Sudan

General Information Banking
Business Etiquette Tips Embassy Locations and Registration
Employment-Legal Requirements Entry and Exit Requirements
Intellectual Property Legal and Registration of a Business Entity
Safety and Crime Taxes

General Information

SudanSudan is home to many natural resources, and it is recognized as the largest country in Africa. But continuing conflicts make it one of the least-traveled destinations. A beautiful land full of contrasts, including deserts and tropics, mountains, pyramids, and a striking coastline in addition to multiple ethnicities and religions, the country would like to establish a reputation as a tourist destination. Unfortunately, decades of civil war, genocide, alienation between the northern and southern regions of the country, and countless adversities have left Sudan with an unstable government and infrastructure in addition to high levels of poverty. Security in Darfur and Chad has been particularly unstable in the past, and travelers are urged to check the U.S. State Department Web site for the latest information about safety in these regions.

There may be political unrest and/or targeted crime against visitors to the country.  Travelers should check with the U.S. State Department Web site for current travel safety information.

Major Cities
Capital: Khartoum.
Major cities: Omdurman, Port Sudan, Kassala, and Kosti,Juba (capital of southern region).
Official Currency
Sudan recently (January 2007) introduced a new form of currency known as the second phase of the Sudanese pound (SDG) to replace the Sudanese dinar (SDD). 
Time Zone UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, D.C. during Standard Time).
Language Arabic (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, diverse dialects of Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic, Sudanic languages, and English.

  
Legal System and Government

Type of Legal System

The Sudanese legal system is based on English common law and Islamic law. As of 1991, the now defunct Revolutionary Command Council imposed Islamic law in the northern states. Islamic law applies to all residents of the northern states regardless of their religion. But Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) establishes some legal protections for non-Muslims in Khartoum and some separate religious courts.

The legal system accepts compulsory International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction with reservations. The southern legal system is still developing under the CPA following the civil war. Islamic law will not apply to the southern states.

Form of government: The Government of National Unity, the National Congress Party (NCP) and Sudan People's Liberation Movement, formed a power-sharing government under the 2005 CPA.

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Banking

Available Banking Services

ATMs
Online banking 
Banking in English
Investments
Overdraft protection

Bank Holidays  

New Year's Day
Peace Agreement Day
Islamic New Year
The Prophet's Birthday (Moulid Al Nabi)     
Public Holiday (National Census)    
Coptic Easter          
Sham el Nassim (Spring Holiday)      
Revolution Day
The Prophet's Ascension (Israa Wal Mi'Raaj)
Ramadan Bairam / Eid al Fitr (End of Ramadan) 
Corban Bairam / Eid al Adha  (Feast of Sacrifice) 
Christmas Day      
Islamic New Year                                                    

U.S. and Other Major Banks in Country

(Note: Address and contact information subject to change.)

Sudanese French Bank
Main Branch
Al-Qasr St.
P.O. Box    2775
Phone: (002) 49183785250  
Fax: (002) 49183779300

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Business Etiquette Tips

Business Attire

A conservative form of business casual dress is acceptable due primarily to the heat. But one should remain aware that much of Sudan is Muslim, so dressing more conservatively will help alleviate any negative first impressions. 

Business Negotiations

Establishing personal relationships is important to successful business negotiations as are third-party introductions. Meetings are frequently interrupted, and patience and politeness are a necessity. 

Proper Greetings

Men will shake hands with one another, but you should wait to see if a woman extends her hand before assuming the proper form of address.  Hugging or kissing on the cheek in public is not typical behavior in this culture.

Scheduling Appointments

It is recommended that meetings are scheduled two or more weeks in advance and confirmed a week prior to and the day before. Punctuality on your part is expected, but don't be surprised if your colleague is not.

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Embassy Locations and Registration

Americans living or traveling in Sudan are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate through the State Department's travel registration Web site so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within Sudan. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the embassy or consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

(Note: Address and contact information subject to change.)

