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Traveling to Cuba: What You Need to Know Before You Go

The U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) has amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 515 (the "CACR"), to further implement the new policy to normalize relations with Cuba that the President announced in December 2014.  This includes a Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) that was made public on October 14, 2016 that has significant impact on normalized relations with Cuba.

The CACR amendment was published in the Federal Register on Monday, October 17, 2016, at which time the changes will take effect.  The changes are intended to expand scientific collaboration, increase people-to-people contact in Cuba, and bolster trade and commercial opportunities.

OFAC is removing the monetary value limitations on what authorized travelers may import from Cuba into the United States as accompanied baggage.  This includes the value limitation on alcohol and tobacco products.  Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction will be further authorized to import Cuban-origin merchandise acquired in third countries into the United States as accompanied baggage, again without value limitations.  OFAC is also removing the prohibition on foreign travelers importing Cuban-origin alcohol and tobacco products into the United States as accompanied baggage.  In all cases, the Cuban-origin goods must be imported for personal use, and normal limits on duty and tax exemptions will apply.

Last modified: 
March 13, 2017