Transport in Cuba
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New US Treasury Info on Traveling to Cuba and Doing Business

New US Treasury Info on Traveling to Cuba and Doing Business
April 17, 2015

HAVANA TIMES — The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US
Treasury Dept. published a revised list of questions and answers for
United States citizens interested in travel to Cuba, travel services,
banking, sending remittances, or doing any type of business with the
island, reported Tracey Eaton on Thursday. Here is the complete list.

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Cuba
Updated April 16, 2015

This document is explanatory only, does not have the force of law, and
does not supplement or modify the Executive Orders, statutes, or
regulations relating to Cuba. Where specific questions arise about
applicability, scope, impact, or any other aspects of these sanctions,
it is the responsibility of individuals or entities seeking guidance to
review the relevant statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders, and, if
appropriate, consult with legal counsel.

I. Embargo

1. Where can I find the amendments to the Cuban Assets Control
Regulations (CACR)?

Please see the Federal Register.

2. When is the amendment to the CACR effective?

The amendment became effective when published in the Federal Register on
January 16, 2015.

3. Are sanctions on Cuba still in place following the President’s
announcement on December 17, 2014?

Yes, the Cuba embargo remains in place. Most transactions between the
United States, or persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction, and Cuba
continue to be prohibited, and OFAC continues to enforce the
prohibitions of the CACR. These changes are targeted to further engage
and empower the Cuban people by facilitating authorized travel to Cuba
by U.S. persons, certain authorized commerce, and the flow of
information to, from, and within Cuba.

4. Is the Department of Commerce also amending its rules?

Yes. The Department of Commerce amended its rules which, among other
things, authorize the export of certain items to the Cuban private
sector and to improve the free flow of information to, from, and among
the Cuban people. For additional information, please see the Bureau of
Industry and Security website at: http://www.bis.doc.gov.

II. Travel

5. What are the travel changes to the Cuba program?

OFAC has issued general licenses within the 12 categories of authorized
travel for many travel-related transactions to, from, or within Cuba
that previously required a specific license (i.e., an application and a
case-by-case determination).

Travel-related transactions are permitted by general license for certain
travel related to the following activities, subject to criteria and
conditions in each general license: family visits; official business of
the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental
organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and
professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities;
public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other
competitions, and exhibitions; support for the Cuban people;
humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations or research or
educational institutes; exportation, importation, or transmission of
information or information materials; and certain authorized export
transactions.

6. Do travelers who fall within the scope of a general license need to
submit a written request to OFAC for permission to travel or conduct
transactions?

No. No further permission from OFAC is required to engage in
transactions by a person who meets all criteria in a general license.
Individuals wishing to engage in activities that may fall within the
scope of a general license should review the relevant general licenses
contained in the CACR to determine whether their travel-related
transactions are covered by such general licenses. Persons subject to
U.S. jurisdiction who wish to engage in any travel within the 12
categories of activities specified in the CACR that does not meet the
requirements of a general license will need to apply for a specific
license from OFAC.

7. Is travel to Cuba for tourist activities permitted?

No. Consistent with the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement
Act of 2000 (TSRA), travel-related transactions involving Cuba are only
permitted for the 12 categories of activities identified in the CACR.
Travel-related transactions for other purposes remain prohibited.

8. What constitutes “a close relative” for generally authorized family
travel?

OFAC regulations generally authorize U.S. persons and those sharing a
dwelling with them as a family to visit a close relative in Cuba,
including a close relative who is a Cuban national or ordinarily
resident there, who is a U.S. Government official on official government
business, or who is a student or faculty member engaging in authorized
educational activities in Cuba with a duration of over 60 days. A close
relative is defined as any individual related to a person “by blood,
marriage, or adoption who is no more than three generations removed from
that person or from a common ancestor with that person.” For a complete
description of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions
that apply, please see 31 CFR § 515.339 and § 515.561.

