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Muslimtrade Network members
about Sudan.

S  U  D  A  N 

1-1 General characteristics:
1-2 General Information:
1-3 The legal framework of trade relationships:

2-1. Main exported products (1995)
2-2. Main imported products (1995)
2-3 Main trading partners: 1996

3-1. Imports regulations
3-2 Exports regulations
3-3 Other formalities and documents

4-1 Banking system
4-2. Exchange system
4-3. Methods and means for international settlement

5-1 Applicable duties and taxes
5-2 Special provisions

6-1 International transport
6-2 Telecommunications
6-3 distribution system



1-1 General characteristics: 

Official Name: Republic of Sudan
Area: 2505810 square kilometers 
Population: 30.7 million inhabitants in 1996
Density: 12 inhabitants per square kilometer
Capital: Khartoum 
Climate: desert climate in the north with hot and dry seasons (November-March) then tropical in the south. In the central area, rains fall between July and August and are very heavy in the south and the west between May and October.
Main holidays: January 1st, March 3rd, March 1st, , April 6th, July 1st, December 25th, Ascension of the prophet Mohamed*, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, Muharram 1st*, Eid-ul Mouloud* and Easter Monday
Weekly holidays: Thursday afternoon- Friday

1-2 General Information:  


Arabic is the official language. English is also spoken in business circles 


Sudanese pound (S£). US$=1250.79 S£. (1996)

Local time:

GMT + 2

Working hours:

- Administrations: Saturday-Thursday: From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

- Banks: Saturday-Thursday: from 8.30 a.m. to 12.00 a.m. 

- Business: Saturday-Thursday: from 7.30 to 2.30 p.m.

1-3 The legal framework of trade relationships: 

Sudan is member of the following international organizations: 
United Nations Organization (UNO) and its specialized organs (IMF, World Bank); 
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC); 
League of Arab States and Arab co-operation organizations; 
Organization of the African Unity (OAU); 
Non-Aligned Movement. 

Co-operation agreements were signed between Sudan and China and Qatar respectively in the banking and oil areas.


2-1. Main exported products (1995): 
Arab Gum 
Live animals and breeding products; 

2-2. Main imported products (1995) 
Manufactured goods;  
Mineral fuels; 
Food products and beverages; 
Machinery and transport equipment; 
Chemicals, drugs and textiles. 

2-3 Main trading partners: 1996 

Main suppliers

Main customers


Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia


United Kingdom









3-1. Imports regulations  

The imports of consumer goods and products locally manufactured are prohibited. The full list of these products is available at the department of trade and industry. Imports. Licenses are valid for three months. 

The negative list includes; sugar, cars and other products prohibited for religious, health and national security reasons.

Import documentary requirements are as follows: 

Commercial invoice: Two commercial invoices are required bearing the names and addresses of the supplier, the buyer, the numbers and marks of packages, quantity and gross weight or measurement of packages, in metric units; net weight or measure; the nature and quality of the content, discounts, commission, or deduction; and the importerís cost at the place of purchase. The exporter, shipper, or agent acting for the exporter must certify originals and copies to be true and correct;  
Certificate of origin: the certificate of origin is not required unless requested by the importer or the letter of credit. In this case two copies must be produced and certified by a recognized chamber of commerce; 
Packing list: it is not necessary if the commercial invoice contains all the required information. 
Bill of lading: The bills of lading are required for each separate consignment. They must indicate the name of the vessel, the port of loading, the name and address of the consignee, the name of the shipper, port of destination, and a description of the contents and the date and signature of the carrierís official. The above mentioned information must correspond to those indicated on the invoices and packages. The airway bill replaces the bill of lading on cargo shipments. 
Pro forma invoice: It is required by the importer for almost all goods in order to obtain approval of import application and it must contain the description of goods, the name of the supplier, port of entry price, terms of payment and delivery, and other relevant information.  

3-2 Exports regulations: 

The following documents are required for exports: 
Health certificate: It is required for plants and fresh fruit and vegetables; 
Quarantine certificate: Required for animals, plants and seeds certifying that these products are free from any disease; 
Cigarettes certificate: Each shipment of cigarettes should be accompanies by a certificate issued by a laboratory recognized by the Sudanese Ministry of Health. 

3-3 Other formalities and documents: 

Importers must obtain specific licenses from the Ministry of Commerce, Co-operation and finance for all goods.

Bona Fide trade samples of no commercial value may be admitted duty-free, tobacco or alcoholic liquid not included. A duty reduction of 30% is allowed for the imports of advertising matter if they are not intended for sale and the imports of magazines, books, and other printed matter do not require licensing, but remittances for such imports are subject to exchange control approval.

Sudanese insurance companies must cover all shipments to Sudan.

Labeling and marking: all goods and containers should be labeled and marked clearly to facilitate arrival of the shipment and identification of the items listed. All textiles must be folded indicating the length and width of each item. The marks of the consignee with port marks must be inscribed on numbered containers. All marks and numbers must be shown on all shipping documents. 
Packing: it is recommended to pack goods securely to protect them against rough handling and pilferage 


4-1 Banking system:  

In March 1993, the Sudanese banking system was made up of 19 banks which are subdivided into three categories: Nilein Industrial Development Bank, Khartoum Bank Group, the Savings Fund Bank Group. There are six foreign banks operating in Sudan and seven banks use the principals of Islamic banking in Sudan. The central bank is called Bank of Sudan.

