Friday, December 23, 2016

Now, More than Ever, Be Wary of and Responsive to a CBP Form 28!

rob-articleU.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), having previously identified AD/CVD evasion as priority trade issue, is ramping up its efforts to further combat AD/CVD evasion. Effective August 22, 2016, interested parties can, in addition to pursuing either a civil False Claims Act/Qui Tam Action or a criminal trade violation, now report Enforce and Protect Act (“EAPA”) violations using CBP’s e-Allegation mechanism
Who is an Interested Party?

Interested parties qualified to use this violation reporting mechanism include:
  • Foreign manufacturers, producers, exporters, or importers of covered merchandise or a trade or business association a majority of the members of which are producers, exporters, or importers of such merchandise
  • Manufacturers, producers, exporters, or importers in the U.S. of a domestic like product 
  • A certified union or recognized union group of workers that is representative of an industry engaged in the manufacture, production or wholesale of a domestic like product in the U.S. 
  • A trade or business association a majority of the members of which manufacture, produce, or wholesale a domestic like product in the U.S. 
  • If covered merchandise is a processed agricultural product, a coalition or trade union that is representative of processors, processors and producers, or processors and growers

Thursday, December 1, 2016

CBP Launches New E-Commerce and Small Business Branch … Just in Time for the Holiday Shopping Season

santaWith Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror and the Christmas holiday season kicking into high gear, now is the time to think of Pre-Compliance especially with the grave risks associated with shopping online and not knowing your supplier. As Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday commercial activity spikes, CBP is, in specific connection with online sales, warns consumers and merchants alike to be on the lookout for holiday shopping scams and/or criminal trade practices. Red flags to watch for in this regard include offers designed to induce the purchase of counterfeit and/or unsafe goods, prices that are too good to be true, e-commerce sites that lack legitimate phone numbers and/or addresses, and sellers who lack good customer feedback.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

TPP: Dead or Alive?

tppAre you wondering whether, given President-elect Trump’s recent promise to abandon the agreement on his first day in office, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) is even going to happen? Are you interested in knowing what all the buzz is about the TPP? Would the TPP open up new business opportunities for your small- to medium-sized business in Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam? If you want to know more, then this FREE webinar is for you!

Top Five Reasons to Participate:
  1. Gain insight into the nuts and bolts of how goods and services are exported from the U.S. into TPP countries.
  2. Discover which elements of the TPP can help small- to medium sized U.S. companies save time, reduce costs, and improve certainty in TPP markets.
  3. Hear from government officials what lies ahead with respect to the approval and entry into force of the TPP.
  4. Take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions to and receive answers from TPP experts in real time (including whether or not they believe the TPP has a fighting chance).
  5. Develop new contacts within the U.S. Commercial Service.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

19 Antibacterial Soap Ingredients to be Banned by the FDA!

Co-authored by Jennifer Diaz and Kristina Hernandez-Tilson, an attorney in Miami, Florida, practices in state and federal court, litigating matters of civil and administrative law. 

Do you assume that when shopping for soaps or body washes, consumers will often times reach for products labeled “antibacterial” in hopes that those products will keep them and their families safer? If so, you would be right. The popularity of antibacterial products has grown tremendously since they first appeared on the market. According to a 1998 Gallop Study of Consumer Awareness and Perception of Antibacterial Products, 33% of those surveyed expressed the need for special antibacterial products to protect their homes from bacterial and viral pathogens. A similar study conducted by Gallop in 2010 revealed that an overwhelming 75% of those surveyed said they preferred to purchase products with antimicrobial protection.

Friday, November 11, 2016

CBP EAST COAST Trade Symposium (#ECTS2016) Dec 1-2, 2016!

The CBP East Coast Trade Symposium theme is "Trade’s Impact on American Health, Safety and Economic Prosperity” and will take place from December 1-2, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in, Arlington, Virginia.

