Thursday, November 9, 2017

Trump Administration Tightens Cuba’s Sanctions Program

Since June 2017, we have been anxiously awaiting changes to the Cuba sanctions program since President Trump signed an executive order and emphatically stated that his administration would tighten loose regulations established under the Obama Administration.cuba relations
On November 8, 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury stated,
  • “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”
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets (OFAC) has implemented the Treasury-specific changes via amendments to its Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), codified at 31 C.F.R. 515. Similarly, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has implement necessary changes via amendments to its Export Administration Regulations (EAR), codified at 15 C.F.R. 730-746.
Additionally, the State Department has established corresponding initiatives to implement the policy changes promulgated by OFAC and BIS that target impeding economic activities from the Cuban military, intelligence, and security services. OFAC, BIS, and the State Department have taken steps to ensure policy implementations maintain opportunities for Americans to engage in authorized travel to Cuba and support the private, small business sector in Cuba.
The policy changes are effective TODAY, November 9, 2017, pursuant to Federal Register Notice.
The OFAC has already provided a three page FACT SHEET on its website discussing the main questions and answers you are likely pondering yourself. Here is a summary of the main changes:
Financial Transactions
  • The Embargo will REMAIN in place.
  • The State Department will publish a Cuba Restricted List, which covers Restricted Entities and Subentities associated with Cuba (it’s military, intelligence, or security services).
  • Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are now prohibited from engaging in direct financial transactions with those entities listed pursuant to CACR. However, certain transactions will be excluded from this prohibition pursuant to exceptions detailed in the National Security Presidential Memoranda (NSPM).
  • The Cuba Restricted List will be used during review of license applications submitted to BIS.
  • For those who have commercial engagements in place prior to the State Department’s listing of any entity or subentity, the transactions will still be authorized, as will most previously arranged travel.
Trade and Commerce
  • BIS now has a general policy of denial for license applications to export items for use by those listed on the Cuba Restricted List; unless the transaction is otherwise consistent with the NSPM.
  • BIS has expanding its license exception that authorizes certain license-free exports to the Cuban private sector, in support of free enterprise in Cuba.
People-to-People Travel and Educational Travel
  • All people-to-people nonacademic educational travel must be made by a travel group and must be accompanied by and conducted under an organization that is subject to U.S. jurisdiction that promotes people-to-people travel.
  • Individual people-to-people nonacademic educational travel is no longer authorized.
  • For certain American travelers who had previously arranged travel, they will continue to be authorized, if the traveler had already completed at least one travel-related transaction (such as purchasing a flight or reserving accommodation) prior to the President’s June 16, 2017 announcement.
Support for the Cuban People Travel
  • Travelers under the category “Support for the Cuban People” are required to engage in a full-time schedule of activities that result in meaningful interaction with individuals in Cuba.
  • Some examples of authorized activities: Renting a room in a private Cuban residence (casa particular), eating at privately owned Cuban restaurants (paladares), and shopping at privately owned stores run by self-employed Cubans (cuentapropistas).
Prohibited Officials
  • The definition of “prohibited officials of the Government of Cuba” now includes certain additional individuals, under OFAC regulations and BIS is making conforming changes to three license exceptions that include the same definition.
Contact us today at info@diaztradelaw.com or 305-456-3830 with any questions related to the Cuban Embargo and see our past posts related to Cuba changes HERE.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

AILA CLE Luncheon: Ports of Entry – Searches, Seizures and More!

Do you know rights (and your clients’ rights) when encountering law enforcement at airports and other ports of entry? Join us at The Rusty Pelican on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, at 11:45AM for an interactive discussion on various issues being encountered by travelers at ports of entry. Our panel of experts will discuss:


Friday, October 27, 2017

Peruvian Timber on the Hot Seat

In a press release, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) directed United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to block future timber imports from a Peruvian exporter, Inversiones Oroza SRL for three years or until it is determined that the company has complied with all applicable Peruvian laws, regulations, and other measures, whichever is shorter. This is the first enforcement action taken by the

Thursday, October 26, 2017

CBP's 2017 EAST COAST TRADE SYMPOSIUM

UPDATE – CBP JUST OPENED UP REGISTRATION TODAY for its EAST COAST Trade Symposium! We always strive to keep you informed of the latest and greatest trade events. In this vain, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be hosting the 2017 EAST Coast Trade Symposium on

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The UGG Boots Story: How Recording Your Registered Trademark Can Lead to a Jail Sentence

alg-ugg-boots-jpgAt the end of September 2017, Shi Wei Zheng, 42, plead guilty to one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods. During a five-month period, Zheng trafficked over 15,000 pairs of counterfeit UGG boots, with a total estimated retail value of over $2.5 million.


Friday, October 6, 2017

UPDATE: FDA Delays Compliance Dates for the New Nutrition Facts Label Rule

complianceIn an earlier article, we detailed some of the new changes that would be implemented with the new Nutrition Facts Label rule. That article also provided the compliance dates for the rule. On September 29,2017, however, the FDA proposed yet another deadline extension for

Monday, September 25, 2017

Essential Oils Company to Pay $760K for Lacey Act Violations


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The Justice Department announced YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS, L.C., (the Company), headquartered in Lehi, Utah, plead guilty in federal court to federal misdemeanor charges regarding its illegal trafficking of rosewood oil and spikenard oil in violation of the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act. Despite the company voluntarily disclosing its violations and cooperating with government investigators, it entered into a plea agreement, and the Company was sentenced to a fine of $500,000, $135,000 in restitution, a community service payment of

Friday, September 1, 2017

CTPAT “Your Supply Chains Strongest Link”

ctpatI just attended the 2017 CTPAT conference in Detroit. After 2 days of CTPAT’ing, here a list of my top 10 takeaways including the changes I see coming to the CTPAT program.
  1. There is a new name. Notice the – is officially gone, no more C-TPAT (despite all of us conditioned to using the -, it is no more. CTPAT it is.
  2. There is a new slogan – CTPAT “Your Supply Chains Strongest Link”.
  3. There is a new woman at the helm. Elizabeth Schmelzinger is the Director of CTPAT.
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The biggest take away is ....

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Don’t Miss FDA’s Upcoming Webinar on ITACS

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On September 5th, 7th, and 11th the U.S. Food & Drug Administration will hold three identical webinars, which will provide information on the evolution of FDA’s Import Trade Auxiliary Communications System or ITACS system “to ensure that trade users are familiar with and understand the new ITACS Account Management functionality.”
 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

C-TPAT Conference 2017

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection is proud to announce the 2017 C-TPAT Conference. The conference will be held in the Detroit Metropolitan Area. Two sessions will be offered: August 29 - 30, 2017 and August 30 - 31, 2017.  Both sessions will include a day of workshops and a day of general session.