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3. Legal Regime

Transparency of the Regulatory System

Some ministries and regulatory agencies distribute the text or summary of proposed regulations before their enactment to interested stakeholders but are under no legal obligation to do so.  There is no set period of time by law for the text of the proposed regulations to be publicly available.  Some agencies make received comments publicly accessible.  There is no specialized government body or department tasked with soliciting and receiving these comments.  Some ministries and agencies report on the results of the consultation on proposed regulations in the form of one consolidated response in an official gazette, journal, or other publication or directly distributed to interested stakeholders.  This reporting on the results of the consultation is not required by law. .  There is no centralized online location where key regulatory actions are published. .

International Regulatory Considerations

Sudan ranks 157 out of 190 for starting a limited liability company in the World Bank’s 2020 Ease of Doing Business rankings.  A company typically must register with the Commercial Registrar, taxation chambers, labor authorities, Social Insurance Fund, and the Sudan Currency Printing Press Company.  In total, business registration typically takes an estimated 34.5 days. .  The report noted that the number of procedures and the amount of time it takes to register a business are higher than the sub-Saharan Africa average.

Legal System and Judicial Independence

Sudan follows British Common law practices, Islamic Law, and customary law in some cases.  Contracts are enforced through the courts.  Sudan has written commercial and contractual laws.  Business regulations or enforcement actions are appealable and are adjudicated in the national court system.  The Investment Act of 2013 established courts to handle disputes.

Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment

Sudan’s investment authority lists the process by which businesses much register to operate at: .  The website outlines procedures for companies that wish to invest, including forming and ending relationships and license applications.  There is not an online business registration process.

Competition and Anti-Trust Laws

Sudan’s contract awards system is opaque. We do not have information to identify which agencies review transactions for competition-related concerns (whether domestic or international in nature).

Expropriation and Compensation

The government controls most of the agricultural land in Sudan and has sold millions of acres to Saudi Arabia and other countries.  Land laws have historically been an issue of dispute between local communities and the government and are the source of conflict.  The most recent examples of government expropriations were those of the authorities prior to 2019 under the Bashir regime bulldozing churches and selling the land to private investors.  The government claimed the churches did not have permits.  Some churches remained in the same location for decades without permits because the government would not issue them.  The government claimed the churches had no legal right and were simply squatting on the land.  According to the law, for eminent domain claims, the government should have compensated the churches.  That did not happen in all cases.  Government and Arab militias’ expropriation of land in Darfur, Gedaref, and Kassala states without compensation were reported.  In some cases, displaced persons returned to their land only to be denied access.  In most instances, the government did not adequately respond to appeals.

Dispute Settlement

ICSID Convention and New York Convention

Sudan has been a member of the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States since 1973.  Sudan became a member of the New York Convention of 1958 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in 2018.

International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts

The Sudanese Arbitration Act of 2016 codifies Sudan’s role in arbitration. “Application of the Act: Subject to the provisions of international agreements, pertaining to arbitration, to which Sudan is a party: 1) the provisions of this Act shall apply to every arbitration conducted in the Sudan, or abroad, where the parties thereof have agreed to subject the same to the provisions of this Act whenever the legal relation is of a civil nature, whether contractual or non-contractual…”…/Sudan-Arbitration-Law.pdf 

Bankruptcy Regulations

The World Bank ranks Sudan 152 of 190 countries for ease of resolving insolvency.  It has a recovery rate of 30.2 cents on the dollar for creditors with an average timeline of two years and a cost of 20 percent of the value of the debtor’s estate to recover the debt. .  Sudan has the Bankruptcy Act of 1929.

Investment Climate Statements
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The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future