Wednesday, January 27, 2016

U.S. Loosens Cuba Restrictions Further

U.S. Loosens Cuba Restrictions Further

The U.S. announced further easing of its Cuba sanctions regulations, as
Washington and Havana continue a warming of relations.

The changes, which go into effect Wednesday, remove existing payment
restrictions for authorized exports to Cuba, and they establish a
licensing policy for exports of items that meet the needs of the Cuban
people, including to Cuban state-owned enterprises, according to a
statement. The changes also expand the authorizations under which
Americans can travel to Cuba, allowing a tourism boom to flourish further.

"Just as the U.S. is doing its part to remove impediments that have been
holding Cubans back, we urge the Cuban government to make it easier for
its citizens to start businesses, engage in trade and access information
online," said Ned Price, a national security spokesman for the White
House, in a statement.

The actions encourage more interaction between the U.S. and Cuba, U.S.
officials say. Despite the easing of sanctions in late 2014, experts
told Risk & Compliance Journal last year that not much has changed for
companies seeking to do business there, citing the ongoing legislative
embargo. Nevertheless, the Obama administration has been encouraging
U.S. businesses to forge links in Cuba.

The changes don't lift the embargo, which must be done by Congress, but
they do allow more activity under the law, as Douglas Jacobson, a
partner at Jacobson Burton Kelley PLLC predicted the administration
would do some time this year.

The changes were jointly released by the U.S. Department of Treasury's
Office of Foreign Assets Control, which enforces sanctions, and the U.S.
Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security, which enforces
export-control policy. A profile of BIS by Risk & Compliance Journal
indicated the two agencies will be increasingly working together on
enforcing compliance with U.S. sanctions law.

Write to Samuel Rubenfeld at

Source: U.S. Loosens Cuba Restrictions Further - Risk & Compliance - WSJ

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