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OFAC

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Trump Administration Tightens Cuba’s Sanctions Program 

posted by Jennifer Diaz November 9, 2017 0 comments

Since June 2017, we have been anxiously awaiting changes to the Cuba sanctions program since President Trump signed an executive order and emphatically stated that his administration would tighten loose regulations established under the Obama Administration.cuba relations

On November 8, 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury stated,

  • “We have strengthened our Cuba policies to channel economic activity away from the Cuban military and to encourage the government to move toward greater political and economic freedom for the Cuban people”

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President Trump Outlines New U.S. Policy on Cuba

posted by Jennifer Diaz June 16, 2017 0 comments

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We’ve been patiently waiting for today’s announcement since President Trump took office on Friday, January 20, 2017. Some have speculated on whether President Trump’s stance on Cuba would further diplomatic relations following the steps of former President Barack Obama, while the majority have opined that Trump’s next steps could reverse some of the changes made by the former President. The speculation can now be put to the side as today President Trump delivered a speech in Miami (at the Manuel Artime Theater), a little over 90 miles away from the island of Cuba, outlining his new policy with the communist island. The announced changes do not take effect until the new OFAC regulations are issued. The forthcoming regulations will be prospective and will not affect existing contracts and licenses.  

Here is a summary of the MAIN changes, and background of why the President has signed an executive order making these changes in support of the Cuban people:

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Travel to the U.S. with an Unlimited Number of Cuban Cigars and Rum – Courtesy of New Revised OFAC and BIS Regulations

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 17, 2016 1 Comment

On October 14, 2016, President Obama issued a Presidential Policy Directive on United States-Cuba Normalization to further ease travel and trade restrictions with Cuba. As a result, Monday, October 17, 2016, amendments to both OFAC and BIS regulations will take effect.

Below are the top changes from both OFAC and BIS:

OFAC is making additional amendments to the Regulations with respect to health, trade and commerce, civil aviation safety, travel and related transactions, humanitarian-related activities, and certain other activities. Below is a recap:

  • Health
    • Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are now permitted to engage in commercial and non-commercial joint medical research projects with Cuban nationals. (Section 515.547).
  • Travel and Related Transactions
    • Importation of Cuban merchandise: Not too long ago we alerted our readers that CBP was targeting Cuban Cigars at American Ports. We haveImage result for travel with cigars and rumBIG news for cigar and rum lovers… As of Monday, October 17, 2016, persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are now able to return home from Cuba (or any other country where Cuban rum and cigars can legally be purchased) with an unlimited amount of rum and cigars. However, the number of cigars and amount rum must be for personal use and such merchandise must be imported as accompanied baggage and are subject to the normal limits on duty and tax exemptions. This is a huge step forward from OFAC’s initial limit of $400 or less (with no more than $100 of such merchandise consisting of alcohol or tobacco products). (Section 515.560(c)(3)). Continue Reading
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Build Your Own ‘People to People’ Mission & More Cuba Changes

posted by Jennifer Diaz March 16, 2016 3 Comments

Plane, United States and Cuba flags

If you have been following our Cuba updates, you’ll note we’ve been busy. A full listing of all of our posts to get you caught up are all the way at the bottom. Also, check out our new blog design and let me know what you think!

Here’s the Cliff Notes version:

  • On December 17, 2014, President Obama made a historic announcement: “Today, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people.”
  • By January 16, 2015, both the U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) amended its Cuban Assets Control Regulations, and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amended the Export Administration Regulations with a “Support for the Cuban People” license exception. Both OFAC and BIS’s new rules were effective as of January 16, 2015.
  • OFAC and BIS issued additional new rules on June 15, 2015, September 21, 2015, January 27, 2016 and again today!

As far as travel goes, the NY Times posted their travel tips, but, here are MY travel tips to you:

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Top 10 Changes with Cuba as a Result of NEW Revised OFAC and BIS Regulations

posted by Jennifer Diaz February 23, 2016 0 comments

BIS and OFAC AND CUBAAs of January 27th, 2016, both OFAC and the BIS have amended their regulations again, and below details the top 10 changes as a result.  The last update was on September 21, 2015, and can be found here.  While the United States maintains its broad embargo on trade with Cuba, OFAC and BIS have released amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations designed to advance President Obama’s policy to engage and empower the Cuban people.  The new changes, which can be found here and here, expand the scope of authorized business and travel by U.S. person and companies inside of Cuba. These changes were put into place to help facilitate engagement between the U.S. and Cuba.  Click here to read FAQ’s related to Cuba from the OFAC.

Below we’ve providing you with a detailed summary of the top 10 significant changes:

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Update on U.S. Laws Regarding Commerce with Cuba

posted by Jennifer Diaz November 24, 2015 0 comments
Join NEI for an insightful conversation about rapidly evolving business opportunities in Cuba, brought to you by yours truly. The Webinar will highlight particular areas of interest, including: a current overview of the current rules and regulations governing transactions with Cuba, learning what travel to Cuba is authorized, what the latest regulations by BIS and OFAC cover, and future opportunities for growth in telecommunication, construction, and finance.
The audience will be provided with the latest exceptions as they relate to business transactions with Cuba. U.S. companies with a desire to learn the new business opportunities as they relate to Cuba should attend. Continue Reading
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TOP 11 NEW Business Opportunities with Cuba as a Result of NEW OFAC and BIS Laws

posted by Jennifer Diaz September 28, 2015 0 comments
In December, 2014, we updated you on the president’s historic announcement in regards to doing business in Cuba, and in January we updated you on both the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) amendments to the Cuban Assets Controls Regulations (“CACR”) and the amendments to the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) administered by the United States
Department of Commerce. As of September 21, 2015, both OFAC and the BIS have amended their regulations again, and below details the top 11 changes as a result of the new laws.
 
We’ll be discussing these new changes on October 8th, at our Export Compliance Seminar at the Miami Free Zone. Blog subscribers get to take advantage of the discount code! Email me at jdiaz@bplegal.com for it. You can RSVP here

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3 Part Compliance Seminar Series You DON’T Want to Miss!

posted by Jennifer Diaz August 24, 2015 0 comments
We are excited to announce our upcoming 3 part seminar series on ImportingExporting, and FDA Compliance! Government and private speakers will participate.  
Each seminar will provide resources for new and experienced international trade
professionals including:

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OFAC Publishes NEW FAQ on Cuba

posted by Jennifer Diaz April 16, 2015 0 comments
Today, the Office of Foreign Assets Control published a new updated Frequently Asked Questions Related To Cuba. The last FAQ from OFAC was on January 15, 2015, discussed in this previous post “Revised Cuba Regulations Officially Released“. There are 12 new questions discussed in OFAC’s new FAQ – made easy for your review – as all NEW questions are posted below, with some commentary in italics above the question.

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Revised Cuba Regulations Officially Released

posted by Jennifer Diaz January 16, 2015 0 comments

cuba and key west

Today, a final rule, opening U.S. trade with Cuba, was published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). Through this Federal Register notice, OFAC has amended its Cuban Assets Control Regulations and the BIS has amended the Export Administration Regulations with a “Support for the Cuban People” license exception. This final rule is effective today, with proposed rulemaking, opportunity for public participation, and delay in effective date deemed inapplicable because this regulation involves a foreign affairs function of the U.S.

Cuban cigars will not be readily available for U.S. consumers to purchase as a result of these changes.

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