New Zealand Customs Service v Pacific Aerospace Ltd [2018] NZDC 5034

Published 14 June 2018

Indirectly exporting a specified good to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea — making an erroneous export entry — DPRK — aircraft — luxury goods — international law — United Nations Sanctions (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) Regulations 2006, regs 5 & 19 — Customs and Excise Act 1996, s 203. The defendant company was sentenced on charges relating to the exporting of aircraft parts to China with the knowledge that they would be transported into North Korea. The court described the defendant company's breach of the Sanctions Regulations as reckless, as the company was aware of the Regulations but had not undertaken the action of a prudent exporter; not familiarising itself with the details of the Regulations nor seeking outside advice. The breaches took place over the course of three transactions and a six month period and involved items described as "luxury goods" which was banned from being imported into the DPRK. The court found that there were no aggravating factors to be taken into consideration at sentencing. Mitigating factors were the defendant company's lack of previous convictions, entry of a prompt guilty plea, voluntary engagement with the United Nation's Panel of Expert's investigation and taking steps to ensure that the offending was not repeated including appointing a compliance officer. No discount was applied to reflect remorse. The defendant company was fined $1,000 on the charge of making an erroneous export entry; and $74,805 in respect of the Sanctions Regulations charges. Judgment Date: 29 May 2018.