Our top 5 reasons to attend including an invite to a premier networking event are below!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Travel to the U.S. with an Unlimited Number of Cuban Cigars and Rum - Courtesy of New Revised OFAC and BIS Regulations

On October 14, 2016, President Obama issued a Presidential Policy Directive on United States-Cuba Normalization to further ease travel and trade restrictions with Cuba. As a result, Monday, October 17, 2016, amendments to both OFAC and BIS regulations will take effect.

Below are the top changes from both OFAC and BIS:

OFAC is making additional amendments to the Regulations with respect to health, trade and commerce, civil aviation safety, travel and related transactions, humanitarian-related activities, and certain other activities. Below is a recap:
  • Health
    • Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are now permitted to engage in commercial and non-commercial joint medical research projects with Cuban nationals. (Section 515.547).
  • Travel and Related Transactions
    • Importation of Cuban merchandise: Not too long ago we alerted our readers that CBP was targeting Cuban Cigars at American Ports. We haveImage result for travel with cigars and rumBIG news for cigar and rum lovers… As of Monday, October 17, 2016, persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are now able to return home from Cuba (or any other country where Cuban rum and cigars can legally be purchased) with an unlimited amount of rum and cigars. However, the number of cigars and amount rum must be for personal use and such merchandise must be imported as accompanied baggage and are subject to the normal limits on duty and tax exemptions. This is a huge step forward from OFAC’s initial limit of $400 or less (with no more than $100 of such merchandise consisting of alcohol or tobacco products). (Section 515.560(c)(3)).

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cuban Cigars Seized by CBP

Mark Twain once said, “I never smoke to excess - that is, I smoke in moderation, only one cigar at a time.”

With the loosening of restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba, including the authorization to import Cuban Cigars (for personal use only, under a certain value), persons under “U.S. jurisdiction” are getting caught right and left trying to take advantage and import more than their share of Cuban cigars to the US. In May of this year, Maxim magazine declared Cuban Cigars are still the worlds best. However, as relations thaw, will the Cuban cigar be able to take back the market share it lost in the past half century when countries like Dominican Republic and Nicaragua have served the US? That is a question recently posed by Will Yakwowicz in an article for Inc. earlier this year.
Although you are allowed to bring Cuban cigars back to the U.S. (if you are on an “authorized trip” to Cuba) there is a limit and the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can, and will, seize any amount over the allowed limit.

What is the scope and limit on how many cigars I can bring in?
Will Customs and Border Protection seize as little as 1 cigar?
  • YES! CBP can and will seize even one cigar. Since 2013, CBP posts seizure notices online, so the world can see what CBP seized. Here’s the proof that CBP has been seizing Cuban cigars. An example of U.S. CBP seizing JUST one cigar was as recent as 06/20/2016 at the port of JAMAICA, NY.
  • During August of 2016, CBP has seized cigars from Ports of entry such as San Diego, California; Anacortes, Wa.; Jamaica, NY; Phoenix, Ar.; Washington, DC with the most being seized at the Port of Jamaica, NY, with a total of over 300 Cigars seized from different individuals.
U.S.’s normalization of ties with Cuba is progressing, and our office is well positioned to help you take advantage of these changes and ensure you stay compliant. Be sure you know the rules and don’t enter the U.S. with more than your $400 worth of Cuban goods, $100 of which of alcohol and tobacco. If you are faced with a seizure notice, or want to ensure you stay compliant, contact us at with any questions.

This is no longer applicable due to new revised OFAC and BIS Regulations. What's new? Click here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Learn About "The ABC’S of Customs Seizures - PLUS Top 10 Tips to Ensure Import Compliance" From the Expert!

compliance-imageThe DTL Team wants to ensure you are a compliant with U.S. federal regulations and laws when importing your goods from abroad! Here is your chance to learn directly from our Founder, Jennifer Diaz, about the "dos" and "don'ts" of importing. 
On Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, The Organization for Women in International Trade (OWIT) invites you to a Trade Talk Webinar Program on International Trade Compliance-Register NOW! 
 Did you know that In FY 2015, 28,865 seizures were for underlying Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) violations? The MSRP of the goods seized was $1,352,495,341! IPR enforcement is a priority trade initiative for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the detention and seizure process is a complicated one. If your merchandise is detained and/or seized, you have options. But more  Learn exactly how you should respond and more importantly how to avoid future problems with CBP.

