Effective September 24, 2020, OFAC issued an amendment to the CACR restricting imports of Cuban-origin alcohol and tobacco products, as well as specific categories of authorized travel to Cuba related to professional meetings or conferences and certain public performances or other events, and also incorporating a new prohibition related to lodging in Cuba. Specifically, the September 24, 2020 amendment makes the following changes to the CACR:
- Restrictions on lodging, paying for lodging, or making reservations for lodging at certain properties in Cuba. Incorporates a prohibition in § 515.210, which prohibits any person subject to U.S. jurisdiction from lodging, paying for lodging, or making any reservation for or on behalf of a third party to lodge, at any property that the Secretary of State has identified as a property in Cuba that is owned or controlled by the Cuban government; a prohibited official of the Government of Cuba, as defined in § 515.337; a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party, as defined in § 515.338; a close relative, as defined in § 515.339, of a prohibited official of the Government of Cuba, or a close relative of a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party. In furtherance of this change, the State Department is creating a new list, the Cuba Prohibited Accommodations List, to publish the names, addresses, or other identifying details, as relevant, of properties identified as meeting such criteria. For more on section § 515.210, please see FAQ 838.
- Restrictions on importation into the United States of Cuban-origin alcohol and tobacco products. Amends four authorizations in the CACR to exclude the importation into the United States of Cuban-origin alcohol and tobacco products. See 31 CFR §§ 515.560(c)(3); 515.569; 515.571(a)(1); and 515.585(d). Previously, the importation of Cuban-origin alcohol and tobacco products as accompanied baggage was authorized for non-commercial use under certain circumstances; with this amendment, OFAC is eliminating those authorizations. For more information, please see FAQ 731.
- Professional research and professional meetings in Cuba. Eliminates the general authorization in § 515.564(a)(2) related to attendance at, or organization of, professional meetings or conferences in Cuba. Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are no longer authorized via this general license to attend or organize professional meetings or conferences in Cuba. As a result, the only remaining general license in § 515.564(a) will be the general license for certain professional research in Cuba. In addition, OFAC is clarifying that specific licenses may be issued on a case-by-case basis authorizing certain transactions related to professional research or professional meetings or conferences. For more information, please see FAQ 701.
- Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions. Eliminates the general authorization in § 515.567(b) related to public performances, clinics, workshops, competitions, and exhibitions. As a result, the only remaining general license for participation in and organization of athletic competitions in Cuba will be the general license in § 515.567(a) for athletic competitions by amateur or semi-professional athletes or athletic teams. In addition, OFAC is clarifying that specific licenses may be issued on a case-by-case basis authorizing certain activity. For more information, please see FAQ 706.
Please note that the Cuba embargo remains in place, and most transactions between Cuba and the United States, or persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction, continue to be prohibited under the CACR, which are enforced by OFAC.