Effective November 9, 2017, the Department of the 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, to implement US Cuba sanctions policy changes President Trump announced in a presidential memorandum issued June 16, 2017. Concurrently, as required by the presidential memorandum, the Department of State published a list of 180 entities and subentities associated with Cuban military, intelligence, and security services (Cuba Restricted List). As such, US government policy establishes that direct financial transactions conducted by persons subject to US jurisdiction with persons identified on the Cuba Restricted List would disproportionately benefit them at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba.
Even though President Trump announced in June that he was “cancelling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba,” the memorandum he issued in June, and the regulatory changes implemented by the State, Treasury, and Commerce Departments last week, reflect relatively moderate changes to US Cuba sanctions policy, as we previously explained in our June advisory on the matter. While these changes limit certain US business activity with, and travel to, Cuba, they do not reflect a roll-back of all (or even most) of the Obama Administration’s significant Cuba sanctions reforms.
For more information, please see our advisory.