This event is particularly important for:

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

DTL's Jennifer Diaz to Moderate E-Commerce Panel at U.S.-Mexico Logistics & Supply Chain Leaders Meeting


We strive to keep our readers updated on import and export compliance issues and events. Here is another chance for you to learn what it takes to trade with Mexico. Join Diaz Trade Law’s founder, Jennifer Diaz, at U.S.-Mexico Logistics & Supply Chain Leader Meeting this Thursday, September 8, 2016 at the Four Seasons in Brickell. Ms. Diaz will moderate the panel discussion on Challenges and Opportunities in Cross-border E-Commerce.  

The panelists include:

Thursday, September 1, 2016

FDA Targets Vending Machine Operators


Co-Authored by Jennifer Diaz and Kristina Hernandez-Tilson, an attorney in Miami, Florida, practices in state and federal court, litigating matters of civil and administrative law. 

Since April 2008, pursuant to New York City Health Code Section 81.50, all Starbucks (and many other restaurants) in New York City have been required to display the calories of each of the menu items. A subsequent study found that this mandatory calorie posting influenced consumers in NYC, causing average calories per transaction to drop by 6%. The study also found that calorie posting did not cause any significant change in Starbucks’ overall revenue.

Now, owners and operators of vending machines across the U.S. are next. Back in December of 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule entitled “Food Labeling: Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food in Vending Machines”. This rule is codified at 21 CFR 101.8, and requires vending machine operators who own or operate twenty (20) or more vending machines, or who voluntarily register with FDA to be covered, to declare calories for those vending machine foods for which the Nutrition Facts label cannot be examined before purchase or for which visible nutrition information is not otherwise provided at the point of purchase. According to the December 2014 final rule, covered vending machine operators must comply by December 1, 2016.

Friday, August 12, 2016

First Commercial flight to Cuba Scheduled to Depart August 31, 2016!

Co-Authored by Jennifer Diaz and Kristina Hernandez-Tilson, an attorney in Miami, Florida, practices in state and federal court, litigating matters of civil and administrative law. 

The novelist Graham Greene once said that Havana was a city to visit, not a city to live in – well, now visiting just became far simpler.
On Thursday, July 6, 2016, eight airlines were granted a tentative approval from the U.S. government for flights between certain U.S. cities and Cuba’s capital, Havana.
The U.S. cities are

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Exploding hoverboard

Back in January, we addressed Ongoing Hoverboard concerns and numerous CBP seizure cases. Now, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced ten companies have recalled about half a million self-balancing scooters/hoverboards made in China. However, the recall isn’t because of the countless risks hoverboards pose to unwary riders, instead it is because the lithium-ion battery packs in these products can overheat, creating a risk that the hoverboards will start to smoke, catch fire and/or explode. The list of the ten firms is here. Below are the models impacted:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Register NOW: Trade Day Hosted by CBP

Have you wanted a better relationship with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)? Wanted to meet key personnel within numerous departments of CBP and different PGA's? Here's the time to take advantage: Trade Day is coming to Miami, courtesy of CBP, on August 4, 2016. Did we mention it's FREE?! Calling all importers, exporters, customhouse brokers, freight forwarders and all other interested parties in the international trade community – if you have been looking for an opportunity to meet with government officials that are responsible for processing and facilitating trade related import transactions and to get educated and ask more questions about ACE and CEE's, this is your chance.

