September 28, 2016, For Immediate Release
Embassy of the United States of America
Public Affairs Section
The U.S. Department of State hosted a conference in New York on September 19, 2016, in which representatives from State, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security discussed U.S. sanctions on Sudan, with the aim of describing the scope of existing sanctions and also clarifying the types of activities that are permitted and what remains prohibited. Workshop invitees included foreign and domestic financial institutions and members of the private sector U.S.-Sudan Business Council. Sudan’s Central Bank Governor also participated in the event and delivered remarks.
U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Ambassador Donald Booth and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Andrew Keller led the U.S. delegation. Ambassador Booth described U.S. overarching goals of seeing a Sudan that enjoys internal peace and the benefits of full partnership with the international community. He voiced the U.S. Government’s hope that existing authorizations and licenses, many of which are humanitarian in nature, would be used to their fullest to benefit the people of Sudan. Above all, Ambassador Booth encouraged banking institutions to ask OFAC, the agency that administers U.S. economic sanctions on Sudan, for guidance on specific transactions, stating, “When in doubt, ask!” Deputy Assistant Secretary Keller likewise stressed that we want private businesses to understand the scope of permissible business activities under existing sanctions, including permissible commercial transactions. For example, in the conference, U.S. officials clarified the jurisdictional limits of U.S. sanctions for transactions which do not involve U.S. goods or have a U.S. nexus. In addressing questions raised by participants, Keller also noted that non-commercial, personal remittances and humanitarian assistance are authorized under the Sudan sanctions program. Keller went on to stress that, “Effective sanctions are not just about the sanctions target feeling the pinch, they are also about making sanctions relief palpable.”