S.Korea wins exemption on U.S. licence requirement for some Russia exports

FILE PHOTO: A truck carrying a shipping container travels past cranes at Pyeongtaek port in Pyeongtaek
FILE PHOTO: A truck carrying a shipping container travels past cranes at Pyeongtaek port in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, July 9, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

March 8, 2022

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea said on Tuesday it has been granted an exemption from U.S. export restrictions requiring it to seek a licence for some tech-related exports to Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

South Korea joins the European Union, Japan, Canada, Australia, Britain and New Zealand in receiving the exemption amid Washington-led sanctions aimed at blocking Russia’s access to high-tech products, its trade ministry said in a statement.

The U.S. export controls require companies to seek a licence to export tech-related components made with U.S. technology to Russia, part of efforts to cut Russia off from semiconductors and other advanced technology crucial to its weapons development and biotechnology.

South Korea is a major manufacturer of semiconductors through chipmakers including Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix.

South Korea has announced sanctions on Russia, including a ban on transactions with Russia’s central bank, penalties on key Russian sovereign wealth funds, and has joined moves to block some Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments system.

(Reporting by Cynthia Kim; editing by Richard Pullin)