If you missed the previous Trade Day don’t miss this opportunity to:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Back in July, 2013, we warned CBP would start enforcement efforts for Importer Security Filing (ISF) violations. What’s ISF Again? The ISF rules require importers and vessel-operating carriers to provide additional advance trade data on cargo shipments to CBP 24 hours prior to vessel lading, pursuant to Section 203 of the Security and Accountability for Every Port (SAFE Port Act) of 2006. (Practitioners Tip – This ONLY applies to goods arriving to the U.S. by Sea, not air). Now, CBP advised:

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

SOLAS (Weigh or Pay) - Enforcement as of July 1, 2016

If you are involved in international trade, then you’ve recently heard the buzzword SOLAS and an enforcement date of July 1, 2016. Below contains a summary of SOLAS and what to be prepared for.
What is SOLAS?
  • SOLAS,” an acronym made from The International Convention for the “Safety of Life at Sea,” is an international treaty that governs the safe operation of all ships engaged in international maritime trade. The SOLAS Convention specifies the minimum standards for the construction, equipment, and operation of merchant ships. The United States is a signatory to SOLAS.
Who is responsible?

Friday, June 3, 2016

FDA’s Declared War on Sugar

Take a look at any food label. Check out the back panel entitled Nutrition Facts”. It should look similar to the image on the left. Take a look at the total carbohydrate. In this sample, the total carbs is 37g, with 4g of dietary fiber, and 1g of sugar. That leaves 32g of carbohydrates unaccounted for! What are those carbs you might wonder? Well, a majority of them are added sugars. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The End of Vape Shops, Hookah Shops, And E-Cigs? FDA's New "Deeming" Laws

 How to comply

On April 24, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) announced that it was officially "deeming" e-cigs, e-hookah, vape pens, and other tobacco products subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). This article covered the proposed regulation at the time. On May 10, 2016 the FDA published the final rule on the new deeming law.

What Are Tobacco Products and What’s Being Regulated?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Yet Another Reason to Record your Trademark or Copyright with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)


Co-Authored by Jennifer Diaz and Kristina Hernandez-Tilson, an attorney in Miami, Florida, practices in state and federal court, litigating matters of civil and administrative law.  
Whether you are importing goods to the United States, or are a U.S. trademarks or copyright owner, there is a new law on the books that should be of interest to you, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTE), which was signed into law on February 24, 2016.  TFTE, a bipartisan piece of legislation, is comprehensive in scope. In this Article, we will look specifically at Sections 302 through 311, the section on “Import-Related Protection of Intellectual Property Rights” (IPR). The TFTE highlights the fact that CBP treats IPR as a priority trade initiative. 
In this previous article, we explained the benefits of taking the extra step of recording your registered trademark or copyright with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), instead of relying solely on registration of the intellectual property with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO for trademarks), or the U.S. Copyright Office (for copyrights). Initial registration with the USPTO or the U.S. Copyright Office provides only public notice of ownership of the trademark or copyright, whereas taking the extra step of recording that registered trademark or copyright with CBP transforms the intellectual property into one that is now eligible to receive protection from CBP at over 327 U.S. Ports of Entry. Thanks to TFTE, this protection will now be more robust.
Prior to the passage of this Act, CBP was authorized, pursuant to section 818(g) of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), but not required, to share unredacted images and samples with right holders if CBP suspected a product of infringing an IPR. According to House Report 114-114 – Part 1, which comments on TFTE, giving this discretion to CBP resulted in implementation of section 818(g) of NDAA that did not provide effective enforcement for trademark and copyright holders, and by replacing 818(g) of NDAA with section 302 of TFTE, the Committee intends for CBP to implement the latter in a manner that ensures effective CBP enforcement of IPR. This means greater protection for U.S. right holders, but also more of a need for pre-compliance for importers. 
Pursuant to section 302, when CBP suspects merchandise that violates a domestic copyright or trademark is being imported into the United States, it is required to provide the U.S. right holder with certain information, so as to facilitate the right holder in conducting his or her own examination and testing of the merchandise. Specifically, CBP must provide information that appears on the merchandise and its packaging and labels, including unredacted images of the merchandise and its packaging and labels. However, it should be noted that this requirement only kicks in if CBP determines that the examination or testing of the merchandise by the owner of the trademark or copyright would assist CBP in determining if the merchandise is being imported in violation of the IPR. In other words, CBP is still allowed to exercise some discretion. CBP is also permitted to use its discretion in determining whether or not it wants to provide the right holder with actual samples, unredacted, of the merchandise. 
As a result of this new law, CBP now has even more power to protect against IPR infringement to assist in identifying and seizing goods that violate U.S. IPR holders. During the recordation process with CBP, a right holder has the opportunity to train CBP on how to detect and identify infringing merchandise. Now, section 308 of the TFTE will ensure that CBP officers are trained effectively to catch the infringers. If counterfeit merchandise is seized and forfeited by CBP, CBP can also impose a penalty of the MSRP value of the infringing goods under the authority found in 19 U.S.C. 1526(f), and discussed in CBP’s own “FP&F Mitigation Guidelines”. The catch however, is that only those companies or individuals whose trademarks have been recorded with CBP enjoy this added benefit. This reinforces our prior advice in the “Top 10 Tips When Importing”, that all who have registered trademarks or copyrights take the extra step of recording those rights specifically with CBP. Only then will right holders enjoy the new protections afforded by TFTE.
It should also be noted that pursuant to subsection (d) of 302, all these requirements and discretionary powers now imposed on CBP are subject to security interests of the United States. CBP may not provide information, photographs, or samples to a right holder if providing such “would compromise an ongoing law enforcement investigation or national security.” 
Lastly, it is important to note that TFTE affords these enhanced protections not only to right holders, but even to those who have “submitted an application for registration under Title 17, United States Code, with the United States Copyright Office, to the same extent and in the same manner as if the copyright were registered with the Copyright Office.” Section 304. 
Are you now ready to record your registered trademark or copyright with Customs?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Why Pre-Compliance is a MUST

