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Sudan: Expanded OFAC/BIS Authorization for Export of Personal Communication Devices


Both OFAC and BIS are issuing revisions to the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations (SSR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to increase the scope of the General License for Personal Communications in Sudan. The changes are consistent with policies already in effect with respect to Iran as described in General License D-1. The updates to the SSR and EAR will be published on February 18. These changes are designed to help facilitate the free flow of information in Sudan.

Office of Foreign Assets Control

The specific changes to the SSR are:

  • Authorizing Fee-based Software and Services - Certain fee-based software and services incident to the exchange of personal communications are now authorized. Previously, such software had to be "no cost." To avoid any confusion, the term "publicly available" has been changed to "widely available to the public," although the scope remains the same. 
  • Authorizations for Non-U.S. Persons
    • A non-U.S. person will now be permitted to export, re-export, or provide, directly or indirectly, to Sudan certain additional personal communications software, hardware, and related services subject to the EAR. 
    • For the purposes of § 538.533, the term "provision" includes in-country transfers of the covered software or hardware.

  • Authorizing non-U.S. Origin Items - A U.S. person located outside the United States will be authorized to export, re-export, or provide, directly or indirectly, to Sudan certain software and hardware NOT subject to the EAR. This includes foreign-origin hardware or software containing less than a de minimis amount of U.S. controlled content.
  • Authorization for Items Accompanying Travel - Authorized items may also be taken into Sudan by a person traveling from the U.S. Likewise, this same person is now allowed to "import" these same into the U.S. on the return journey.
  • Authorization Related to Government of Sudan - A new authorization covers the exportation, re-exportation, or provision to the Government of Sudan certain no cost services and software that are widely available to the public.

Bureau of Industry and Security

The specific changes to the EAR are:

  • Expanding License Exception CCD and TMP
    • Sudan Added to CCD: Sudan is now an eligible destination under the License Exception for Consumer Communications Devices (CCD), previously limited to Cuba. The items included must be "widely available" for retail purchase and commonly used to exchange information and facilitate interpersonal communications. If the item meets the terms, it can now be exported to Sudan without a specific license.
    • GPS Authorized: For Sudan (not Cuba), certain Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers or similar satellite receivers are eligible items for export and re-export to Sudan under CCD.
    • Government End-Users: Certain consumer software that is free of charge may be distributed in situations where the government of Sudan is the end user.
    • Conforming Changes: Certain additional changes to License Exception CCD affecting items eligible for Cuba and Sudan were made:
      • "Consumer" is now defined and matches OFAC's definition. Specifically, it is defined as "Generally available to the public by being sold, without restriction, from stock at retail selling points by means of any of the following:
        • Over-the-counter transactions;
        • Mail order transactions;
        • Electronic transactions; or
        • Telephone call transactions; and    
        • Designed for installation by the user without further substantial support by the supplier."

  • Authorizing Exports of Telecommunications Software (5D992.b or .c)
    • This change makes software that shares the characteristics of and/or performs or simulates the same functions as the hardware (commodities) eligible for re-export to Sudan on the same terms as the commodities themselves. Software controlled under ECCN 5D992.c includes mass market software such as mobile apps that may promote personal communications by the Sudanese people.

  • Case-by-case Review for Other Telecommunications Exports
    • Rather than a policy of denial, BIS has adopted a case-by-case license application review policy for license applications for export or re-export to Sudan of "telecommunications equipment and associated computers, software and technology for civil end use, including items useful for the development of civil telecommunications network infrastructure."
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For more information, please contact the professional(s) listed below, or your regular Crowell & Moring contact.

Cari N. Stinebower
Partner – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2757

David (Dj) Wolff
Counsel – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2548

Edward Goetz
Manager, International Trade Services – Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.508.8968