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Many of the sanctions applied to North Korea since its first nuclear test in 2006 apply to merchant shipping, in attempts to prevent North Korea from importing and exporting goods in breach of sanctions. Project Alpha at King’s College London is engaged in internal research, and programmes of outreach and capacity building in the public and private sector to help improve implementation and understand the risks.

The recent growth in ship-to-ship transfers by North Korea is undermining UN sanctions, and setting new challenges for the enforcement community. On Iran, the unilateral US measures have global implications, as more and more Iranian ships and shipping companies find their way onto US designation lists.

We work with flag registries, flag states, public and private sector stakeholders, maritime data service providers and UN member states to help identify and analyse challenges to implementation, whether through sophisticated sanctions evasion techniques or systemic and regulatory vulnerabilities.