Compliance Blue Marker

If the thought of monetary penalties, shipment delays, detentions or seizures of merchandise keep you up at night, then this article is for you.  First, it’s quite easy to establish a U.S. company, pick (what you hope is) a terrific customs broker, file Form 5106 with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to request your importer number, pick a surety (there are many, your broker will likely sway you to their favorite) and WALLAH! Right? Wrong. No one sits you down during this process to say, wait, importing can be great, but, this is also a LOT of responsibility. Your company (and SOMETIMES even YOU) have liability and a burden when importing. This article will walk you through YOUR burden as an importer, how CBP can question your imports, and how penalties can ensue and what you should be doing about it, in advance! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Build Your Own 'People to People' Mission & More Cuba Changes

Plane, United States and Cuba flags If you have been following our Cuba updates, you'll note we've been busy. A full listing of all of our posts to get you caught up are all the way at the bottom. Here's the Cliff Notes version:
  • On December 17, 2014, President Obama made a historic announcement: “Today, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people.”
  • By January 16, 2015, both the U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) amended its Cuban Assets Control Regulations, and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amended the Export Administration Regulations with a “Support for the Cuban People” license exception. Both OFAC and BIS’s new rules were effective as of January 16, 2015.
  • OFAC and BIS issued additional new rules on June 15, 2015, September 21, 2015, January 27, 2016 and again today!
As far as travel goes, the NY Times posted their travel tips, but, here are MY travel tips to you:

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Ex-Im Partners with Diaz Trade Law for FREE Webinar

Diaz Trade Law, jointly with the Export Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), invite you to join a FREE webinar on How to Finance Your Exports, tailored to Minority & Women-Owned Businesses.  The webinar will take place online, Thursday, February 26th, 2016, from 12-1pm (EDT). Topics covered will include:

Friday, February 19, 2016

Up to 110 Daily Flights from the U.S. to Cuba

Welcome to Cuba If you are in aviation - commercial or private - there are potential new business opportunities in Cuba. The American government and the Republic of Cuba last sat at the negotiation table to discuss Air Transportation agreements in 1957, as parties to the Convention on International Civil Aviation. Nearly sixty years later, on February 16, 2016, the United States government and Cuba entered into an aviation agreement, the U.S.-Cuba Memorandum of Understanding of February 16, 2016, and intend to apply the basis of comity and reciprocity of the agreement.

