Government clarifies with UN experts on Korean imports

The Government has told a UN panel of experts that it does not import textiles from North Korea and that an error at the Sri Lanka customs had given the impression textile imports from South Korea had actually come from North Korea.

The Foreign Ministry said that its attention has been drawn to news reports regarding textile imports from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to several countries including Sri Lanka during the period October 2017 and March 2018.

The Ministry said that the information contained in the news reports in relation to Sri Lanka are erroneous.

In keeping with Sri Lanka’s international obligations as a member of the United Nations, the Government of Sri Lanka abides by the provisions of the UN Security Council Resolutions in relation to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Foreign Ministry said.

Accordingly, necessary domestic regulations in relation to the implementation of relevant UN Security Council Resolutions have been gazetted on 06 October 2017, 19 April 2018 and 14 May 2018 respectively.

The Government says it cooperates closely with the UN Security Council Panel of Experts (PoE) for the implementation of the respective Resolutions, and provides responses to questions raised by the PoE from time to time.

“There have been several instances where, at the point of data entry into the Customs Automated Data Processing System by the Consignee/ Customs House Agent, the country of export had been selected inadvertently as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, instead of the Republic of Korea,” the Foreign Ministry said.

The Foreign Ministry said that having clarified this inadvertent error to the PoE, the Sri Lanka Customs has now initiated a mechanism to prevent repetition of such errors in the future. (ER)