The Trump administration is delaying a decision on whether to lift permanently most economic sanctions on Sudan because it wants additional time to conduct “fact-finding and a more comprehensive analysis of the Government of Sudan’s actions.” Meanwhile, U.S. sanctions on Sudan remain suspended.

On July 11, 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order (EO) that extends for another four months, until October 12, a review period originally established by President Barack Obama under EO 13761 to determine whether Sudan’s cooperation with the United States on a number of fronts justifies the permanent revocation of certain sanctions on Sudan.

EO 13761, issued by President Obama on January 13, temporarily authorizes conduct otherwise prohibited by the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations (SSR), 15 CFR Part 538. For more information, please see the Sidley Update entitled “Obama Administration Initiates Lifting of Most Sanctions Against Sudan.” EO 13761 contemplated that the authority for the SSR would be permanently revoked on July 12 provided that the Secretary of State published a notice in the Federal Register stating that Sudan had sustained its positive actions regarding cessation of hostilities, improvement of humanitarian access and cooperation to address terrorism and regional conflicts.

The new EO also revokes the section of EO 13761 that would have required the Secretary of State to provide the President with annual reports on the status of Sudan’s progress.

The practical effect of the new EO is that all conduct prohibited under the SSR continues to be authorized under a general license at 31 C.F.R. § 538.540. Under the general license, transactions by U.S. persons involving Sudan are authorized, trade between the United States and Sudan is permitted and all property blocked under the SSR is unblocked. Recordkeeping requirements remain in place.

Neither the Obama EO nor the Trump EO affects continuing U.S. export controls on Sudan.