Immediately after, Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary, Charles Rivkin, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, Adel Yzquierdo Rodriguez, Cuban Minister of Transportation and Colonel Alfredo Cordero Puig, President of the Cuban Civil Aviation Institute (IACC), Ministry of Transportation  signed the agreement, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) encouraged U.S. air carriers to apply for licensing and authorization to offer flights to Cuba.

While there have been no scheduled flights between the United States and Cuba for over half a century, this agreement grants permission to American and Cuban airlines, cargo and passenger aircrafts, to perform scheduled and charter services between American and Cuban ports for the purposes of international air transportation.

At the outset, countries are able to operate flights to and from the other country (one-way or round-trip flights); combine different flight numbers; make layovers outside of the U.S. or Cuba or within either country, amongst other permissions.

Interestingly enough, this agreement offers flexibility to the airline companies with regard to regulation compliance. The agreement states that an airline should have the option to comply with the rules of its homeland or of the other country. But if an airline should opt for its homeland regulations, the other country must subject the airline to the least restrictive criterion it has in place. The clock is now ticking for international airlines to apply for route licenses and and flight frequencies from the U.S. to Cuba and vice-versa.

What does this agreement mean for commercial flights to Cuba?
Once the international airline company is permitted to travel to Cuba, they may offer up to twenty (20) daily scheduled round-trip flights to and from Havana. Scheduled services to the nine (9) other Cuban destinations are limited up to ten (10) daily round-trip flights, for a total of 110 daily roundtrip flights.

What does this mean for private or charter aviation companies?
Charter Services to any Cuban destination are not limited in the amount of round-trip flights to the island, so long as Cuban regulations permit such charters to land on its territory. The time to apply is now!

Applications are due March 2, 2016. If you are interested in submitting an application, Diaz Trade Law can assure compliance with the application requirements. Contact us at to help you through the process.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Diaz Trade Consulting Partners with 305 Cargo and SBDC on Compliance Seminars

SeminarDiaz Trade Consulting partners with leading experts to bring you compliance seminars catered to your international business.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Top 10 Changes with Cuba as a Result of NEW Revised OFAC and BIS Regulations

