Sanctioned Destinations  

   

Cuba

License Requirements

A license is required for the export or reexport to Cuba of all items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), as described in Section 746.2 of the EAR.

License Exceptions

A license exception is an authorization to export or reexport under stated conditions certain items without a license that would otherwise require a license. Only the license exceptions, or portions thereof, listed Section 746.2(a)(1) of the EAR are available for Cuba.

You may export or reexport to Cuba without an individual validated license if your transaction meets all the applicable terms and conditions of the available license exceptions. To determine the scope and eligibility requirements, you must review the sections or specific paragraphs of Part 740 of the EAR. Read each license exception carefully, as the provisions available for sanctioned countries are generally narrow.

Licensing Policy

As described in Section 746.2(b) of the EAR, there is a general policy of denial for exports and reexports to Cuba of items subject to the EAR. However, there are certain exceptions to the general policy of denial described in that section, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Medicines and medical devices – sold or donated – are generally approved.
  • Humanitarian donations of other items are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Items necessary to provide efficient and adequate telecommunications links between the United States and Cuba are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Vessels and aircraft on temporary sojourn to Cuba are reviewed on a case-by-case basis when they are used to deliver humanitarian goods or services or when their use is consistent with the foreign policy interests of the United States.

 

Item-specific Guidance

Agricultural Commodities

License Exception Agricultural Commodities (AGR) (Section 740.18 of the EAR) authorizes the export or reexport of U.S.-origin agricultural commodities to Cuba, provided that your transaction meets all of the criteria in Section 740.18(a) of the EAR. Please note that the commodities must meet the definition of “agricultural commodities” in Part 772 of the EAR and must be designated as EAR99. To supplement the definition of “agricultural commodities” in the EAR, the U.S. Department of Agriculture maintains a list of specific commodities that fall within the definition.

Note: You must notify the Bureau of Industry and Security prior to any export or reexport (or prior to the first of multiple shipments) under License Exception AGR. Notifications are submitted through the Simplified Network Application Processing Redesign (SNAP-R). The U.S. Government has up to 11 business days to review your transaction prior to shipment. Exporters are required to check SNAP-R or the System for Tracking Export License Applications (STELA) prior to shipment to ensure that the U.S. Government has no objections to your proposed transaction. Please refer to Section 740.18(a) of the EAR for additional information regarding the terms and conditions for use of License Exception AGR. For assistance with using SNAP-R to submit AGR notices, please review the SNAP-R Exporter User Manual or call the Office of Exporter Services at (202) 482-4811.

Consumer Communications Devices

License Exception Consumer Communications Devices (CCD) (Section 740.19 of the EAR) authorizes the export and reexport of certain donated commodities and software to certain eligible recipients in Cuba. A list of the eligible items is located in Section 740.19(b) of the EAR.Eligible recipients are individuals in Cuba, other than certain Cuban Government and Communist Party officials, and independent non-governmental organizations in Cuba. Organizations administered or controlled by the Cuban Government or the Cuban Communist Party, including schools and hospitals, are not eligible recipients. Note that there are some restrictions on reexports of foreign-produced commodities by U.S.-owned or -controlled entities in third countries.

Gift Parcels

License Exception Gift Parcels and Humanitarian Donations (GFT) (Section 740.12(a) of the EAR) authorizes the export and reexport of certain donated items by an individual (donor) to an eligible recipient (donee). Gift parcels may contain a variety of items, including food, most medicines, medical supplies and devices, certain consumer communications devices, and other items of a type normally exchanged as gifts between individuals, subject to restrictions described in Section 740.12(a) of the EAR. Eligible recipients (donees) are individuals, other than certain Cuban Government or Cuban Communist Party officials, and charitable, educational, and religious organizations in Cuba that are not administered or controlled by the Cuban Government or the Cuban Communist Party. For example, hospitals or schools administered or controlled by the Cuban Government are not eligible recipients.

Donors may send one gift parcel per month per eligible recipient. The combined total domestic retail value of eligible items may not exceed $800 per gift parcel. However, the frequency and value limits do not apply to food donated in gift parcels. Items contained in gift parcels must also be in quantities normally given as gifts between individuals.

An individual validated license is required to export or reexport multiple gift parcels in a single shipment for delivery to recipients in Cuba, known as gift parcel consolidation. Gift parcel consolidation license applications must identify all parties that would ensure the gift parcels are received by the intended donees. They must also specify the quantity, value, and end-use of the gift parcels that would be exported during the license’s two year validity period. You may contact the Foreign Policy Division at (202) 482-4252 for additional guidance on gift parcel consolidation license applications.

 

Aircraft and Vessels

Flying an aircraft or sailing a vessel to Cuba, even temporarily, constitutes an export or reexport to Cuba. If the aircraft or vessel is subject to the EAR (e.g., those departing from the United States), then a license is required to fly/sail to Cuba. Certain exports and reexports of aircraft on temporary sojourn to Cuba may be eligible for License Exception Aircraft and Vessels (AVS) (Section 740.15(a) of the EAR). Note that only paragraph (a) of License Exception AVS is available for Cuba and that the corresponding requirements and criteria must be met in order to be eligible. An individual validated license is required for all exports and reexports of vessels on temporary sojourn to Cuba.

License applications for exports and reexports of aircraft and vessels on temporary sojourn to Cuba are reviewed on a case-by-case basis when they are used to deliver humanitarian goods or services or when their use is consistent with the foreign policy interests of the United States. License applications are generally only authorized for commercial shipments of authorized cargo. You may contact the Foreign Policy Division at (202) 482-4252 for additional information regarding temporary sojourns and assistance with associated license applications.

 

Other U.S. Government Agencies

Please be aware that other U.S. Government agencies administer regulations that could also impact your export or reexport transaction. For example, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) maintains certain Cuba-related sanctions. Exporters and reexporters are responsible for complying with all applicable regulatory requirements.

Questions

For questions specific to Cuba, contact the Foreign Policy Division at 202-482-4252.