In 1996, the major banks of Sudan were as follows: Agricultural Bank of Sudan, Al- Baraka Bank, Arab-African International Bank, the Bank of Khartoum, Blue Nile Bank LTD, City Bank NA, Faisal Islamic Bank (Sudan), Habib Bank, Islamic Bank for Western Sudan, Islamic Co-operative Development Bank, Mashreq Bank PSC, Middle-East Bank LTD, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, National Bank of Sudan, National Development Bank, National Export-Import Bank, Peopleís Co-operative Bank, Sudan Commercial Bank, Sudanese French Bank, Tadamun Islamic Bank of Sudan and Unity Bank.

4-2. Exchange system 

The foreign exchange control is administered by the Central Bank with the assistance of authorized commercial banks and specialized banks. The dual exchange rate system has been eliminated and replaced by a unified official exchange rate determined in the interbank market 

There are no restrictions for the import and Export of foreign currencies if they are declared. But the importation of local currency is prohibited. The following cards are widely accepted: Visa, American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard or traveler'sí checks.

4-3. Methods and means for international settlement: 

Authorized banks may obtain from importers a deposit of any amount in foreign currency, one month before the reception of the shipping documents by importers. The remainder may be provided when the shipping documents are received. Commercial Banks may finance on credit imports of capital goods if the credit agreement allows a grace period of at least one-year.

Imports financed at the commercial rate, including imports financed through letters of credit may be subject to an advance deposit of as much as 100% of the CIF value.

Payments to all countries except Egypt (which has bilateral payments agreements with Sudan may be made in foreign currency.


The Sudanese customs tariff is based on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System of classification..

5-1 Applicable duties and taxes: 
Ad valorem duties: Ad valorem duties are based on CIF value which includes the purchase price, transport charges, insurance, commissions, freight and all other expenses incurred in shipping the goods to the port of entry.  
Specific duties: specific duties are applied alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Dutiable weight is the net weight except for gasoline, on which duties are assessed by the metric ton. 
Preferential duties: Preferential treatment exists between Sudan Egypt and Jordan for some products. Sudan is also member of the Arab Economic Unity along with Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Palestine, Somalia, Syria, Unites Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Sudan agreed in principle to join the Arab Common Market and within the framework of its membership, it has provided for a 50% initial reduction in duties in imports from member states, with an additional 10% in succeeding years.  

The Lome convention, which links the European countries with African, Caribbean and Pacific developing countries including Sudan, provides for preferential entry of ACP goods into the EU countries.  

Customs surcharges and indirect taxes: Quay duties are assessed at Port Sudan on all goods unloaded from any ship or transferred from one ship to another.

Consumption taxes are collected for the import of some products. Taxes are specific and apply to a variety of products including alcohol and preparations including alcohol, shoes, tobacco and soaps.

A royalty is levied on ivory, gum, hides, cattle, peanuts, and manganese ore.

5-2 Special provisions: 

Defense tax is not levied on petroleum and petroleum products, wheat and wheat flour, pharmaceutical products, fertilizers, insecticides, and selected inputs.


6-1 International transport: 

Maritime transportThe only sea port is Port Sudan on the red sea which links Sudan to a lot of European countries, America, and African countries. There are also several services from Saudi Arabia and Yemen and Nile cruises that go to Egypt. Souakin is the commercial port of Sudan. 

Air transportThe national Sudanese airline is Sudan Airways (SD). The international airport is located in Khartoum (KHT) 4 km Southeast of the city. 

Land transport: 

Railways: Rail links goes through Cairo (Egypt) to Aswan high dam and then by riverboat to Wadi halfa. In 1995 the railway network extended over 4756 km. 

Road: There are roads that lead to Egypt, Libya, Chad, Uganda, and Central African Republic.

In 1995, the road network reached 116,10 square kilometers of which 36.2% are asphalted.

6-2 Telecommunications: 

Telephone telex and postal services are available in Sudan. Sudan Telecommunications Company (SUDATEL) had planned to reduce the rates by 26U before the end of 1995. Private companies account for 35% of telecommunications services.

6-3 distribution system:  

The distribution system in Sudan has not experienced any notable changes and has kept its traditional structure like most of African countries in the south of the Sahara. Yet the commercial distribution system is mixed because it includes state and private enterprises. Wholesales and distribution operations are equitably divided between the private and public sectors. Retailers mostly belong to the private sector mainly dominated by family enterprises


Organizations and public establishments



Ministry of commerce, 

Co-operation and supply. 

Trade Information Service.

Gamma Street P.O.Box. 194 Khartoum.

Tel: (24911) 772540 

Telex: 22329 mccs sd

Union of Chambers of Commerce.

P.O.Box. 81 Khartoum

Tel: (24911) 772346

Sudanís International Centre for Foreign Trade & Export Development

Nakhla Building, 1st floor 

P.O.Box.11158 Khartoum

Tel (24911)779662 

Telex: 22867 mekab sd

Bank of Sudan

P.O.Box. 313 Khartoum

Tel: (24911) 778064 

Telex: 22352