U.S. Loosens Certain Restrictions on Transactions with Cuba

On January 26, the U.S. Departments of the Treasury and Commerce released additional amendments to regulations regarding export payment and financing and airline travel with Cuba that will be effective on January 27.[1]

The changes will authorize financial transactions regarding professional meetings, disaster preparedness, information and informational materials and professional media or artistic productions in Cuba.

Other changes will allow U.S. airlines to have blocked space, code-sharing and leasing arrangements with Cuban airlines.

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said, “Today’s amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations build on successive actions over the last year and send a clear message to the world: the United States is committed to empowering and enabling economic advancements for the Cuban people.  We have been working to enable the free flow of information between Cubans and Americans and will continue to take the steps necessary to help the Cuban people achieve the political and economic freedom that they deserve.”

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said, “Following the first ever U.S.-Cuba Regulatory Dialogue and my fact-finding trip to Cuba in October, we have been working tirelessly to maximize the beneficial impact of U.S. regulatory changes on the Cuban people.  Today’s Commerce rule builds on previous changes by authorizing additional exports including for such purposes as disaster preparedness; education; agricultural production; artistic endeavors; food processing; and public transportation.  These regulatory changes will also facilitate exports that will help strengthen civil society in Cuba and enhance communications to, from and among the Cuban people.  Looking ahead, we will continue to support greater economic independence and increased prosperity for the Cuban people, as we take another step toward building a more open and mutually beneficial relationship between our two nations.”


[1] Reuters, U.S. Eases Air Travel, Export Financing Sanctions on Cuba, N.Y. Times (Jan. 26, 2016); U.S. Treasury Dep’t, Treasury and Commerce Announce Further Amendments to the Cuba Sanctions Regulations (Jan. 26, 2016).