BIS and OFAC AND CUBAAs of January 27th, 2016, both OFAC and the BIS have amended their regulations again, and below details the top 10 changes as a result.  The last update was on September 21, 2015, and can be found here.  While the United States maintains its broad embargo on trade with Cuba, OFAC and BIS have released amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations designed to advance President Obama’s policy to engage and empower the Cuban people.  The new changes, which can be found here and here, expand the scope of authorized business and travel by U.S. person and companies inside of Cuba. These changes were put into place to help facilitate engagement between the U.S. and Cuba.  Click here to read FAQ’s related to Cuba from the OFAC. Below we’ve providing you with a detailed summary of the top 10 significant changes:
  1. Export Trade Financing
    • OFAC has amended sections of the regulations removing former restrictions on payment and financing terms for all exports from the U.S. or re-exports of 100% U.S. origin items authorized by the Department of Commerce, other than exports of agricultural items or commodities. - 515.533(a)
    • The amended rules will allow for financing of export trading through U.S. banks. Prior to the amendments, financing was required to be cash in advance or third country financing. - 515.584, and §515.421
  2. Travel from the United States to Cuba
    • OFAC has amended the regulations to authorize entry of U.S. Nationals into blocked space, code-sharing, and leasing arrangements. This is an effort to facilitate the provision of air carriers authorized by section 515.572(a)(2), which includes entry into arrangements with a national of Cuba. - 515.572
    • The amended regulations have expanded upon authorized temporary trips to Cuba by explicitly authorizing travel-related transactions directly incident to the facilitation of temporary sojourn aircraft and vessels. - 515.533
  3. Informational materials related to artistic and media productions
    • OFAC has expanded the general license authorizing travel-related and other transactions that are directly incident to the export, import, or transmission of informational materials to include professional media or artistic productions in Cuba. Artistic productions include movies, television programs, music recordings, and artworks. - 515.545
    • These amendments include the employment of Cuban nationals and the remittance of royalties or other payments. -515.206
  4. Organization of professional meetings, conferences, and workshops
    • Travel related and other transactions to organize professional meetings or conferences in Cuba are now authorized by OFAC. - 515.564
  5. Sports competitions, workshops, and performances
    • Amateur and semi-professional international sports federation competitions and public performances, clinics, workshops, other athletic or non-athletic competitions, and exhibitions are also now authorized in Cuba under the amendments. - 515.567
  6. Requirements that profits be donated
    • The previously existing requirements for certain events that all U.S. profits be donated to an independent nongovernmental organization in Cuba, or a U.S. based charity, and that workshops and clinics be run by an authorized traveler are now lifted. - 515.567
  7. Disaster Preparedness and Response
    • The list of authorized humanitarian projects has been expanded by OFAC to include projects that focus upon disaster preparedness, relief, and response. - 515.575
    • Authorized humanitarian projects include the following projects:
      1. Medical and health-related projects;
      2. Construction projects intended to benefit legitimately independent civil society groups;disaster preparedness, relief, and response;
      3. historical preservation;
      4. environmental projects;
      5. projects involving educational training on the following topics: entrepreneurship and business; civil education; journalism; advocacy and organizing; adult literacy; vocational skills;
      6. community based grassroots projects;
      7. projects suitable to the development of small-scale private enterprise;
      8. projects that are related to agricultural and rural development that promote independent activity;
      9. microfinancing projects (except for financing prohibited by §515.208); and
      10. projects to meet basic human needs. - §515.575(b)
  8. Loosening of the licensing policy for the export and re-export of certain items to Cuba through case-by-case review
    • BIS has also adopted a case-by-case review policy for exports and re-exports of certain items that meet the needs of the Cuban people. This includes exports and re-exports for such purposes made to state-owned enterprises, agencies, and organizations of the Cuban government that provide goods and services for the use and benefit of the Cuban people.
    • The following items will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis:
      1. agricultural production; artistic endeavors (including the creation of public content, historic and cultural works and preservation); education; food processing; disaster preparedness, relief and response; public health and sanitation; residential construction and renovation; public transportation;
      2. construction of facilities for treating public water supplies; facilities for supplying electricity or other energy to the Cuban people; sports and recreation facilities; and other infrastructure that directly benefits the Cuban people; and
      3. wholesale and retail distribution for domestic consumption by the Cuban people.
  9. Switch of licensing policy from case-by-case review to general policy of approval for certain items
    • BIS has revised its licensing policy from possible approval on a case-by-case basis to a general policy of approval for exports/re-exports for commodities that involve telecommunications, civil society, news gathering, agricultural items, and civil aviation safety.
  10. A general policy of denial will still apply to applications to export or re-export certain other items
    • Items for use by state-owned enterprises, agencies, or other organizations of the Cuban government that primarily generate revenue for the state, including those in the tourism industry and those engaged in the extraction or production of minerals or other raw materials; or items that are destined to the Cuban military, police, intelligence, and security services, will still remain subject to a general policy of denial.
While the amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations are significant in opening up relations with Cuba, many significant limitations still exist, which is why compliance is essential.  Diaz Trade Law can assure compliance with these regulatory provisions for businesses and individuals willing to pursue potential opportunities in Cuba. Contact us at  today to schedule a consultation.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ongoing Hoverboard Concerns

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Address Ongoing Litigation & Seizure of one of the hottest toys, the Hoverboard.

Hoverboards, as they are commonly known, are self-balancing two-wheeled electric scooters.  They are powered by controversial rechargeable batteries that have recently garnered attention for malfunctioning, causing devices to catch fire and destroy homes.  The lithium-ion batteries have been known to overheat, catch fire, and explode without warning.