The Bureau of Industry and Security published a Final Rule in Today’s Federal Register that changes the BIS licensing review policy from a policy of denial to a policy of approval for aircraft parts intended to ensure the safety of civil aviation in Sudan. The policy also applies to certain items for use to inspect, design, construct, operate, improve, maintain, repair, overhaul or refurbish railroads in Sudan. The general policy of approval applies for exports and re-exports to Sudan of items that are controlled for Anti-Terrorism reasons only and only items that are exported or re-exported to non-sensitive end users. Sensitive end users who are not eligible under the new policy of license approval include the military, police and intelligence services as well as entities that are owned by, are part of or are operated or controlled by those services. In addition, license applications that will substantially benefit such sensitive entities will generally be denied. In addition and even more noteworthy, Effective January 17, 2017, as a result of a major Executive Action taken by the Obama Administration in it’s final week of office, The Office of Foreign Assets Control issued a simultaneous General License that effectively ends OFAC’s Sudan Sanctions Program that has been in force for two decades thus now allowing for commercial trade with Sudan in products that are not listed on the Commerce Control List (i.e. EAR99 items). However, Sudan as a State Sponsor of Terrorism remains subject to strict Department of Commerce export controls for anti-terrorism reasons, among a wide range of other export controls and the State Department maintains its ban on defense exports/re-exports to Sudan. With respect to civil aircraft parts controlled for AT reasons, those items do of course remain subject to a validated export license issued by BIS, but they are now subject to a new general policy of approval.
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