North Korean diplomats attended the meeting where the port ban was decided upon but "did not speak".
US President Donald Trump's administration is now going after North Korea's money as part of its campaign to rein in the hermit nation's weapons programs.
The UN said the four ships were the Jie Shun, the ship caught smuggling grenades; the Hao Fan 6, the Petrel 8 and and the Tong San 2.
Hugh Griffiths, the coordinator for the UN Panel of Experts on North Korea, called the move "swift and decisive".
Griffiths later told several reporters that "this is the first time in United Nations history" that the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against Pyongyang has prohibited ships from entering all ports.
The Jie Shun was intercepted by Egypt on August 11, 2016, carrying 30,000 rocket propelled grenades in wooden crates concealed under about 2,300 tonnes of iron ore, according to United Nations sanctions monitors. In November a year ago, the Security Council capped North Korean coal exports and then in August imposed a complete ban.
According to MarineTraffic, a maritime database that monitors vessels and their moments, Petrel 8 is registered in Comoros, Hao Fan 6 in St. Kitts and Nevis, and Tong San 2 in North Korea.
According to a source close to the dossier, since the vessels in question have been referred to have carried or continue to carry even today, coal, iron, or fish north koreans, goods expressly targeted by the last trains of Un sanctions. Those goods are estimated to be worth over USD1 billion - about one-third of the country's estimated $3 billion in exports in 2016.
In an October 3 note to the Security Council's North Korea sanctions committee, seen by Reuters, the United States said it was withdrawing four ships it had proposed for listing - the South Korean-flagged Xin Shen Hai, the Palau-flagged East Glory 7, the Panama-flagged Kai Xiang and Cheng Hong. Both have previously vetoed harsher sanctions on the secretive state.
However, repeated sanctions have so far failed to deter North Korea from continuing with its nuclear and missile development programmes.