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Cuba Restrictions Update

On September 21, the Treasury and Commerce Departments issued final rules regarding easing of restrictions on Cuba in light of recent policy changes. The Commerce Department rule revisions included amending the EAR’s Support for the Cuban People license exception, expanding the scale of the exception while still limiting items that are eligible to EAR99 goods or items that are controlled only for Anti-Terrorism purposes. Additionally, license exception Aircraft, Vessels, and Spacecraft (AVS) was expanded to include Cuba for most types of trips of aircraft and ships lasting less than 7 days for aircraft or 14 days for ships. It also announced a new licensing policy, where items necessary for civil aviation safety and for the safe operation of commercial passenger aircraft will be granted BIS licenses on a case-by-case basis.

 

Treasury (OFAC) also announced they were amending the Cuban Assets Control Regulations. One of the included changes will ease travel restrictions, allowing U.S. persons to travel to Cuba for authorized purposes (for example, visiting a close relative in Cuba). OFAC also announced that licensing agreements between Cuban and U.S. providers of telecommunications and Internet services will be allowed to further the goal of enhancing the free flow of information to the Cuban people.  Additionally, restrictions on certain financial transactions will be eased, including removing the limitation on remittance to Cubans who are not members of the Cuban Communist Party or officials of the government.

 

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