On January 17 2017 the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published a Federal Register Notice [82 FR 4793-4794] amending to the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations (SSR), 31 C.F.R. part 538. The regulatory amendment was implemented as a “general license” (meaning you do not have to apply for a specific license) in section 538.540 of the SSR, and authorizes U.S. persons to process transactions involving persons in Sudan; to engage in imports and exports that were previously prohibited under the SSR; and to engage in transactions involving property in which the Government of Sudan has an interest.
As a result of the amendments to the SSR:
- All property and interests in property blocked pursuant to the SSR will be unblocked.
- All trade between the United States and Sudan that was previously prohibited by the SSR will be authorized.
- All transactions by U.S. persons relating to the petroleum or petrochemical industries in Sudan that were previously prohibited by the SSR will be authorized, including oilfield services and oil and gas pipelines.
- U.S. persons will no longer be prohibited from facilitating transactions between Sudan and third countries, to the extent previously prohibited by the SSR.
In a coordinated rule change, the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry also amended the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) in a Final Rule published on the same day. This rule revised the policy of review for applications for licenses to export or reexport to Sudan certain items that are intended to ensure the safety of civil aviation or the safe operation of fixed-wing, commercial passenger aircraft. Such applications will now be reviewed under a general policy of approval rather than a general policy of denial.
The BIS Final Rule also revised BIS’ review policy from a general policy of denial to a general policy of approval for applications for licenses to export or reexport to Sudan certain items related to railroad construction, maintenance, and operation.
This rule change does not create any new license requirements or remove any existing license requirements for exports or reexports to Sudan and all other provisions of the EAR and Foreign Assets Control Regulations still apply.