International Financial Law Prof Blog

Editor: William Byrnes
Texas A&M University
School of Law

Monday, August 24, 2015

Cuba Update - Tourist Travel Still Illegal

On July 22, 2015, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a rule in the Federal
 to implement the rescission of Cuba’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation. The rule BureauOfIndustryAndSecurity-Seal.svgremoved anti-terrorism (AT) license requirements from Cuba and eliminated references to Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), while maintaining preexisting license requirements for all items subject to the EAR unless authorized by a license exception. The rule also removed Cuba from Country Group E:1 (terrorist supporting countries) in Supplement No. 1 to Part 740 of the EAR , making Cuba eligible for a general 25 percent de minimis level and portions of four license exceptions.

However, the United States continues to maintain a comprehensive embargo on trade with Cuba. The export and reexport to Cuba of all items subject to the EAR still requires a BIS license, unless authorized by a license exception specified in § 746.2(a)(1) of the EAR.

Licensing Policy

There is a general policy of denial for exports and reexports to Cuba of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), as described in Section 746.2(b) of the EAR. However, there are exceptions to the general policy of denial, some of which are listed below:

  • Medicines and medical devices, whether sold or donated, are generally approved.
  • Vessels and aircraft on temporary sojourn to Cuba are reviewed on a case-by-case basis when they are used to deliver humanitarian goods or services or when their use is consistent with the foreign policy interests of the United States.
  • Items necessary for the environmental protection of U.S. and international air quality, waters and coastlines, including items related to renewable energy or energy efficiency, are generally approved.

In addition to authorization provided under licenses, there is authorization provided by license exception.

Other U.S. Government Agencies

Please be aware that other U.S. Government agencies administer regulations that could also impact your export or reexport transaction. For example, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)maintains certain Cuba-related sanctions. Exporters and reexporters are responsible for complying with all applicable regulatory requirements.

Related to Travel Between the United States and Cuba

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