States that have jurisdiction over all aspects of the proposed transactions and involved parties.

VI. Humanitarian Exemption(s) in Effect

Exemption granted to

Purpose of the humanitarian assistance Approval letter and annex (containing approved list of goods and services and planned shipment date)

Start date of approved exemption

Date of expiration of approved exemption 

Christian Friends of Korea (CFK)

Procurement and shipment to the DPRK of materials and equipment required for CFK’s humanitarian projects for vulnerable populations of tuberculosis, hepatitis and pediatric patients in the DPRK, extended for an exceptional 12-month timeframe given the challenges related to the shipment of goods as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. CFK exemption request – approval letter and annex 7 August 2019

23 June 2021

France

Import of items into the DPRK by the NGO Première Urgence Internationale (PUI) for its project in South Hwanghae Province to improve children’s nutritional status and households’ resilience through the reinforcement of goat rearing practices.

France exemption request - approval note verbale and annex 9 August 2019

7 August 2020

Ignis Community

Shipment to the DPRK of vital medical and rehabilitation equipment aimed at completing a rehabilitation center for children with developmental disabilities in Pyongyang, the Pyongyang Spine and Rehabilitation Centre (PYSRC). Ignis Community exemption request – approval letter and annex 4 September 2019

8 July 2021

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Import of items into the DPRK by MSF to engage in humanitarian activities, in particular enabling the proper implementation of a medical program in North Hamgyong Province which primarily aims at improving the diagnostic and treatment of tuberculosis as well as multi-drug resistant tuberculosis among the population of North Hamgyong Province; and addressing urgent and general medical needs of the population in the county of Kyongsong of North Hamgyong Province.

MSF exemption request – approval letter and annex 23 September 2019

26 September 2020

UNFPA Procurement and import of two vehicles and their various spare parts to the DPRK, solely for the implementation of the UNFPA Country Programme and to be used by UNFPA personnel for day-to-day monitoring and carrying out of authorized UNFPA programme activities, including field missions to areas where UNFPA is providing humanitarian assistance for the civilian population of the DPRK. UNFPA exemption request – approval letter and annex 18 October 2019

7 October 2020

UNICEF Shipment of items essential for UNICEF’s programmes in the DPRK, including its health, nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene programmes, necessary for the delivery of safe water supply to communities and children in schools, nurseries and kindergartens, and to allow for the effective treatment of individuals admitted to hospitals, in particular to assist mothers with complicated deliveries that require surgery. UNICEF exemption request – approval letter and annex

9 December 2019

10 March 2021

Love North Korea Missions (LNKM)

Import of items into the DPRK for humanitarian activities aimed at improving access to clean drinking water in the Rason region, extended for an exceptional 12-month timeframe given the challenges related to the shipment of goods as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. LNKM exemption request - approval letter and annex 4 April 2019 17 June 2021
World Food Programme Shipment of items to the DPRK for WFP’s humanitarian assistance activities addressing malnutrition and food insecurity of the civilian population of the DPRK, provided for in WFP’s DPRK Interim Country Strategic Plan (2019-2021).  WFP exemption request – approval letter and annex  20 January 2020  20 July 2020 

SAM Care International

Shipment of medical equipment, medicine and food into the DPRK for the Pyong Yang Third Hospital as part of SAM Care International’s humanitarian medical support aimed at updating medical machinery and equipment, ensuring access to medicines that treat illnesses and alleviate pain, sending nutritionally fortified foods to treat extreme hunger and malnutrition, and supporting the recovery of surgical and post-operative patients. SAM Care International exemption request – approval letter and annex 7 February 2020

7 August 2020

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Import of items into the DPRK to engage in humanitarian activities, in particular enabling prompt and proper diagnosis and management of cases of COVID-2019 should these arise and develop in the country, by providing the Ministry of Public Health in DPRK with essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and diagnostic items in accordance with the World Health Organization recommendations on COVID-2019. MSF exemption request – approval letter and annex 20 February 2020

20 August 2020

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) 

Procurement and shipment of materials to engage in humanitarian activities in the DPRK, in particular related to emergency health interventions to prevent and mitigate the risk of the COVID-19 outbreak in the DPRK and to enable effective prevention and response to COVID-19.    IFRC exemption request – approval letter and annex  21 February 2020 

21 August 2020

World Health Organization

Transfer of diagnostic equipment and commodities for prevention and control of COVID-19 in the DPRK, aimed to enhance the diagnostics capacity in the country, thus ensuring timely treatment of patients and prevention of spread of COVID-19 virus among the vulnerable population of the DPRK.

WHO exemption request – approval letter and annex 27 February 2020

30 December 2020

Switzerland

Shipment of disinfection kits for 30 hospitals and 2000 sets of personal protective equipment to the DPRK by the agency Swiss Humanitarian Aid, which is part of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, to support ongoing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to the territory of the DPRK.