The Republic of the Sudan's Embassy
2210 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
Phone:           (202) 338-8565
Fax: (202) 667-2406
Web: http://www.sudanembassy.org/

U.S. Embassy in Sudan
Sharia Ali Abdel Latif
Khartoum, Sudan
Phone: 0183-774-701/2/3
Web: http://sudan.usembassy.gov/

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Employment-Legal Requirements 

A typical work week in Sudan is comprised of 48 hours per week, generally spread over a six-day work week with at least one day of rest in between. Overtime is permitted up to four hours per day for a maximum of 12 hours per week except for cases of emergency response or as called for on a national level. Daily working hours are reduced by one hour with pay during the month of Ramadan for fasting workers and nursing mothers (of children two years and younger). 

Independent Contractor vs. Employee Status

There are three types of employment contracts in Sudan. One is for a fixed term of employment outlining the amount of time and specific duties, pay, and so forth. Another is for employment of indefinite duration. And a third is for contracts entered into for the performance of a specific task.

All employment contracts exceeding three months must be put into writing by the employer. A fixed-term contract cannot exceed two years or be renewed more than once.  Probationary periods, with the exception of a training period, cannot exceed three months.

Terminating Employees and Employee Contracts

The period of notice must be served in writing and its duration (up to one month) depends on the worker's status.  In cases of dismissal with notice for disciplinary reasons, the employer must provide the worker with written explanation as to the reasons for termination and the sum of all entitlements to be paid to the employee.

If an employee has been employed by the same employer for not less than three consecutive years he or she is entitled to severance pay based upon the following calculations: 

Employees may appeal their dismissal before a competent authority within a period of two weeks from the date of being notified of their termination.  If the competent authority disapproves the termination it can order the employer to reinstate the worker or to pay compensation equal to six months of wages.

Legally Mandated Benefits and Leave 

Annual Leave 20 days (upon 12 months and up to 3 years of employment)
25 days (upon 8 to 15 years of service)
30 days (15 years of service and beyond). 
Period of Mourning Leave 4 months and 10 days (for female employees whose husband dies and who are not regnant). If a female employee is pregnant she receives the above leave through her delivery date plus an additional 8 weeks maternity leave.
Maternity Leave  8 weeks (after 12 months of employment).
Sick Leave After 3 months of employment and calculated for every subsequent 12 months of continuous service as follows:(a) 3 months with full pay.(b) 3 months with half pay.(c) 3 months with quarter pay.The worker cannot be on a sick leave with reduced pay unless he has exhausted his normal leave.
Pilgrimage Leave 15 days upon completion of 3 years of service. This can be used only once during a worker's employ.
Traveling Leave Up to 10 days (once per year to travel to his original home).

 

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Entry and Exit Requirements

A visa is required prior to traveling. If your passport has an Israeli visa or Israeli entry or exit stamps you will not be allowed to enter Sudan. To minimize potential delays, personal identification documents and photo identification should be kept with you at all times. The majority of travelers are also required to register with the Aliens Department (at the Ministry of Interior) within three days (72 hours) of arrival in the country (two passport size photos are needed).  Once registered, you are not required to obtain an exit visa to leave the country, but you will be responsible for paying an exit airport tax.        

All foreigners traveling more than 25 kilometers outside of Khartoum must obtain a travel permit from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs in Khartoum. This applies to all travel, including private, commercial, and humanitarian activities. 

Americans risk detention by Sudanese authorities when traveling more than 25 kilometers outside of Khartoum without a travel permit issued by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs. Travelers must register again with the police within 24 hours of arrival. The government requires a separate travel permit for travel to Darfur.

These regulations are strictly enforced, and even travelers with proper documentation can expect a delay from the security forces, especially outside the capital. Authorities expect travelers to strictly respect roadblocks and other checkpoints. Personal baggage, including computers, is routinely searched upon arrival to and departure from Sudan and any materials deemed objectionable may be seized. Inquire in advance and receive approval prior to bringing any electronic items, video cameras, and office equipment, including telephones or televisions.

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Intellectual Property 

Sudan is a member of the following treaties and agreements: World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)Treaties; the Paris Convention (industrial property); the Berne Convention; Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), Patent Law Treaty (PLT); and the Madrid Agreement (international registration of marks).  Sudan is currently constructing a dedicated intellectual property Web site  to provide a dedicated resource for filing information, forms, regulations, and fees.

