Cuba is moving forward in its efforts to increase production by expediting the import process for private producers and facilitating their exports. Resolution 315, recently passed by the Cuban government is designed to put private and state enterprises on an equal footing. Despite its recent passage, more than 100 contracts have already been established by private businesses with Cuban import/export enterprises.
The new measure is favorable not only to private producers in Cuba but also offers an expanded playing field for foreign producers and suppliers to engage in sales and marketing of their products and raw materials. Commercial margins for the operations of private entities will be identical to those used for state entities, and even in the most complex cases will not be greater than 5%.
Exporting entities will receive 80% of the sale price in freely convertible currency at the moment of transaction, and the other 20% in Cuban currency. This will allow immediate access to currency essential to a continual flow of production as well as supply and investment.
The new import/export process through the 37 Cuban businesses authorized to carry out this kind of activity means that private producers will be allowed access not only to the clients and suppliers that they already deal with in other countries but to the entire portfolio of clients and suppliers associated with these entities. Transactions will be expedited through the Ministry of Foreign Investment, with a maximum 24 hour approval.
With the characteristics of small-medium enterprises in mind, the new resolution opens the door to smaller quantities of imports and exports, through a procedure for bundled cargo. Future procedural adjustments are expected to be swiftly resolved since these depend on state entities responding to the Cuban government’s determination to strengthen the country’s private enterprises.
David Urra is the chief marketing analyst at International Consulting & Representation Services/Cuba (IcarusCuba). He has produced market studies for a wide range of Latin American, European and U.S. clients exploring market entry possibilities in Cuba’s IT, tourism, ranching, pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors.