On April 12, 2021, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued four amended Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to submissions made pursuant to the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (“TSRA”), as well as the Sudan Program and Darfur Sanctions.  We summarize these FAQs below. 

FAQs Concerning TSRA

FAQs 97 and 98 clarify the process for obtaining a TSRA license, as follows:  

  • FAQ 97 provides that OFAC only accepts license applications submitted online or in hard copy, though OFAC prefers online submissions through OFAC’s online application portal.  Applicants who choose to submit applications via mail are required to include in the application package a cover letter explaining the purpose of the application and providing the applicant’s complete contact information.  Hard copy applicants without such a cover letter or the pertinent information would be considered incomplete and may be rejected or delayed in reviewing.
  • FAQ 98 requires applicants to submit all pertinent information for TSRA license applications in a table that includes (a) full names and addresses of all parties involved in the proposed transactions and their roles; and (b) when applicable, the commodity classification numbers of the proposed export items.

FAQs Concerning the Sudan Sanctions

FAQs 500 and 836 clarify certain matters related to Sudan and Darfur Sanctions, as follows:

  • FAQ 500 confirms that as of December 14, 2020, persons interested in exporting agricultural commodities, medicine, or medical devices to Sudan are no longer required to obtain a specific license from OFAC.  
  • FAQ 836 clarifies the remaining US sanctions that remain applicable to Sudan after the revocation of Sudan sanctions.  In this FAQ, OFAC first provides a general overview of the revocation of Sudan-related sanctions.  As way of background, the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations (31 C.F.R. Part 538, “SSR”), were revoked pursuant to Executive Order (“EO”) 13761 of January 13, 2017, as amended by EO 13804 of July 11, 2017, resulting in the SSR’s removal from the Code of Federal Regulations in June of 2018.  Please see our prior blog post here for more details on the revocation of Sudan sanctions.  In December 2020, Sudan’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism (“SST”) was rescinded.  As a result, Sudan is no longer subject to prohibitions under the Terrorism List of Governments Sanctions Regulations (“TLGSR”) or TSRA.  Please see our prior blog post here for more details on the rescission of Sudan’s SST designation.

Building on these developments, FAQ 836 confirms that sanctions in connection with the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan imposed pursuant to EO 13400 of April 26, 2006, remain in effect.  In addition, Sudan persons may still be added to OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List pursuant to any sanctions authorities other than the revoked EO 13067 and EO 13412.  Lastly, FAQ 836 further notes that the revocation of certain Sudan-related sanctions does not affect OFAC’s enforcement actions against sanctions violations that occurred before the revocation of the relevant sanctions.  In other words, OFAC may still initiate enforcement investigations or actions for violations of the SSR that occurred prior to October 12, 2017, or the TLGSR or TSRA prior to December 14, 2020.

Authors: Nicholas F. Coward, Meghan Hamilton and Yu (Iris) Zhang


Meghan (Meg) Hamilton is a member of the International Commercial Practice Group and the International Trade Compliance Sub-Practice Group in Baker McKenzie, Chicago, where she has been an associate since 2015. Meg regularly assists multinational companies on sanctions, customs and export control compliance as well as other international trade matters, including commercial agreements and anti-boycott regulations. She is active in civic activities throughout Chicago, serving on the Young Professional Board of the Center for Disability and Elder Law as well as the Auxiliary Board of the Chicago Legal Clinic.


Iris Zhang is an associate in the Firm's International Commercial & Trade Practice Group. Iris regularly assists multinational companies on sanctions, customs and export control compliance as well as other international trade matters. Before joining the Firm, Iris worked in a Chinese law firm in Beijing on regulatory compliance and risk controls relating to Chinese anti-bribery laws and US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.