New OFAC guidance released clarifying travel between Cuba and the USA

Posted: 14-Jul-15 09:29

The Office of Foreign Assets Control has released new guidance regarding travel between the nations of USA and Cuba. The guidelines apply to the way in which tourists travel to Cuba from the USA and the documentation they must have.

New OFAC guidance released clarifying travel between Cuba and the USA

A new guidance document has been published by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, regarding travel between Cuba and the United States of America.

People who are travelling to Cuba from the USA may now be transported between the two countries by aircraft or via a commercial passenger vessel. This applies to all who are travelling under one of the 12 categories of travel that are authorised under the section 515.560 of the new travel regulations.

If the travel company is providing travel to Cuba via a vessel, they will need to possess a special license in order to provide the commercial passenger service. In the case of a Cuban national who is travelling via aircraft or commercial passenger vessel to the United States from Cuba, the traveller must have a valid visa or other travel authorization.

Cuban nationals who are currently present in the USA in a non-immigrate status will be allowed to travel via aircraft or commercial passenger vessels from the USA to Cuba. The current regulations of the OFAC only apply to carrier service by aircraft. Carrier service by commercial passenger vessel will require a special license that must be issued by the OFAC.

The guidance document contains within it a lot of information pertaining to the type of cargo that any person is allowed to transport from Cuba to the USA. For example, under the category of accompanied baggage one person is allowed up to $400 in merchandise that has been acquired in Cuba for the personal use of the traveller. Any Cuban-origin goods are identified as accompanied baggage, other than tobacco and alcohol products. Up to $100 in alcohol and tobacco products acquired in Cuba are allowed, provided they are for personal use.

It is also possible to bring products that are made by Cuban entrepreneurs, although the importer will need to have proof that the producer is a Cuban entrepreneur.

Travellers who have left the USA for Cuba and are returning, are being advised to read through and understand these guidelines so that ensure they follow them correctly and avoid any unnecessary hassle during their travels.


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