9. Who is generally authorized to engage in travel and travel-related
transactions for “journalistic activity”?

OFAC has issued an expanded general license that incorporates prior
specific licensing policy and authorizes, subject to appropriate
conditions, travel-related transactions and other transactions that are
directly incident to journalistic activities in Cuba. Among other
things, this general license authorizes, subject to appropriate
conditions, full-time journalists, supporting broadcast or technical
personnel, and freelance journalists to travel to Cuba. The traveler’s
schedule of activities must not include free time or recreation in
excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule. An entire group
does not qualify for the general license merely because some members of
the group qualify individually. For a complete description of what this
general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please see
31 CFR § 515.563.

10. What constitutes generally authorized travel-related transactions
for “professional research” and “professional meetings” in Cuba?

OFAC has issued an expanded general license that incorporates prior
specific licensing policy and authorizes, subject to appropriate
conditions, travel-related transactions and other transactions that are
directly incident to professional research in Cuba. Among other things,
this general license authorizes, subject to appropriate conditions,
professional research in Cuba relating to a traveler’s profession,
professional background, or area of expertise. The traveler’s schedule
of activities must not include free time or recreation in excess of that
consistent with a full-time schedule. An entire group does not qualify
for the general license merely because some members of the group qualify
individually. For a complete description of what this general license
authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR § 515.564.

OFAC has issued an expanded general license that incorporates prior
specific licensing policy and authorizes, subject to appropriate
conditions, travel-related transactions and other transactions that are
directly incident to professional meetings in Cuba. Among other things,
this general license authorizes, subject to appropriate conditions,
professional meetings or conferences in Cuba relating to a traveler’s
profession, professional background, or area of expertise, provided that
the purpose of the meeting or conference is not the promotion of tourism
in Cuba. Travel in this category is generally licensed provided that the
traveler’s schedule of activities does not include free time or
recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule. An
entire group does not qualify for the general license merely because
some members of the group qualify individually. For a complete
description of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions
that apply, please see 31 CFR § 515.564.

11. What constitutes “educational activities” for generally authorized
travel?

OFAC has issued an expanded general license that incorporates prior
specific licensing policy and authorizes, subject to appropriate
conditions, travel-related transactions and other transactions that are
directly incident to certain educational activities in Cuba. Among other
things, this general license authorizes, subject to appropriate
conditions, faculty, staff, and students at U.S. academic institutions
and secondary schools to engage in certain educational activities in
Cuba, Cuban scholars to engage in certain educational activities in the
United States, certain activities to facilitate licensed educational
programs, and certain people-to-people travel. An entire group does not
qualify for the general license merely because some members of the group
qualify individually. For a complete description of what this general
license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR §
515.565.

12. Are secondary schools and secondary school students permitted to
engage in travel-related transactions under the general license for
“educational activities”?

Yes. Educational exchanges sponsored by Cuban or U.S. secondary schools
involving secondary school students’ participation in a formal course of
study or in a structured educational program offered by a secondary
school or other academic institution, and led by a teacher or other
secondary school official, are authorized under this general license.
For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and
the restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR § 515.565 (a)(6). This
provision allows for participation of a reasonable number of adult
chaperones to accompany the secondary school student(s) to Cuba.

13. What constitutes “people-to-people travel” for generally authorized
travel?

OFAC has issued a general license that incorporates prior specific
licensing policy and authorizes, subject to appropriate conditions,
travel-related transactions and other transactions that are directly
incident to people-to-people educational activities in Cuba. Among other
things, this general license authorizes, subject to appropriate
conditions, persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to engage in certain
educational exchanges in Cuba under the auspices of an organization that
is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction and sponsors such exchanges to
promote people-to-people contact. Additionally, an employee, paid
consultant, or agent of the sponsoring organization must accompany each
group traveling to Cuba to ensure the full-time schedule of educational
exchange activities, and the predominant portion of the activities must
not be with individuals or entities acting for or on behalf of a
prohibited official of the Government of Cuba, as defined in 31 CFR §
515.337, or a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party, as defined
in 31 CFR § 515.338. For a complete description of what this general
license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR §
515.565(b).

14. What is an “organization” in the people–to-people context?

In the people-to-people context, an organization is an entity subject to
U.S. jurisdiction that sponsors educational exchanges that do not
involve academic study pursuant to a degree program and that promote
people-to-people contact. For a complete description of what this
general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please see
31 CFR § 515.565(b).

