The Peterson Institute for International Economics (a US-based non-partisan think tank) on 14th December published an article lauding 2 recent reports from C4DS (“The Forex Effect” – see earlier blog post) and the Institute for Science and International Security for high-quality open-source reporting on North Korean trade and investment.

The latter report is said to be apart of a larger project called the Peddling Peril Index (PPI), which ranks 200 countries, territories, and entities “according to their capabilities and demonstrated success in implementing strategic export controls.”   The index comes replete with a color-coded ranking of countries on the quality of their export control regimes and the likelihood of corruption. The report identifies no fewer than 49 countries involved in sanctions violations and of 4 types –

  • military-related (13):

Angola, Cuba, DR Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Uganda, and Tanzania.

  • non-military related that involved facilitating front companies, financial transactions, and other business activities (18):

Angola, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, India, Iran, Malaysia, Namibia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, and UAE.

  • import of sanctioned goods (19):

Barbados, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Vietnam.

  • reflagging of ships and shipping-related violations (20): Brazil, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Fiji, Greece, Japan, Kiribati, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Palau, Panama, Peru, Russia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Tanzania, Thailand, and Togo.

The main point of the brief is to show the accuracy of the PPI in predicting such violations. But the list actually contains a lot of surprises: Sri Lanka, Germany, France, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Barbados; and the article calls for further enforcement work, such as by FATF.  As one might expect, the results of the study suggest that North Korea has often targeted countries with weak or non-existent export and proliferation financing controls and those that suffer on average from more corruption than other countries.

The Institute for Science and International Security study is at –

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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