January 30, 2016 update reflecting recent changes for doing business in Cuba. OFAC amendments:
A little over a year later from the start of the historic talks between the United States and Cuba, Americans are now permitted to attend and hold business meetings in Cuba. These meetings or conferences must be planned and organized by an international professional organization. Recent amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) (the embargo) were announced by the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) earlier this week.
As of September 21, 2015 the opportunities for doing business in Cuba have grown. New regulations by the United States Departments of Treasury and Commerce have created expanded economic opportunity for both Cuban and American business persons. Although opposition still exists in the US Congress, the majority of Americans favor the new developments in US – Cuba relations. The changes in regulations for American companies include the ability to open up offices and warehouses in Cuba. Tourism restrictions have also been eased including transit by ferry, cruise lines and flights. Tourists can now open bank accounts in Cuba.
The following is an abstract of an article which first appeared on Fox News Latino written by New York-based correspondent and reporter for Fox News Latino Bryan Llenas.
The United States Departments Treasury and Commerce on Friday issued new regulations further easing restrictions on Americans traveling to and doing business in Cuba.
U.S. companies will be able to open offices on the island and engage in joint business ventures there, while individuals with relatives in Cuba will have more travel opportunities for people and the limit to the amount of money that can be sent people on the island are being eliminated.
The new rules, which go into effect on Monday, September 21st, are the latest steps taken by the White House and President Barack Obama to weaken the U.S. trade embargo and normalize relations with the communist island.
Under the new regulations, certain U.S. companies may now have a physical presence on the island, such as an office, retail store or warehouse. News bureaus, exporters of goods, mail service companies, telecommunications or internet companies, businesses associated with educational activities, religious organizations and certain travel services can set up offices there, employ Cuban nationals and open bank accounts on the island.
Starting Monday, the new rules will also make it easier for cruise ships, ferries and other recreational vessels, including aircraft, to go to Cuba.
The new rules allow for joint ventures between Cuban and American businesses. This is especially vital for telecommunications and internet companies looking to offer their services on the island, where the telecommunications infrastructure is completely owned by the government-owned ETECSA.