Department of the Treasury

Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

Frequently Asked Questions on President Trump’s Cuba Announcement

Updated 01/03/2019

1. How will OFAC implement the changes to the Cuba sanctions program announced by the President on June 16, 2017? Are the changes effective immediately?

These amendments implement changes to the authorizations for travel to Cuba and related transactions and restrict certain financial transactions. These amendments also implement certain technical and conforming changes. DATES: Effective: November 9, 2017.

2. What is individual people-to-people travel, and how does the President’s announcement impact this travel authorization?

Individual people -to-people educational travel will no longer be authorized, travelers who have already completed at least one travel-related transaction (such as purchasing a flight or reserving accommodation) prior to November 9, 2017 may engage in related individual people-to-people travel and transactions.
But the individual’s Traveler may qualify for the General License (Support for the Cuban People), each traveler engages in a full-time schedule of activities that Enhance Contact with individuals in Cuba.

3. Will group people-to-people travel licence still be authorized?

Yes, this licence still authorized, not involving academic study pursuant to a degree program, that takes place under the auspices of an organization that is subject to U.S. jurisdiction. Travelers must: (i) maintain a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba; and (ii) be accompanied by an employee, consultant, or agent of the sponsoring organization.

4. Will organizations subject to U.S. jurisdiction that sponsor exchanges to promote people-to-people contact be required to apply to OFAC for a specific license?

No. To the extent that proposed travel falls within the scope of an existing general license, including group people-to-people educational travel, persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction may proceed with sponsoring such travel without applying to OFAC for a specific license. It is OFAC’s policy not to grant applications for a specific license authorizing transactions where a general license is applicable.

Once the State Department publishes its list of entities and sub entities with which direct transactions will not be authorized and OFAC issues its regulations, no new transactions, including travel-related transactions, may be initiated with these identified entities and subentities. Prior travel arrangements that may involve these entities or subentities will still be authorized. See FAQ 7.

5. How does the new policy impact other authorized travel to Cuba by persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction?

Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction who wish to engage in any travel within the 12 categories of activities specified in the CACR that does not meet the requirements of a general license will need to apply for a specific license from OFAC.

6. How do the changes announced by the President on June 16, 2017 affect authorized travelers to Cuba whose travel arrangements may include direct transactions with entities related to the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services that may be implicated by the new Cuba policy?

The prohibition in this section does not apply to any transactions related to commercial engagements that involve direct financial transactions with an entity or subentity on the Cuba Restricted List, provided those commercial engagements were in place prior to the date that entity or sub entity was added to the Cuba Restricted List as published in the Federal Register. Note to § 515.209: This section does not prohibit a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction from participating in an indirect financial transaction, such as those authorized pursuant to § 515.584(d) relating to funds transfers or § 515.584(g) relating to U.S. dollar monetary instruments, where the person does not act as the originator or beneficiary on a transfer of funds.

7. Can I continue to send authorized remittances to Cuba?

Yes. The announced policy changes will not change the authorizations for sending remittances to Cuba. Otherwise will be restricted by the new policy limiting transactions with certain identified Cuban military, intelligence, or security services. Effective November 9, 2017.

8. How will the new policy impact existing OFAC specific licenses?

The forthcoming regulations will be prospective and thus will not affect authorized transactions under existing specific licenses, unless explicitly noted.

9. How will U.S. companies know if a Cuban counterpart is affiliated with a prohibited entity or sub entity in Cuba?

In accordance with the NSPM, the State Department is publishing a list of entities and sub entities that are under the control of, or act for or on behalf of, the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services or personnel and with which direct financial transactions would disproportionately benefit the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services or personnel at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba – the State Department’s List of Restricted Entities and Sub Entities Associated with Cuba (“Cuba Restricted List”). The Cuba Restricted List is maintained by the State Department and will be published and periodically updated as necessary in the Federal Register.

10. Is authorized travel by cruise ship or passenger vessel to Cuba impacted by the new Cuba policy?

Yes, provided that you are authorized to travel to Cuba pursuant to a general or specific license. Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are authorized to provide carrier services by vessel to authorized travelers, and travelers may purchase tickets provided that their travel is authorized pursuant to the CACR. The authorization to provide carrier services is limited to transportation of authorized travelers, directly or indirectly, between the United States and Cuba. Vessel operators and travelers are responsible for maintaining records of their Cuba-related transactions for at least five years. For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, see 31 CFR § 515.572.

For more information on the National Security Presidential Memorandum visit:

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/cuba_faqs_new.pdf
and
https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/cuba_fact_sheet_11082017.pdf