Switzerland exemption request – approval letter and annex 11 March 2020

11 September 2020

Ireland

Procurement and import of items within the scope of three projects undertaken by the nongovernmental organization Concern Worldwide into the DPRK, which are intended for humanitarian assistance and relief activities in the areas of increasing food and nutrition security; improved access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), menstrual hygiene management (MHM) and food security for women and children; and scaling up sustainable technologies for action on improved nutrition (SUSTAIN), for the benefit of the civilian population in the DPRK. 

Ireland exemption request – approval letter and annex 1 April 2020

1 October 2020

UNICEF

Shipment of items essential for UNICEF’s programmes in the DPRK, including in the areas of health, nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene, necessary for the delivery of safe water supply to communities and children in schools and nurseries; the effective treatment of individuals admitted to hospitals, in particular to assist mothers with complicated deliveries that require surgery; and to support statistics offices and resource centers that collect and report data relevant to children, to enable the effective situational and statistical monitoring of UNICEF’s humanitarian programmes, granted for an exceptional 12-month timeframe given the challenges related to the manufacturing and shipment of goods as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

UNICEF exemption request – approval letter and annex 2 June 2020 2 June 2021 
WHO Transfer of items to the DPRK pertaining to humanitarian activities WHO intends to undertake, in particular laboratory equipment for vaccine preventable diseases, aimed at enhancing the diagnostics capacity in the country, thus ensuring timely treatment of patients and prevention of the spread of vaccine preventable diseases among its vulnerable population, which would contribute to reducing child mortality in the country. WHO exemption request – approval letter and annex 1 June 2020 1 December 2020
WHO Import of items to the DPRK pertaining to humanitarian activities WHO intends to undertake, including the import of laboratory equipment for vaccine preventable diseases, critical care equipment, emergency primary health care equipment, installation of a blood bag manufacturing plant, and diagnostic equipment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. WHO exemption request – approval letter and annex 5 June 2020 5 December 2020
EBF Shipment of supplies necessary to maintain and expand EBF’s ongoing diagnosis and treatment program for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and extensively-drug resistant tuberculosis in the DPRK, granted for an exceptional 12-month timeframe given the challenges related to the shipment of goods as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. EBF exemption request – approval letter and annex 5 June 2020 5  June 2021
UNFPA

Procurement of emergency reproductive health (RH) kits and essential medical equipment required for the provision of life-saving sexual and reproductive health services for women in the DPRK.

UNFPA exemption request – approval letter and annex 10 June 2020 10 December 2020

World Health Organization

Import of three vehicles for the exclusive use of the WHO Country Office in the DPRK in order to provide safe and secure travel to WHO staff, which is a prerequisite for WHO’s humanitarian work, necessary for fulfilling its programmatic requirements in the DPRK and enhancing its capacity and capability for field monitoring of its projects.

WHO exemption request – approval letter and annex

15 June 2020

15 December 2020

Finland

Import of items into the DPRK within the scope of a humanitarian assistance project undertaken by the nongovernmental organization Finn Church Aid (FCA), to enhance the food security of vulnerable primary school aged children in two counties in North Hwanghae province through supporting supplementary school feeding programs, and to conduct disaster risk reduction and education in emergencies activities to bolster the resilience of vulnerable children and their families.

Finland exemption request – approval note verbale and annex 24 June 2020 24 December 2020

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

To engage in a humanitarian agricultural assistance project addressing the critical issue of food availability in the DPRK, in particular to authorize the import of agricultural supplies and materials for greenhouse construction, rice, corn and vegetable production to four cooperative farms in South Pyongan, North Pyongan and South Hwanghae provinces in the DPRK. AFSC exemption request – approval letter and annex 6 July 2020 6 January 2021
Italy Shipment of agricultural machinery and equipment to the DPRK by AGROTEC SPA, an Italian company which was contracted by the European Commission to export the abovementioned machinery and equipment for the purpose of improving food security in the DPRK. Italy exemption request – approval note verbale and annex 25 July 2019 14 January 2021
Republic of Korea Import of items into the DPRK by the nongovernmental organization Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Research Center (IKECRC) to engage in humanitarian activities for emergency relief towards COVID-19 prevention and control in North Pyongan Province. RoK exemption request – approval letter and annex 17 July 2020 17 January 2021
Republic of Korea Import of items into the DPRK by the nongovernmental organization Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Research Center (IKECRC) to engage in humanitarian activities, in particular diagnostic equipment to support the diagnosis and control of African Swine Fever (ASF). RoK exemption request – approval letter and annex 22 July 2020 22 January 2021
UNICEF

Shipment of medical equipment essential for UNICEF’s operations in the DPRK focused on mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tuberculosis and malaria, as part of the COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM), to increase the level of preparedness and operational readiness for COVID-19 in both tuberculosis and malaria programmes, granted for an exceptional 12-month timeframe given the challenges related to the manufacturing and shipment of goods as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

UNICEF exemption request – approval letter and annex 24 July 2020 24 July 2021