15. Who is generally authorized to engage in travel-related transactions
for “religious activities”?

OFAC has issued an expanded general license that incorporates prior
specific licensing policy and authorizes, subject to appropriate
conditions, travel-related transactions and other transactions that are
directly incident to religious activities in Cuba. All persons subject
to U.S. jurisdiction, including religious organizations located in the
United States and members and staff of such organizations, are generally
authorized to engage in travel-related transactions that are directly
incident to engaging in religious activities in Cuba provided, among
other things, that the travel must be for the purpose of engaging in a
program of religious activities. The traveler’s schedule of activities
must not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent
with a full-time schedule in Cuba. For a complete description of what
this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please
see 31 CFR § 515.566.

16. What constitutes “public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic
and other competitions, and exhibitions” for generally authorized travel?

OFAC has issued an expanded general license that incorporates prior
specific licensing policy and authorizes, subject to appropriate
conditions, travel-related transactions and other transactions that are
directly incident to participation in amateur and semi-professional
international sports federation competitions as well as other athletic
and other competitions and public performances, clinics, workshops, and
exhibitions in Cuba. For a complete description of what this general
license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR §
515.567.

17. What constitutes “support for the Cuban people” for generally
authorized travel and other transactions?

OFAC has issued a general license that incorporates prior specific
licensing policy and authorizes, subject to appropriate conditions,
travel-related transactions and other transactions that are intended to
provide support for the Cuban people, which include activities of
recognized human rights organizations; independent organizations
designed to promote a rapid, peaceful transition to democracy; and
individuals and non-governmental organizations that promote independent
activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba. The traveler’s
schedule of activities must not include free time or recreation in
excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule in Cuba. For a
complete description of what this general license authorizes and the
restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR § 515.574.

18. What constitutes “humanitarian projects” for generally authorized
travel and other transactions?

OFAC has issued a general license that incorporates prior specific
licensing policy and authorizes, subject to appropriate conditions,
travel-related transactions and other transactions that are related to
humanitarian projects in or related to Cuba. These authorized
humanitarian projects include medical and health-related projects;
construction projects intended to benefit legitimately independent civil
society groups; environmental projects; projects involving formal or
non-formal educational training, within Cuba or off-island, on the
following topics: entrepreneurship and business, civil education,
journalism, advocacy and organizing, adult literacy, or vocational
skills; community-based grassroots projects; projects suitable to the
development of small-scale private enterprise; projects that are related
to agricultural and rural development that promote independent activity;
microfinancing projects, except for loans, extensions of credit, or
other financing prohibited by 31 C.F.R. § 515.208; and projects to meet
basic human needs. The traveler’s schedule of activities must not
include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a
full-time schedule in Cuba. For a complete description of what this
general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please see
31 CFR § 515.575.

19. What constitutes “activities of private foundations or research or
educational institutes” for generally authorized travel?

OFAC has issued a general license that incorporates previous specific
licensing policy and authorizes, subject to appropriate conditions,
travel-related transactions and other transactions that are directly
incident to activities by private foundations or research or educational
institutes with an established interest in international relations to
collect information related to Cuba for noncommercial purposes, among
other things. The traveler’s schedule of activities must not include
free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time
schedule in Cuba. For a complete description of what this general
license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR §
515.576.

20. What constitutes “exportation, importation or transmission of
information or informational materials” for generally authorized travel?

OFAC has issued a general license that incorporates prior specific
licensing policy and authorizes, subject to appropriate conditions,
travel-related transactions and other transactions that are directly
incident to the exportation, importation, or transmission of information
or informational materials in Cuba. The traveler’s schedule of
activities must not include free time or recreation in excess of that
consistent with a full-time schedule in Cuba. For a complete description
of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply,
please see 31 CFR § 515.545. The definition of “information and
informational materials” may be found at 31 CFR § 515.332.

21. Can I purchase a ticket to Cuba directly from an airline based or
operating out of the United States?

Yes, provided that you are authorized to travel to Cuba pursuant to a
general or specific license. Airlines subject to U.S. jurisdiction are
authorized to provide air carrier services to authorized travelers, and
travelers may purchase tickets provided that their travel is authorized
pursuant to the CACR. Airlines and travelers are responsible for
maintaining records of their Cuba-related transactions for at least five
years.

