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:
- 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 haveBIG 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