export-controls 09 November 2017

US agencies deliver on promise for Cuba regulations

On 8 November, US agencies announced the publication of regulations which implement the ‘National Security Memorandum Strengthening the Policy of the United States Toward Cuba,’ (‘NSPM’) of June this year, in which President Trump articulated his approach to relations with the country.

A statement on the website of the Office of Foreign Assets Control ‘OFAC’ from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, reads:

‘[T]he Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) are announcing amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR), respectively, to implement changes to the Cuba sanctions program announced by the President in June.

‘The State Department is taking complementary steps to implement these policy changes that cumulatively seek to channel economic activities away from the Cuban military, intelligence, and security services, while maintaining opportunities for Americans to engage in authorized travel to Cuba and support the private, small business sector in Cuba.  The changes will take effect on Thursday, November 9, 2017, when the regulations are published in the Federal Register.

‘We have strengthened our Cuba policies to channel economic activity away from the Cuban military and to encourage the government to move toward greater political and economic freedom for the Cuban people.’

Inter alia:

  • The US State Department is publishing ‘a list of entities and subentities that are under the control of, or act for or on behalf of, the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services or personnel and with which direct financial transactions would disproportionately benefit the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services or personnel at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba – the State Department’s List of Restricted Entities and Subentities Associated with Cuba (‘Cuba Restricted List’).’
  • Persons subject to US jurisdiction will now be prohibited from engaging in certain direct financial transactions with entities and subentities identified by the State Department on the Cuba Restricted List, and
  • In accordance with the NSPM, the Bureau of Industry and Security is establishing a general policy of denial for licence applications to export items for use by entities and subentities on the Cuba Restricted List unless the transaction is otherwise consistent with the NSPM.

In a client briefing, lawyers at the firm Jacobson Burton Kelley remind those with potential business in Cuba that, ‘As with other US sanctions on Cuba, the updated sanctions apply to all persons subject to US jurisdiction, which includes US persons (entities formed under US law, US citizens, US residents, and other individuals and entities located within the US), as well as non-US entities owned or controlled by US persons.’


The OFAC regulations are here:

Department of Commerce here:
https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2017-24448.pdf, and

State Department Cuba Restricted List is at:


For enhanced commentary on the development, see Issue 64 of WorldECR.