Frequently Asked Questions

Pursuant to 31 CFR § 515.582, certain goods and services produced by independent Cuban entrepreneurs, as set forth in a list maintained by the State Department on its website, are authorized for importation, and persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction may engage in associated transactions necessary to import these authorized goods and services.  The State Department list provides details of the goods and services authorized for importation into the U.S. from Cuba pursuant to this provision. This list references sections and chapters of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) of the United States to indicate categories of goods that are not eligible for importation into the United States pursuant to § 515.582, even if such goods were produced by independent Cuban entrepreneurs; any other goods produced by independent Cuban entrepreneurs and not covered by the listed sections and chapters of the HTS may be imported, as provided in the State Department’s Section 515.582 list and subject to compliance with all other relevant requirements under state and federal law and regulations.  Section 515.582 authorizes the importation of all services supplied by independent Cuban entrepreneurs, again, as provided in the State Department’s Section 515.582 list and subject to compliance with other requirements in state and federal law and regulations.  Imports authorized by § 515.582 are not subject to the limitations set forth in § 515.560(c) or § 515.544, including the $100 limitation on imported merchandise from Cuba or Cuban-origin merchandise from a third country intended as gifts.

Updated: June 08, 2022

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OFAC currently authorizes a number of categories of remittances from persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to persons in Cuba pursuant to 31 CFR § 515.570.  Section 515.570 excludes from the scope of the authorization any transaction relating to the collection, forwarding, or receipt of remittances involving any entity or subentity identified on the State Department’s Cuba Restricted List.  Authorized remittance categories include: 

Family remittances:  Persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States who are 18 years of age or older are authorized to make remittances to nationals of Cuba who are close relatives, as defined in § 515.339, of the remitter, provided that the recipient is not a prohibited official of the Government of Cuba, a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party, or a close relative of a prohibited official of the Government of Cuba or prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party, and provided that the remittances are not made for emigration purposes.  See §§ 515.337, 515.338, and 515.339 for relevant definitions.  

Donative remittances:  Effective June 9, 2022, OFAC amended § 515.570(b) to authorize donative remittances to Cuban nationals who are not prohibited officials of the Government of Cuba, prohibited members of the Cuban Communist Party, or close relatives of a prohibited official of the Government of Cuba or prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party.  

Remittances to certain individuals and independent non-governmental organizations in Cuba:  Persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States are authorized to make remittances to certain individuals and independent non-governmental organizations in Cuba, including remittances that encourage the development of private businesses and operation of economic activity in the non-state sector by self-employed individuals.  Section 515.340 defines the term “self-employed individual” to mean a Cuban national who satisfies one or more of the following conditions:  (a) is an owner or employee of a small private business or a sole proprietorship, including restaurants (paladares), taxis, and bed-and-breakfasts (casas particulares); (b) is an independent contractor or consultant; (c) is a small farmer who owns his or her own land; or (d) is a small usufruct farmer who cultivates state-owned land to sell products on the open market.  This general license also authorizes persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to make remittances to pro-democracy groups and civil society groups in Cuba, and to members of such groups or organizations, to support:  humanitarian projects in or related to Cuba that are designed to directly benefit the Cuban people and to support the Cuban people through activities of recognized human rights organizations, independent organizations designed to promote a rapid, peaceful transition to democracy, and activities of individuals and non-governmental organizations that promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society.  See § 515.570(g) for additional applicable conditions.

Remittances to religious organizations in Cuba:  Persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States are authorized to make remittances to religious organizations in Cuba in support of religious activities, provided that the remittances are not made from a blocked source and that the remitter, if an individual, is 18 years of age or older.  See § 515.570(c).

Remittances to students in Cuba pursuant to an educational license:  Persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States who are 18 years of age or older are authorized to make remittances to close relatives, as defined in § 515.339, who are students in Cuba pursuant to the general license authorizing certain educational activities in § 515.565(a) or a specific license issued pursuant to § 515.565(f), provided that the remittances are not made from a blocked source and are for the purpose of funding transactions authorized by the general licenses in § 515.565(a) or the specific license issued pursuant to § 515.565(f) under which the student is traveling.  See § 515.570(d).

Two one-time $1,000 emigration-related remittances:  Persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States are authorized to remit the following amounts, subject to certain conditions:  (1) Up to $1,000 per payee on a one-time basis to Cuban nationals for the purpose of covering the payees' preliminary expenses associated with emigrating from Cuba to the United States; and (2) up to an additional $1,000 per payee on a one-time basis to Cuban nationals for the purpose of enabling the payees to emigrate from Cuba to the United States, including for the purchase of airline tickets and payment of exit or third-country visa fees or other travel-related fees.  See § 515.570(e)

Unblocking and return of blocked remittances:  Effective June 9, 2022, OFAC added a general license in § 515.570(h) authorizing the unblocking and return of blocked remittances, provided they would be authorized under revised § 515.570(a) or (b).

See § 515.570 for a complete description of what the OFAC general licenses related to remittances authorize and the restrictions that apply, as well as statements of specific licensing policy.

