June 4, 2019

OFAC toughens Cuba travel restrictions

The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of the Treasury has amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations,  31 C.F.R. part 515 in order to further implement President Trump’s foreign policy regarding Cuba.  OFAC’s amendments to the regulations include the withdrawal of authorization for group “people-to-people” travel to Cuba.  The amendment does allow some travel that was previously authorized, if the traveler made a travel-related transaction (such as reserving an accommodation or purchasing travel tickets) prior to the effective date of the amendment, June 5, 2019.

Commenting on the new regulations, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin noted, “This Administration has made a strategic decision to reverse the loosening of sanctions and other restrictions on the Cuban regime.”

The Bureau of Industry and Security of the US Department of Commerce has also amended export regulations on Cuba, making passenger and recreational vehicles and private and corporate aircraft ineligible for a license exception for export to Cuba.

Dept of the Treasury press statement | OFAC press release | Federal Register | Treasury FAQs