22. May an individual authorized traveler use his or her private boat to
travel to Cuba?

A person subject to U.S. jurisdiction engaging in authorized travel
pursuant to an OFAC general or specific license may use a personal boat
for his or her travel, and the travel of the boat’s crew, to Cuba
provided that he or she obtains a license from the Bureau of Industry
and Security (BIS) for the temporary sojourn of the vessel. Goods
exported to Cuba also require a license or must be eligible for a
license exception from BIS.

23. Are U.S. vessels, including private boats and commercial passenger
ferries, permitted to carry passengers to Cuba?

The new general license allowing the provision of carrier services
between the United States and Cuba is limited to the provision of such
services by aircraft; it does not authorize providing carrier services
by vessel. Providing carrier services by vessel would require a specific
license from OFAC. This would include an individual using his or her own
personal boat to transport passengers to Cuba. Vessels on temporary
sojourn to Cuba also require a license from the Bureau of Industry and
Security (BIS). Goods exported to Cuba also require a license or must be
eligible for a license exception from BIS.

24. Are there any spending limits for authorized U.S. travelers while in
Cuba?

The per diem rate previously imposed no longer applies, and there is no
specific dollar limit on authorized expenses. Authorized travelers may
engage in transactions ordinarily incident to travel within Cuba,
including payment of living expenses and the acquisition in Cuba of
goods for personal consumption there; other expenditures, other than
those directly incident to the traveler’s authorized activities in Cuba,
are not authorized. In addition, travelers are authorized to acquire in
Cuba and import as accompanied baggage into the United States
merchandise with a value not to exceed $400 per person, provided that no
more than $100 of the merchandise consists of alcohol or tobacco
products and the merchandise is imported for personal use only.

25. Are there any restrictions on what foreign persons entering the
United States from travel that included Cuba may bring in their
accompanied baggage?
A non-U.S. person (i.e. not a U.S. citizen or resident) arriving in the
United States is authorized to import Cuban-origin merchandise, other
than tobacco and alcohol, as accompanied baggage provided the
merchandise is not in commercial quantities and not imported for resale.
See 31 CFR § 515.569. If the non-U.S. person is on a trip that included
travel to Cuba, the person also is authorized to import as accompanied
baggage alcohol or tobacco products purchased or otherwise acquired in
Cuba with a value not to exceed $100 for personal use only. See 31 CFR §
515.560(c)(3).

26. Can I purchase Cuban-origin cigars and/or Cuban-origin rum or other
alcohol while traveling in Cuba?

Persons authorized to travel to Cuba may purchase alcohol and tobacco
products while in Cuba for personal consumption while there. Authorized
travelers may return to the United States with up to $100 worth of
alcohol and/or tobacco products acquired in Cuba in accompanied baggage,
for personal use only.

27. Can I purchase Cuban-origin cigars and/or Cuban-origin rum or other
Cuban-origin alcohol over the internet or while in a third country
(i.e., not Cuba)?

No. These transactions remain prohibited, and OFAC has not issued any
general license that would authorize them.

III. Travel Services

28. Do air carriers need to obtain specific licenses from OFAC to
provide services?

No. A new general license authorizes persons subject to U.S.
jurisdiction to provide air carrier services to, from, or within Cuba,
in connection with authorized travel, without the need for a specific
license from OFAC. However, while no additional license is required from
OFAC, air carriers wishing to provide service will still need to secure
regulatory approvals from other concerned U.S. Government agencies,
including the Department of Transportation (Office of the Secretary and
the Federal Aviation Administration) and the Department of Homeland
Security. For a complete description of what the OFAC general license
authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR §
515.572(a)(2).

29. Do travel service providers (such as travel agents and tour group
operators) need to obtain specific licenses from OFAC to provide
services for travel to Cuba?

No. A new general license authorizes persons subject to U.S.
jurisdiction, including travel agents and tour group operators, to
provide travel services in connection with authorized travel without the
need for specific licenses from OFAC. For a complete description of what
this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please
see 31 CFR § 515.572(a)(1). The provision of services related to travel
for tourist or other unauthorized travel to Cuba remains prohibited.

