Baker Donelson’s Trade and Compliance attorneys capped off their 2017 trade watch series with a year-end analysis of lessons learned during the first year of the Trump Administration, along with thoughtful projections of what we may expect in the coming months. With 2017 now behind us, we look ahead at what may be in store for trade after the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), sanctions involving Iran and Cuba, and NAFTA negotiations in 2018. Read our analysis here.
On November 9, 2017, changes to the United States’ Cuba Sanctions program went into effect, as the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR), respectively. The CACR updates and EAR updates implement the changes announced by President Trump in his June 2017 speech and associated National Security Presidential Memorandum (NSPM). The State Department also published its Cuba Restricted List, which identifies additional restricted entities and subentities that U.S. persons are prohibited from transacting with. The following is an overview of the key changes businesses should be aware of with respect to activities involving Cuba. (more…)
On June 16, 2017, President Trump issued a National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba. The Memorandum outlined a framework for agencies such as the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to update and implement an expanded range of sanctions directed at Cuba and the Castro regime. The most significant changes concern authorized individual travel and transactions with entities related to Cuban military or intelligence services. While the current administration seeks to roll back Obama-era Cuba policy that was geared towards reducing sanctions and normalizing relations, OFAC has yet to implement any regulatory amendments called for in the June Memorandum. For more information on the practical effect of the Presidential Memorandum and the future of Cuba sanctions, see our Cuba Sanctions 2017 update in Global Trade Magazine.
American Honda Finance Corporation (American Honda) has settled with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) over potential civil liability for 13 violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), which allegedly occurred between 2011 and 2014. What’s notable is that the matter involved the Canadian affiliate of the global company which was acting entirely independently and outside of the U.S. (more…)
Sanctions against Cuba continue to lift. Effective this week, the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) have relaxed controls in several areas of trade and commerce with Cuba, including loosening restrictions on exporting to and importing from Cuba, carving out new allowances for U.S. persons entering into contingent contracts with Cubans, and opening new opportunities for American entrepreneurs in the civil aviation, construction, and health sectors. Among the changes is also a provision that will allow Americans to travel to Cuba to attend professional meetings and conferences related to tourism. (more…)
The Department of Treasury and Department of Commerce have made several changes to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) since the Administration announced its new direction toward Cuba in December 2014. Since the amendments have occurred in multiple sets of rule changes over the past seventeen months, here is an attempt to summarize where we are in terms of what is now allowed.
We all know that export regulations cannot keep up with reality. Reforms are happening very quickly, especially regarding Cuba. So, here’s a new procedure we just discovered. Perhaps it can help you if you are ever similarity situated.
I am here to encourage newly authorized trade to and from Cuba. However, my job is also to ensure that exporters have all of the information they need to make informed business decisions and remain compliant with U.S. trade laws – not just the information in the introductory paragraphs of news articles or press releases. (more…)
On March 16, 2016, in what could be the final set of amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) under the Obama Administration, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published a Final Rule that further facilitates travel to Cuba, authorizes additional types of financial transactions, and allows companies to have a greater business presence on the island. As expected, Wednesday’s changes represent yet another small step towards normalization that builds upon past rounds of regulatory amendments implemented on January 16, June 15, and September 21, 2015, and January 27, 2016. (more…)
New rules came out on September 21, 2015 from both the Commerce and Treasury Departments. Although for the most part these changes only slightly broaden or clarify pre-existing exceptions to the embargo against Cuba, they nevertheless have the potential to open up the Cuban market to another handful of U.S. companies. See if you qualify. (more…)