Sudan – U.S. moves towards a relaxation of sanctions

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Following the recent dialogue between the United States (U.S.) Government and the Government of Sudan, there has been a move by the U.S. to relax sanctions against Sudan.

It is reported that talks between the two governments focused on issues ranging from combating the Lord’s Resistance Army to peace in South Sudan, the fight against terrorism and the improvement of humanitarian access in Sudan. As a result of Sudan’s positive actions, commitment to making improvements in these areas and their continued cooperation with the U.S. government, on 13 January 2017, President Obama issued an Executive Order to lift sanctions against Sudan (as contained in the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations) as of 12 July 2017.

On 17 January 2017, the Office of Foreign Asset Control issued a general license authorising transactions with Sudan that were previously prohibited, thereby largely enabling U.S. persons to engage in transactions connected with Sudan. In practical terms, U.S. persons are now free to import and export goods to and from Sudan. Furthermore, U.S. banks are no longer prohibited from transactions connected with Sudan, which it is hoped will ease the burden on Sudan related trade.

It is important to note that the lifting of sanctions is a two stage process: the sanctions will only be permanently lifted if Sudan continues to make improvements in the areas highlighted. Furthermore, Darfur related sanctions remain in place and some entities still remain on the SDN list. Other sanctions regimes may also apply depending on all of the circumstances of any trade.

As always, Members are strongly advised to carry out and rely upon their own due diligence.

Full details of the agreement can be found on the US Department of the treasury fact sheet dated 13 January.