30. Are airlines and travel service providers required to verify that an
individual traveler is authorized to travel to Cuba?

Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction providing authorized carrier or
travel services must retain for at least five years from the date of the
transaction a certification from each customer indicating the provision
of the CACR that authorizes the person to travel to Cuba. In the case of
a customer traveling under a specific license, a copy of the license
must be maintained on file. The names and addresses of individual
travelers must also be maintained on file for at least five years. See
31 CFR § 515.572(b).

IV. Remittances

31. What changes have been made with respect to authorized remittances
by U.S. persons to Cuba?

The limits on generally licensed periodic remittances that may be sent
to a Cuban national, other than a prohibited official of the Government
of Cuba or a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party, have been
raised from $500 per quarter to $2,000 per quarter. For a complete
description of what the OFAC general license authorizes and the
restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR § 515.570(b).

Certain remittances to Cuban nationals for humanitarian projects,
support for the Cuban people, or development of private business are now
generally authorized. For a complete description of what the OFAC
general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please see
31 CFR § 515.570(g).

The amount of authorized remittances travelers to Cuba may carry has
been increased to $10,000 per authorized trip. For a complete
description of this authorization and the restrictions that apply,
please see 31 CFR § 515.560(c)(4).

32. Is a bank, credit union, or money service business (MSB) such as a
money remitter permitted to process my authorized remittances to Cuba?

Yes. Under the new general licenses, banking institutions, as defined in
31 CFR § 515.314, U.S.-registered brokers or dealers in securities, and
U.S.-registered money transmitters are permitted to process authorized
remittances to Cuba without having to obtain a specific license, subject
to the recordkeeping and reporting requirements set forth therein. For a
complete description of what the OFAC general license authorizes and the
restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR § 515.572(a)(3).

V. Banking

33. Are authorized travelers in Cuba permitted to use credit or debit
cards issued by a U.S. financial institution?

Yes. Travelers are advised to check with their financial institution
before traveling to Cuba to determine whether the institution has
established the necessary mechanisms for its credit or debit cards to be
used in Cuba. See 31 CFR § 515.560(c)(5) and 515.584(c).

34. Can my bank refuse to allow me to use my credit or debit card in Cuba?

OFAC regulations do not require financial institutions or credit card
companies to accept, maintain, or facilitate authorized financial
relationships or transactions.

35. Can U.S. financial institutions permit the use of credit and debit
cards they issue by, and process credit and debit card transactions for,
third-country nationals whose travel to, from, or within Cuba may not
fall within the 12 categories of authorized travel?

Yes. Section 515.584(c) of the CACR authorizes all transactions incident
to the processing and payment of credit and debit cards transactions for
third-country nationals traveling to, from, or within Cuba.

36. Are financial institutions other than banks permitted to open
correspondent accounts in Cuba?

Depository institutions, as defined in 31 CFR § 515.333, which include
certain financial institutions other than banks, are permitted to open
correspondent accounts at banks in Cuba. See 31 CFR § 515.584(a).

37. Are Cuban banks permitted to open correspondent accounts at U.S. banks?

No. U.S. depository institutions are permitted to open correspondent
accounts at Cuban banks located in Cuba and in third countries, and at
foreign banks located in Cuba, but Cuban banks are not generally
licensed to open such accounts at U.S. banks. See note to 31 CFR §
515.584(a).

38. May foreign branches of U.S. banks open and operate accounts for
newly unblocked Cuban nationals in third countries?

Yes, however all funds transfers to or from such an account involving
Cuba or a national of Cuba (other than an unblocked national) must be
authorized or exempt.

39. In what ways can Cuban nationals lawfully present in the United
States participate in the U.S. financial system?

Certain Cuban nationals who have taken up residence in the United States
on a permanent basis and who meet the requirements set forth in 31 CFR §
515.505 are licensed as unblocked nationals, and may participate fully
in the U.S. financial system. See 31 CFR § 515.505(a)(1); (d).

