New US – Cuba regulations announced in September

 New US - Cuba regulations announced in SeptemberHAVANA, July 12th The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury Department is to publish new regulations on Cuba on September 15, according to a report on Monday from US-Cuba Economic and Commercial Council.

The announcement includes a timetable that marks 90 days after US President Donald Trump’s June 16 speech in Miami announcing his change of policy towards Cuba.

After his speech, which has been widely condemned both inside and outside the US, Trump signed a presidential memorandum of national security on the strengthening of the US policy towards Cuba.

The document restricts travel to Cuba, creating bureaucratic barriers and the elimination of individual travel.

The memorandum also prohibits economic, commercial and financial transactions between US companies and Cuban entities linked to the armed forces and intelligence and security services.

As announced by the Cuban government in a recent declaration, the US is imposing additional obstacles to the already restrictive opportunities for US companies to trade or invest in Cuba.

On June 16, US federal entities published guidelines that outlined the changes including questions and answers on the new measures.

According to OFAC, its regulatory amendments will be issued in the coming months and the changes will not go into effect until the publication of the new regulations.

Meanwhile, the Department of Commerce will apply the necessary changes through amendments to its Export Administration Regulations.

Regarding travel of US groups to Cuba, those that travel under the people to people license, must have a full program of activities of educational exchanges and each traveler must keep relevant documents for at least five years in case contacted by OFAC.

The Treasury Department added that those that were planning to travel to Cuba and cancelled should consult with their airline for possible cancelation and reimbursement policies.

Trump claimed that his strategy is aimed at limiting US tourism to the island and limiting trade to “stop the Cuban state from receiving money”.