Alerts and Updates

Further Tightening of Cuba Sanctions on Travel and Exports

June 5 , 2019

OFAC has also stated that certain other travel-related transactions and certain authorized exportations will continue to be permitted by general license.

In furtherance of the White House’s foreign policy objectives toward Cuba (National Security Presidential Memorandum-5, “Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba,” June 16, 2017) and consistent with recent foreign policy statements by National Security Advisor John Bolton, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has amended its Cuba sanctions, restricting further nonfamily travel to Cuba by eliminating people-to-people educational travel and amending educational activities under CFR section 515.565.

OFAC explains that “people-to-people travel” refers to an authorization, subject to conditions, for persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to engage in certain educational exchanges in Cuba on an individual basis or under the auspices of an organization that is subject to U.S. jurisdiction and sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to people contact.

Pursuant to a grandfathering provision found in 515.565(b), OFAC continues to authorize certain group people-to-people educational travel that previously was authorized by general license where “the traveler has already completed at least one travel-related transaction (such as purchasing a flight or reserving accommodation) prior to June 5, 2019,” the publication date in the Federal Register.

OFAC has also stated that certain other travel-related transactions and certain authorized exportations will continue to be permitted by general license.

OFAC has updated its Resource Center with information relating to Cuba travel, providing further guidance to the amended sanctions.

In addition to the foregoing, OFAC has added a Note 1 to section 515.572(a)(2) of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations that highlights that the export or reexport of vessels or aircraft providing carrier services to Cuba requires separate authorization from the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).

In this same regard and concurrent with the actions of OFAC, BIS has amended its Export Administration Regulations to make passenger and recreational vessels and private and corporate aircraft ineligible for a license exception and to establish a general policy of denial for license applications involving those vessels and aircraft.

For More Information

If you would like further information about this Alert, please contact Brian S. Goldstein, J. Manly Parks, Nathan B. Reeder, any of the attorneys in the Cuba Business Group, any member of the International Practice Group or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Disclaimer: This Alert has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm's full disclaimer.