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U.S. Government Delays Decision on Sudan Sanctions

On July 11, 2017, the President issued an Executive Order (E.O.) extending the review period for the possible permanent revocation of sanctions on Sudan for an additional three months.  The Executive Order is available here.

On January 13, 2017, then-President Obama issued Executive Order 13761 calling for the revocation of sanctions on Sudan.  At that time, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a general license authorizing all transactions that were previously prohibited under the Sudan Sanctions Regulations (SSR).  See 31 CFR 538.540.  Pursuant to E.O. 13761 sanctions would be permanently revoked on July 12, 2017 if on or before this date, the Secretary of State, in consultation with other U.S. Government agencies, publishes a notice stating that the Government of Sudan (GOS) has sustained the positive actions that gave rise to the order (e.g. marked reduction in offensive military activity, cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan, steps toward improving humanitarian access throughout Sudan, and cooperation with the United States on counterterrorism and addressing regional conflicts).

Yesterday’s E.O. extends the review period for the decision on whether to permanently lift sanctions until October 12, 2017.  Based on a press release from the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Government recognizes that the GOS has made significant, substantial progress in many areas.  However, the Administration has decided that more time is needed for its review to establish that the GOS has sustained sufficient positive actions across all areas listed in E.O. 13761.  The State Department confirmed the United States will revoke the sanctions if the GOS is assessed to have sustained progress in these areas at the end of the extended review period.  Moreover, the general license issued by OFAC remains in place.