On December 17, 2014, the President announced a historic new approach in U.S. policy toward Cuba. This approach recognized that increased engagement and commerce benefits the American and Cuban people, and sought to make the lives of ordinary Cubans easier and more prosperous. On January 16, 2015, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amended the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to create License Exception Support for the Cuban People (SCP), which authorizes the export and reexport, without a license, of certain items to, among other objectives, improve the living conditions of the Cuban people (see 80 FR 2286). The rule also made other changes to license exceptions and licensing policy. Id.
On July 22, 2015, BIS published a rule implementing the May 29, 2015, rescission of Cuba's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism (see 80 FR 43314). That rule expanded certain license exception availability for exports and reexports to Cuba, including making general aviation aircraft eligible for temporary sojourns to Cuba.
On September 21, 2015, BIS published a rule to enhance support for the Cuban people (see 80 FR 56898). This rule expanded the scope of transactions that are eligible for License Exception SCP and made certain vessels on temporary sojourn to Cuba eligible for a license exception.
On January 27, 2016, BIS published a rule that amended the licensing policy in § 746.2 of the EAR to add a general policy of approval for certain exports and reexports previously subject to case-by-case review and a policy of case-by-case review for exports and reexports of items not eligible for License Exception SCP to meet the needs of the Cuban people, including exports and reexports made to state-owned enterprises and agencies and organizations of the Cuban government that provide goods and services to the Cuban people, subject to certain restrictions (see 81 FR 4580).
Today, BIS is taking this action in coordination with the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which is amending the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (31 CFR part 515).
This rule revises License Exception Aircraft, Vessels and Spacecraft (AVS) in § 740.15 to authorize transit through Cuban territory of cargo, laden aboard a vessel on temporary sojourn to Cuba, that is destined for other countries rather than require a license for that cargo to transit Cuban territory provided that such cargo departs with the vessel at the end of its temporary sojourn, does not enter the Cuban economy and is not transferred to another vessel while in Cuba. This change allows for efficient use of vessels that carry cargo from the United States to Cuba and to other countries and allows exporter carriers to select efficient routes. This rule also adds a note reminding readers to consult Coast Guard regulations on unauthorized entry into Cuban territorial waters.
This rule revises License Exception SCP to authorize export or reexport of EAR99 items and items controlled on the Commerce Control List only for anti-terrorism reasons for use by persons authorized to establish and maintain a physical or business presence in Cuba by the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control pursuant to 31 CFR 515.573 or pursuant to a specific license issued by OFAC. Prior to this rule, License Exception SCP enumerated the activities for which OFAC had authorized such physical or business presence by general license. Simultaneously with the publication of this rule, OFAC is publishing an amendment to 31 CFR 515.573 to authorize additional persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to establish a business and physical presence in Cuba. BIS's intent is to authorize by license exception the export and reexport of items needed to establish and maintain a physical or business presence in Cuba, to all persons authorized by OFAC to have such a presence. The simplest way to do this is to reference the applicable section in OFAC's Cuban Assets Control Regulations (“CACR”), i.e., 31 CFR 515.573 and specific licenses issued by OFAC rather than to revise the EAR to repeat any changes made to that CACR section.
This rule also revises EAR licensing policy regarding Cuba to adopt a policy of case-by-case review of license applications to export or reexport items that will enable or facilitate exports from Cuba of items produced by Cuba's private sector. BIS is adopting this policy to reinforce the Cuba case-by-case licensing policy adopted prior to this rule, which focuses on exports and reexports that would be used in ways that meet the needs of the Cuban people. Enabling or facilitating exports of items produced by the Cuban private sector, under certain circumstances will also help meet the needs of the Cuban people and is consistent with the Administration's policy of supporting the ability of the Cuban people to gain greater control over their own lives and determine their country's future. However, BIS will conduct the case-by-case review consistent with the policy standard set forth in § 746.2(b)(3)(i) of the EAR, which provides that “BIS generally will deny applications to export or reexport items for use by state-owned enterprises, agencies, and other organizations that primarily generate revenue for the state, including those engaged in tourism and those engaged in the extraction or production of minerals or other raw materials. Applications for export or reexport of items destined to the Cuban military, police, intelligence or security services also generally will be denied.”
This rule revises Note 1 to § 746.2(b)(3)(i) of the EAR, which describes a condition that will generally be included on licenses to prohibit reexport of the items authorized by the license or use of those items to enable or facilitate exports from Cuba. The revision makes clear that the condition applies to reexports from Cuba or uses that enable or facilitate exports from Cuba that primarily generate revenue for the state. BIS is making this change because enabling or facilitating exports of items produced by the Cuban private sector under certain circumstances will help meet the needs of the Cuban people and is consistent with the Administration's policy of supporting the ability of the Cuban people to gain greater control over their own lives and determine their country's future.
This rule revises § 736.2(b)(8) of the EAR, which prohibits shipments from transiting certain destinations, to explicitly state that the prohibition does not apply if a license or license exception authorizes the in-transit shipment.
This rule revises § 740.15(d)(6) of the EAR to authorize temporary sojourn to Cuba of a vessel carrying cargo destined to other countries provided that such cargo departs with the vessel at the end of its temporary sojourn to Cuba, does not enter the Cuban economy and is not transferred to another vessel while in Cuba.
This rule revises § 740.21(e) to remove the individual references to categories of persons authorized by OFAC to establish and maintain a physical or business presence in Cuba pursuant to 31 CFR 515.573, and to authorize exports and reexports to all such persons and to persons whose physical or business presence is authorized by a specific license issued by OFAC.Show citation box
This rule revises § 746.2(b)(3)(i), to add a paragraph (b)(3)(i)(D), which sets a policy of case-by-case review of items that will enable or facilitate export from Cuba of items produced by the Cuban private sector. It also revises Note 1 to clarify that the license condition described therein is intended to preclude use of items authorized by licenses bearing that condition from being reexported from Cuba or being used to enable or facilitate exports from Cuba that primarily generate revenue for the state.
BIS is making these changes to facilitate further support of and engagement with the Cuban people.