Frequently Asked Questions

734. What is the Cuba Restricted List and how does it impact Cuba-related transactions?

Answer

In accordance with National Security Presidential Memorandum-5 on Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba (NSPM-5) , the State Department publishes a list of entities and subentities 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. This list is called the Cuba Restricted List, and is available on the State Department’s website at https://www.state.gov/cuba-sanctions/cuba-restricted-list/. In accordance with NSPM-5, OFAC maintains a prohibition to restrict direct financial transactions with entities and subentities on the Cuba Restricted List. For a complete description of the scope of the prohibition on direct financial transactions and the restrictions and exceptions that apply, see 31 CFR § 515.209. This prohibition applies to the following general licenses: §§ 515.530, 515.534, 515.545, 515.560, 515.561,515.564, 515.565, 515.566, 515.567, 515.572, 515.573, 515.574, 515.576, 515.577, 515.578, 515.581,515.584, and 515.590. For a complete description of what each general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, see the aforementioned general licenses. 

In addition, on October 27, 2020, OFAC also amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) to exclude from the scope of certain remittance-related general licenses any transactions relating to the collection, forwarding, or receipt of remittances involving any entity or subentity identified on the State Department’s Cuba Restricted List (CRL), effective November 26, 2020. This restriction is distinct from the prohibition in § 515.209, which, for example, contains certain exceptions for pre-existing commercial engagements with CRL entities or subentities. See Note 2 to § 515.209, reinforcing this distinction. Specifically, OFAC’s October 27, 2020 rule removes from the scope of certain general licenses any transaction relating to the collection, forwarding, or receipt of remittances involving any entity or subentity on the CRL, regardless of the existence of any pre-existing commercial engagements. Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction may use the 30 days before the rule becomes effective to wind down those engagements and make alternative arrangements. 

Section 515.421 of the CACR contains an interpretive provision for incidental transactions where OFAC has clarified that authorized transactions ordinarily incident to licensed transactions and necessary to give effect thereto exclude direct financial transactions with such entities or subentities if the terms of the applicable general or specific license expressly exclude such direct financial transactions. OFAC also amended 31 CFR § 515.421 to make clear that a transaction relating to the collection, forwarding, or receipt of remittances involving any entity or subentity identified on the CRL is not authorized as an ordinarily incident transaction where the terms of the general or specific license expressly exclude any such transactions. For a complete description of the scope of the interpretive provision and the restrictions and exceptions that apply, see 31 CFR § 515.421.

 

Date Released
October 26, 2020