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Restrictions on Exports of Personal Communications Items to Sudan Relaxed

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

OFAC General License. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has issued a final rule that, effective Feb. 18, amends the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations by adding a general license allowing exports of certain software, hardware and services incident to personal communications. This rule:

- removes a limitation in the existing general license, which only authorizes certain no-cost software and services incident to the exchange of personal communications over the Internet, such as instant messaging, chat and e-mail, social networking, sharing of photos and movies, web browsing and blogging;

- authorizes the exportation of certain fee-based software and services incident to the exchange of personal communications;

- expands the existing authorization to permit the exportation, reexportation or provision (including in-country transfers), directly or indirectly, to Sudan of certain additional personal communications software, hardware and related services subject to the Export Administration Regulations (e.g., a non-U.S. person located outside the U.S. may export certain hardware and software subject to the EAR to Sudan)

- adds new authorizations for the exportation, reexportation or provision, directly or indirectly, by a U.S. person located outside the U.S. to Sudan of certain software and hardware not subject to the EAR (e.g., a foreign branch of a U.S. company may export to Sudan, from a location outside the U.S., certain hardware or software that is not subject to the EAR, including foreign-origin hardware or software containing less than a de minimis amount of U.S.-controlled content);

- adds a new authorization for the importation by an individual into the U.S. of certain hardware and software previously exported by the individual to Sudan (e.g., an individual may carry a smartphone that falls within the scope of the authorization while traveling to and from Sudan); and

- adds a new authorization that covers the exportation, reexportation or provision to the government of Sudan of certain no-cost services and software that are widely available to the public.

BIS Licensing Policy. The Bureau of Industry and Security has issued a final rule, also effective Feb. 18, that amends the Export Administration Regulations to:

- revise the general licensing policy of denial to one of case-by-case licensing for exports and reexports 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;

- makes certain telecommunications software that was subject to a reexport license (i.e., software controlled under ECCN 5D992.b or .c, which includes mass market software such as mobile apps that may promote personal communications by the Sudanese people) eligible for reexport to Sudan without a license;

- authorizes the use of license exception consumer communications devices (CCD) to export or reexport to Sudan consumer communications items (commodities such as computers, communications equipment and related items, including personal computers, mobile phones, televisions, radios and digital cameras) that are widely available for retail purchase and that are commonly used to exchange information and facilitate interpersonal communications, as well as certain telecommunications and information security-related software;

- adds certain global positioning system receivers or similar satellite receivers as eligible items for export and reexport to Sudan under license exception CCD;

- limits the availability of license exception CCD to certain consumer software that is distributed free of charge when the government of Sudan is the end-user; and

- makes changes to license exception temporary imports, exports, reexports and transfers (in-country) (TMP) in light of the changes to license exception CCD.

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