US eases restrictions on Cuba

Treasury and Commerce Departments of US announces changes to its sanctions on Cuba

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

A bus painted with the Cuban and US flags is seen on a beach in Havana

Updated Jan 27, 2016

The US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced on Tuesday it would further ease restrictions on its Cuba sanctions regime involving exports and authorised airline travel.

The changes will take effect on January 27, 2016, according to a statement from the official page of the US Department of Commerce.

"These amendments will remove restrictions on payment and financing terms for authorized exports and re-exports to Cuba of items other than agricultural items or commodities," according to a statement from the Treasury and Commerce Departments.

The changes will facilitate travel to Cuba by allowing blocked space, code-sharing, and leasing arrangements with Cuban airlines, it said.

“Following the first ever US-Cuba Regulatory Dialogue and my fact-finding trip to Cuba in October, we have been working tirelessly to maximise the beneficial impact of US regulatory changes on the Cuban people. Today’s Commerce rule builds on previous changes by authorising additional exports including for such purposes as disaster preparedness; education; agricultural production; artistic endeavors; food processing; and public transportation” said US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in official page of US Department of Commerce.

“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.”

TRTWorld and agencies