Pursuant to 31 CFR § 515.571, Cuban nationals who are present in the
United States in a non-immigrant status or pursuant to other
non-immigrant travel authorization issued by the U.S. government, such
as a non-immigrant visa, may open and maintain bank accounts for the
duration of their stay in the United States in such status. Accounts
that are not closed prior to the departure of Cuban nationals from the
United States must be blocked and reported as such. Section 515.571 also
authorizes such Cuban nationals to engage in normal banking transactions
involving foreign currency drafts, travelers’ checks, or other
instruments negotiated incident to travel in the United States.

40. If a Cuban national resident in the United States has applied to
become a lawful permanent resident alien of the United States, does that
individual have to apply to OFAC to be treated as an unblocked national?

No. If a Cuban national has taken up residence in the United States and
has applied to become a lawful permanent resident alien of the U.S. and
has an adjustment of status application pending, then the Cuban national
is considered unblocked and does not need to apply to OFAC to be treated
as an unblocked national, provided that he or she is not a prohibited
official of the Government of Cuba or a prohibited member of the Cuban
Communist party. See 31 CFR § 515.505(a)(1).

41. Should financial institutions apply for a specific license to
release funds transfers or accounts previously blocked solely because of
the interest of an individual who has now become an unblocked national
under the recent amendment to the CACR?

The CACR include general licenses authorizing as unblocked nationals
certain Cuban nationals who have taken up permanent residence in the
United States or a third country. For a complete description of what
these general licenses authorize and the restrictions that apply, please
see 31 CFR § 515.505(a). The CACR also include a general license
authorizing banking institutions to unblock any account that had been
previously blocked solely because of the interest therein of one or more
persons now licensed as unblocked nationals. For a complete description
of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply,
please see 31 CFR § 515.505(b).

If your situation appears to meet the terms of these general licenses,
we suggest that you contact the U.S. financial institution blocking the
funds transfer or account to request that they review your situation
within the context of the terms of the appropriate general license. If
the terms of a general license apply, there is no need to seek specific
authorization from OFAC, and it is OFAC’s policy not to grant specific
licenses authorizing transactions for which the provisions of an
outstanding general license are applicable. See 31 C.F.R. § 501.801(a).

42. Do banking institutions need to apply for a specific license to
release funds transfers or accounts previously blocked pursuant to the
CACR that are now authorized by general license?

If a transaction was previously blocked pursuant to the CACR at the time
of the transaction, and the CACR was later amended to allow similar
transactions, the earlier transaction is not unblocked unless the CACR
amendment includes a general license unblocking previously blocked
funds. Transactions must be authorized pursuant to the CACR at the time
they are processed. To the extent not authorized by a general license, a
specific license would be required to release funds transfers or unblock
accounts previously blocked.

43. What new transactions involving wire transfers to Cuba are authorized?

OFAC has issued a new general license that authorizes U.S. depository
institutions to reject funds transfers originating and terminating
outside the United States where neither the originator nor the
beneficiary is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction and provided that
certain prohibited individuals do not have an interest in the transfer.
U.S. depository institutions are authorized to process such funds
transfers where they would be authorized pursuant to the CACR if the
originator or beneficiary were a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction.
For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and
the restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR § 515.584(d).

VI. Trade/Business

44. Is Cuba open for U.S. business and investment?

Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are prohibited from doing business
or investing in Cuba unless licensed by OFAC. An OFAC general license
authorizes the exportation from the United States, and the reexportation
of 100% U.S.-origin items from third-countries, to Cuba only in those
cases where the exportation or reexportation is licensed or otherwise
authorized by the Commerce Department. The Commerce Department currently
authorizes limited categories of items to be exported or reexported to Cuba.

45. Can U.S. trade delegations travel to Cuba?

Trade delegations are authorized to travel to Cuba only if each member
of the delegation meets the criteria of an applicable general license
authorizing travel to Cuba or has obtained a specific license from OFAC.
Authorized trade delegations generally fall under one of two general
licenses for travel authorization; either (1) 31 CFR § 515.533(d), which
authorizes travel-related and other transactions incident to the
exportation of certain authorized goods from the U.S. to Cuba,
specifically the conduct of “market research, commercial marketing,
sales negotiation, accompanied delivery, or servicing in Cuba of items
consistent with the export or report licensing policy of the Commerce
Department,” or (2) 31 C.F.R. § 515.564(a), which authorizes
transactions related to professional research or professional meetings
in Cuba. For a complete description of what these general licenses
authorize and the restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR §§
515.533(d) and 515.564(a).

