South Korea may stop importing polymers into Russia
| Subj: Markets
On 23 April, the South Korean government expanded the ban on exports to Russia and added 741 items, including large equipment, vehicles and chemical products that are not weapons but could be used for military purposes. The ban will take effect from April 28, the Yonhap news agency reported.
Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced it would implement a revised public notice on exports of strategic goods to Russia and Belarus, expanding the list of goods subject to “conditional approval” from the current 57, which were adopted in 2022, to 798 items
It is noted that the ban applies to non-strategic goods, but their export is fundamentally prohibited, as they may be used in the development, production, transportation and storage of weapons of mass destruction, missiles and conventional weapons.
Most of the previously banned items were electrical and electronic products, but this time the government has expanded the scope to include general machinery, computers and chemical products.
One example is the ban on exports to Russia of certain general-purpose parts, such as bearings commonly used in the manufacture of civilian vehicles, as well as sapphires and rubies, which can be used to produce optical products such as lasers. Civilian vehicle exports would also be limited because they could be used for military purposes.
At the time of writing, a detailed list of banned items has not been officially published, but it could include polymers as well. Plastinfo.ru estimates that exports of basic and engineering polymers from South Korea to Russia increased by 7.3% in 2022.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, once the new notification comes into force, companies can apply for conditional approval only in exceptional cases, such as when exporting the remaining volume under an existing contract or when exporting to a company that is 100% affiliated with a South Korean company. The ministry also mentioned that it will strengthen measures to control exports of Korean products to Russia or Belarus via third countries.
A G7 summit will be held in Hiroshima, Japan, in May, at which member countries will consider a complete ban on exports to Russia, allowing only certain exceptional goods. However, some experts argue that a complete ban would be unrealistic, given the opposition from businesses and the possibility of retaliation from Russia.
Subscribe to our Telegram news feed