For remittances from Cuban nationals to persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction, see § 515.587

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Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction may not travel to Cuba to engage in “people-to-people” educational exchanges on an individual basis.  However, group people-to-people travel is generally authorized for educational activities, subject to certain conditions.  Effective June 9, 2022, OFAC amended 31 CFR § 515.565(b) to authorize group people-to-people educational travel conducted under the auspices of an organization that is subject to U.S. jurisdiction and that sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact, provided such travelers are accompanied by an employee, paid consultant, or agent of the sponsoring organization.  Travel-related transactions authorized pursuant to § 515.565(b) must be for the purpose of engaging, while in Cuba, in a full-time schedule of activities that are intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities; and will result in meaningful interactions with individuals in Cuba.  

For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, see § 515.565

The export or reexport to Cuba of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR parts 730 through 774), including vessels and aircraft used to provide carrier services, may require separate authorization from the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).  See § 515.533.  For additional information regarding BIS’s export controls, see BIS’s Cuba webpage.

Updated: June 08, 2022

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Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction, including U.S. academic institutions and their faculty, staff, and students, are authorized to engage in the travel-related transactions set forth in 31 CFR § 515.560(c) and such additional transactions as are directly incident to the 12 categories of educational activities, as described in § 515.565(a).  Among other things, this general license authorizes, subject to conditions, faculty, staff, and students at U.S. academic institutions and secondary schools to engage in certain educational activities, including study abroad programs, in Cuba, Cuban scholars to engage in certain educational activities in the United States, and certain activities to facilitate licensed educational programs. U.S. and Cuban universities may engage in academic exchanges and joint non-commercial academic research under the general license.  This provision also authorizes persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to provide standardized testing services and certain internet-based courses to Cuban nationals.  For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, see § 515.565.

In addition, a general license at § 515.565(b) authorizes, subject to conditions, group people-to-people educational travel conducted under the auspices of an organization that is subject to U.S. jurisdiction and that sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact, provided such travelers are accompanied by an employee, paid consultant, or agent of the sponsoring organization.  See FAQ 704.

Please note that this general license excludes direct financial transactions with entities and subentities identified on the State Department’s Cuba Restricted List.  For a description of the scope of the prohibition on direct financial transactions and the restrictions and exceptions that apply, see § 515.209.  This general license also excludes from the authorization lodging, paying for lodging, or making any reservation for or on behalf of a third party to lodge, at any property in Cuba on the Cuba Prohibited Accommodations List to the extent prohibited by § 515.210

Updated: June 08, 2022

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31 CFR § 515.564 (a)(1) contains a general license that authorizes, subject to conditions, travel-related transactions and other transactions that are directly incident to professional research in Cuba.  Among other things, this general license authorizes, subject to conditions, professional research in Cuba relating to a traveler’s profession, professional background, or area of expertise.

Effective June 9, 2022, OFAC amended § 515.564(a) to include a general license authorizing, subject to conditions, travel-related and other transactions incident to attendance at or organization of professional meetings or conferences in Cuba.  This general license authorizes persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to travel to Cuba for purposes of attending or organizing professional meetings or conferences, such as  meetings or conferences to support expanded internet access and remittance processing companies and to provide additional support and training to independent Cuban entrepreneurs. 

Please note that these general licenses exclude from the authorization lodging, paying for lodging, or making any reservation for or on behalf of a third party to lodge, at any property in Cuba on the Cuba Prohibited Accommodations List to the extent prohibited by § 515.210.  For a complete description of the scope of this prohibition, see § 515.210.  The traveler’s schedule of activities must not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule of professional research or a full-time schedule of attendance at, or organization of, professional meetings or conferences, respectively.  An entire group does not qualify for the general license merely because some members of the group qualify individually.  For a complete description of what these general licenses authorize and the restrictions that apply, see § 515.564.

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Travel-related transactions are permitted by general or specific licenses for certain travel related to the 12 categories of activities identified in 31 CFR § 515.560(a).  Those travel-related transactions permitted by general license, subject to specified criteria and conditions, include: family visits; official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities; athletic competitions by amateur or semi-professional athletes or athletic teams; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials; and certain authorized export transactions.  Each person relying on a certain general authorization must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions.  See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of the Reporting, Procedures and Penalties Regulations for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

Effective June 9, 2022, OFAC amended § 515.564(a) to include a general license authorizing, subject to conditions, persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to travel to Cuba for purposes of attending or organizing professional meetings or conferences in Cuba.  OFAC also amended § 515.565 to remove certain restrictions on authorized academic educational activities (§ 515.565(a)) and to authorize group people-to-people educational travel conducted under the auspices of an organization that is subject to U.S. jurisdiction and that sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact, provided such travelers are accompanied by an employee, paid consultant, or agent of the sponsoring organization (§ 515.565(b)).  Travel-related transactions authorized pursuant to § 515.565(b) must be for the purpose of engaging, while in Cuba, in a full-time schedule of activities that are intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities; and will result in meaningful interactions with individuals in Cuba.  This amendment does not authorize individual people-to-people travel.  Travel for tourist activities is not permitted.

The CACR continue to include the prohibition added on November 9, 2017 that restricts certain direct financial transactions with entities and subentities identified on the State Department’s Cuba Restricted List.  For a description of the scope of the prohibition on direct financial transactions and the restrictions and exceptions that apply, see § 515.209.   

Also, the CACR continue to include a prohibition added on September 24, 2020 at § 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, when the terms of the general or specific license expressly exclude such a transaction.  The State Department maintains the Cuba Prohibited Accommodations List, which identifies the names, addresses, or other identifying details, as relevant, of properties identified as meeting such criteria. 

Updated: June 08, 2022

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