Neither of the aforementioned general licenses authorizes the
establishment of a permanent physical presence in Cuba.

46. Are insurers allowed to provide travel insurance for authorized
travel to Cuba?

Yes. See 31 CFR § 515.560.

47. May U.S. insurers issue policies and pay claims related to group
health, life, and travel insurance on behalf of third-country nationals
traveling to or within Cuba?

Yes, provided that the insurance policy is as global policy. Section
515.580 of the CACR authorizes persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to
issue or provide global health, life, or travel insurance policies for
individuals ordinarily resident in a country outside of Cuba who travel
to or within Cuba, regardless of whether the insurance policy is issued
only to that individual or to a group, such as to all employees of a
particular company. For instance, a U.S. insurer may pay medical claims
pursuant to a group health insurance policy to or on behalf of a covered
third-country national injured while traveling in Cuba. However, this
provision does not authorize a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction to
issue an insurance policy that is specific to travel to Cuba. A separate
provision of the CACR, 31 CFR § 515.560, authorizes the provision of
health, life, and travel insurance-related services for authorized U.S.
travelers.

48. Are insurance policies that are issued to a “group” (e.g., an
employer and its employees) authorized by the CACR?

Section 515.580 of the CACR authorizes global insurance policies
covering individuals ordinarily resident in a country outside of Cuba
traveling to Cuba. The policy may be issued to a group, such as all
employees of a company. The “global” requirement means it cannot be
specific to travel to Cuba. For example, it does not authorize an
individual travel policy issued to a traveler specifically to cover a
planned trip to Cuba. It also does not authorize issuing a policy to a
non-U.S. travel agent specifically to cover its traveler clients where
the travel agency is solely in the business of planning trips to Cuba.

49. What types of Cuban-origin goods are authorized for importation into
the United States?

Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction authorized to travel to Cuba may
import into the United States as accompanied baggage merchandise
acquired in Cuba with a value not to exceed $400 per person, including
no more than $100 in alcohol and tobacco products.

Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are also authorized to import
certain goods produced by independent Cuban entrepreneurs as determined
by the State Department, to be set forth in the State Department’s
Section 515.582 list.

The importation into the United States from Cuba of information and
informational materials is exempt from the prohibitions of the Cuban
Assets Control Regulations. The definition of “information and
informational materials” may be found at 31 CFR § 515.332.

VII. Telecommunications

50. What types of telecommunications and internet-based services are
authorized under general license?

OFAC has issued an expanded general license which, subject to
appropriate conditions, generally authorizes transactions that establish
mechanisms to provide commercial telecommunications services in Cuba or
linking third countries and Cuba. OFAC has also updated the general
licenses authorizing telecommunications-related transactions, including
payment related to the provision of telecommunications involving Cuba or
provided to Cuban individuals. Pursuant to this provision, U.S. persons
may, for example, purchase calling cards for people to use in Cuba
and/or may pay the bills of such people directly to a telecommunications
operator located in Cuba, such as ETECSA. These steps to facilitate
improved access to telecommunications services for Cubans and increased
international connections are intended to increase the ability of the
Cuban people to communicate freely and to better provide for efficient
and adequate telecommunications services between the United States and
Cuba. For a complete description of what this general license authorizes
and the restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR § 515.542.

Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction may provide additional services
incident to internet-based communications and related to certain
authorized exportations and reexportations of communications items. The
range of such services has been expanded to coincide with changes to
Commerce Department regulations, and such services can now be provided
for a fee to certain end users. For example, transactions incident to
providing fee-based internet communications services such as e-mail or
other messaging platforms, social networking, VOIP, web-hosting, or
domain-name registration are now authorized in most circumstances.
Services related to many kinds of software (including applications) used
on personal computers, cell phones, and other personal communications
devices are also authorized, along with other services related to the
use of such devices. Finally, services such as cloud storage, software
design, business consulting, and the provision of IT management and
support related to use of hardware and software exported or reexported
to Cuba pursuant to the Commerce Department’s Consumer Communications
Device authorization is permitted. For a complete description of what
this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, please
see 31 CFR § 515.578.

