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Trump Administration Designates Cuba State Sponsor of Terrorism

posted by Jennifer Diaz January 12, 2021 0 comments

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

Cuba Designated a State Sponsor of Terror

The U.S. State Department designated Cuba a State Sponsor of Terrorism (“SST”) on January 11, 2021. Countries are designated on the SST list when they are determined by the U.S. Secretary of State to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.

The four main categories of sanctions resulting from designation can include restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions. Here, the January 11 re-designation of Cuba on the SST subjects Cuba to:

  • Sanctions that penalize persons and countries engaging in certain trade with Cuba
  • Restricts U.S. foreign assistance to Cuba
  • Bans defense exports and sales to Cuba
  • Imposes certain controls on exports of dual use items.

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A Year in Review!

posted by Jennifer Diaz December 23, 2020 0 comments

2020 has been a difficult year filled with immense challenge and change (to say the least). From all of us at Diaz Trade Law, we are incredibly thankful and grateful for your support. Despite a pandemic, Diaz Trade Law still managed to save our clients MILLIONS of dollars in 2020. It is with great joy that we finish off 2020 filled with numerous achievements and accomplishments. We look forward to assisting you in what we envision will be a better and brighter 2021!

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U.S.-Cuba Trade under Trump vs. Biden

posted by Jennifer Diaz December 21, 2020 0 comments

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

U.S.-Cuba Trade under Trump

Since the early 1960s, the U.S. maintained a policy of economic sanctions towards Cuba. The U.S. policy sought to isolate the Cuban government. In 2014, the Obama administration significantly changed U.S. trade and economic policies towards Cuba by restoring diplomatic relations, rescinding Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terror, and permitting increased trade between the two countries. This period was known as the Cuban Thaw.

However, under President Trump’s administration, the Obama administration’s efforts to normalize relations have been rolled back. In November 2017, the Trump administration restricted financial transactions with entities controlled by the Cuban government. Furthermore, many new entities have been added to the Cuba restricted list under the Trump administration. As of 2019, the Trump administration has more or less abandoned engagement with the Cuban government, and has opted instead to increase sanctions based on Cuba’s human rights violations and its support of the Venezuelan government under Nicolas Maduro.

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President Trump Strengthens U.S. Policy Toward Cuba

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 17, 2019 1 Comment

President Trump Strengthens U.S. Policy Toward CubaDid you know that the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced additional changes to U.S. policy toward Cuba implemented on October 9? On September 6th, the Trump Administration announced measures to increase economic pressure on the Cuban military regime. This follows past policy changes President Trump has taken to sanction the Cuban government for its daily human rights abuses against the Cuban people and abroad. Earlier this year, the President restricted non-family travel to Cuba by removing the travel exemption category of “people-to-people” travel to the island. 

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UPDATE: Non-Commercial Airplanes and Cruise Ships on Temporary Sojourn are Now Prohibited To Travel To Cuba.

posted by Jennifer Diaz June 4, 2019 0 comments

cuba - prohibtFollowing President Obama’s historical break in precedent, easing restrictions on Cuba in 2016, President Trump now seeks to deprive the Communist regime of revenue from American citizens.

President Trump, not wanting the US to be complicit in the oppression and subjugation of Cubans, has decided to roll back the newly established relationship and directed the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to draft a final rule limiting the types of aircraft that are authorized to fly to Cuba and the types of vessels that are authorized to sail to Cuba on temporary sojourn. This change is likely to be a result of the exponential growth of the island’s economy, coupled with the lack of improvement in overall quality of life for its citizens.

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Trump Administration Tightens Cuba’s Sanctions Program 

posted by Jennifer Diaz November 9, 2017 2 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 1 Comment

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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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Top Successes of Diaz Trade Law (DTL) & Diaz Trade Consulting (DTC) in 2016!

posted by Jennifer Diaz January 26, 2017 0 comments

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DTL saved clients MILLIONS of dollars in 2016, below we list a summary of some of our compliance successes!

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP)

  • Assisted an importer in having $434,486.00 worth of goods seized returned to it in a RECORD 24 working days, with a signed settlement agreement with CBP in a record 17 working days!
  • Assisted an importer in having $324,466.00 worth of goods seized for an underlying AES violation returned.
  •  Assisted importers in filing prior disclosures that were accepted by CBP, advising of errors found, and avoiding substantial penalties.
  •  Assisted importers in successfully responding to CBP 28’s and 29’s resulting in close outs, and no further enforcement action by CBP!
  •  Assisted importers in creating and maintaining pre-compliance programs to evaluate intellectual property rights and pre-report merchandise to CBP resulting in expedited entry into the U.S. with no delays or examinations by CBP.

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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