Sudan is also a member of the African Regional Industrial Property Office. This is a regional organization of 12 countries including Kenya, Zimbabwe, The Gambia, Ghana, Lesotho, Botswana, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Swaziland, Malawi, and Zambia. Inventors wishing to protect their inventions in these countries may file one application in Sudan and designate any or all them.

Nature of Rights and Available Protection

Patents

Patents are valid for 20 years from the filing date. Annuities are to be paid on or before the due date, but a grace period of six months is permitted that is subject to payment of a fine. A patent must be used within a period of four years from the filing date or three years from the date of grant to maintain enforcement and avoid cancellation.

Industrial Design Patents

A design is valid for five years from the filing date, and it is renewable for two consecutive five-year periods. Infringements are presided over by the Industrial Property Tribunal.

Trademarks

A trademark is valid for 10 years, and it is renewable for 10-year periods upon payment of necessary fees with a six-month grace period. 

Copyrights

The copyright law provides protection for written works, phonographs, cinematographic films, theatre, musical pieces, television and radio works for publication, paintings, sculpture and architecture, maps, and speeches for 25 years and an additional 25 years following the death of the author.

Enforcement

Infringements are litigated before a competent court based on the level of infringement. The court may order immediate suspension of the infringement act, payment of losses and damages, and/or confiscation and destruction of the infringed products.

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Legal and Registration of a Business Entity

As a result of continuing human rights violations, including slavery and the denial of religious freedom as well as ongoing terrorism efforts and continued warfare, a trade embargo issued under authority of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act was imposed against Sudan as of 1997.  This embargo is still in place in much of Sudan.  Criminal penalties for violating regulations may include jail and individual fines. In addition, civil penalties may be imposed administratively.

The U.S. government is in the process of revising its trade restrictions with Sudan.  A trade restriction for transactions involving the Government of Sudan and any transactions relating to the petroleum or petrochemical industry are still in place. All transactions destined for Southern Sudan, processed through Khartoum, and shipments passing through the Port Sudan, require a license issued by Overseas Foreign Asset Control (OFAC).

Nongovernmental organizations may apply for a registration number through the Office of Foreign Assets Control to obtain permission to operate within the country.  These are determined on a case-by-case basis. 

Registration Formalities (Including Timing)

Provided approval is granted to a company or organization, the World Bank estimates approximately over a month (e.g., 35 days) is needed to establish a business presence in Sudan.  The procedures listed below are the standard requirements, but given the unique situation in Sudan more steps and/or approvals may be required prior to establishing a presence in Sudan.

The streamlined steps include:

  1. Submit application for preliminary approval to Registrar and reserve company name.
  2. Notarize memorandum and articles of association.
  3. Notify taxation chambers.
  4. Register with commercial registry.
  5. Apply for tax identification number.
  6. Register for VAT.
  7. Register with labor authorities.
  8. Enroll employees for social security.
  9. Make a company seal.

(Source:  The World Bank, Doing Business - Sudan)

All applications for registration must include the names of individuals and organizations in English and any acronym or other names used to identify the individuals or organizations. For detailed information on applying for registration go to the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Registration of Non-Governmental Organizaions (NGOs).

Information on the Registration Number Programs

For information on the NGO registration number process under the U.S. sanctions program against Sudan, please contact the OFAC Licensing Division by telephone at 202-622-2480 or at the above listed web address.

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Safety and Crime

Travelers are advised to remain aware of their surroundings at all times and to secure personal belongings. In the capital and other major cities of Sudan, street crime is actually lower than in a typical major American city. But as in all travel, caution after dark is advised. Equally important concerns when traveling in Sudan are making certain the drinking water and food is free of common diseases such as salmonella, typhoid, Hepatitis A, and other water and food-borne bacteria.

Terrorists are known to operate in Sudan and carry out attacks that may include suicide operations, bombings, or kidnappings. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places, which include tourist sites and locations where westerners are known to congregate, and commercial operations associated with U.S. or Western interests. Anti-American sentiment is prevalent, and Americans should exercise utmost caution at all times.

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Taxes 

Current information on Sudan's corporate tax rates is not easily obtained. However, a relatively complete tax listing, including corporate, individual, and Value Added Taxes, can be found at on the ICL Directory Web site.

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Online Resources Used for This Template:

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