VIII. Third-Country Effects

51. Are Cuban nationals located outside of Cuba still considered blocked?

Yes, but any individual Cuban national who can establish that he or she
has taken up permanent residence outside of Cuba and otherwise meets the
requirements set forth in 31 CFR § 515.505 is generally licensed as an
unblocked national.

52. Can U.S.-owned or -controlled entities in third countries engage in
trade/commerce with Cuban nationals located outside of Cuba?

U.S.-owned or -controlled entities in third countries may provide goods
and services to a Cuban national who is an individual located outside of
Cuba, provided that the transaction does not involve a commercial
exportation, directly or indirectly, of goods or services to or from
Cuba. For a complete description of what this general license authorizes
and the restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR § 515.585.

53. Are U.S.-owned or -controlled entities in third countries authorized
to provide financial services to Cuban nationals located outside of Cuba?

U.S.-owned or -controlled entities in third countries may provide
financial services to a Cuban national who is an individual located
outside of Cuba, provided that the transaction does not involve a
commercial exportation, directly or indirectly, of goods or services to
or from Cuba.
For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and
the restrictions that apply, please see 31 CFR § 515.585.

IX. Miscellaneous

54. What change has been made to the regulatory interpretation of “cash
in advance”?

The regulatory interpretation of “cash in advance” has been changed from
“cash before shipment” to “cash before transfer of title and control” to
allow expanded financing options for authorized exports to Cuba. For the
full text, see 31 CFR § 515.533.

55. What types of projects would fall within the authorization in 31 CFR
§ 515.575 for microfinancing projects?

Among other things, the provision for microfinancing projects in Section
515.575 of the CACR authorizes the provision of certain financial
services to unemployed, underemployed, and low-income Cubans who have
little or no access to conventional banks or comparable resources, and
which may include a limited return on investment. In addition, Section
515.570(g)(1) of the CACR authorizes remittances to individuals and
independent non-governmental entities in Cuba to support authorized
microfinancing projects. These provisions would authorize, for example,
relatively limited contributions of funds to support individual
entrepreneurs in sectors that need access to working capital, investment
loans, insurance, or training in order to start or expand their
operations. Sections 515.575 and 515.570(g)(1) of the CACR do not
authorize loans, extensions of credit or other financing related to
transactions involving confiscated property the claim to which is owned
by a U.S. national, which are prohibited by 31 CFR § 515.208. For
additional guidance or fact-specific questions, we would encourage you
to contact OFAC.

56. If a person had applied for a specific license from OFAC before the
CACR was revised but now believes that the proposed activity is
authorized pursuant to a general license, does that person need to wait
for his or her specific license application to be adjudicated?

No. If persons meet the qualifications listed in the general license,
then they do not need to wait for an official determination from OFAC
regarding their specific license application. Persons who have
determined they may proceed under a general license may wish to contact
OFAC Licensing to withdraw existing applications.

57. What types of goods and services produced by independent Cuban
entrepreneurs are authorized for importation into the United States from
Cuba pursuant to 31 CFR § 515.582?

Pursuant to Section 515.582 of the CACR, certain goods and services
produced by independent Cuban entrepreneurs, as set forth in a list
maintained by the State Department on its website, are authorized for
importation, and persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction may engage in
associated transactions necessary to import these authorized goods and
services. The State Department list provides details of the goods and
services authorized for importation into the U.S. from Cuba pursuant to
this provision. This list references sections and chapters of the
Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) of the United States to indicate
categories of goods that are not eligible for importation into the
United States pursuant to 31 CFR § 515.582, even if such goods were
produced by independent Cuban entrepreneurs; any other goods produced by
independent Cuban entrepreneurs and not covered by the listed sections
and chapters of the HTS may be imported, as provided in the State
Department’s Section 515.582 List and subject to compliance with all
other relevant requirements under state and federal law and regulations.
Section 515.582 of the CACR authorizes the importation of all services
supplied by independent Cuban entrepreneurs, again, as provided in the
State Department’s Section 515.582 List and subject to compliance with
other requirements in state and federal law and regulations.

Source: New US Treasury Info on Traveling to Cuba and Doing Business –
Havana Times.org – http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=110685

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