US Government Issues Cuba Travel Advisory

Friday, 29 July 2011 11:18

The Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Congtrol (OFAC) has issued a travel advisory to U.S. citizens and U.S. persons about travel to Cuba. 

In an advisory released earlier this week, the OFAC made reference to "misstatements in the media suggesting that U.S. foreign policy, as implemented by OFAC, now allows for virtually unrestricted group travel to Cuba by persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Although OFAC amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 515 (the "Regulations"), in January 2011 to expand licensing of travel to Cuba for certain specific purposes, the amended Regulations still contain significant travel restrictions."

Poblete Tamargo analysts have noted an increase number of U.S. and foreign-based companies offering Cuba travel packages to persons living in the United States. We believe that some of these companies are making offers that appear to be outside the bounds set by the U.S. government for sponsored and educational travel to the island. In the process, they may be exposing customers to legal liablity. 

Tourism and tourism-like travel is not allowed for any persons travelling to Cuba, including U.S. persons with family on the island. People who are authorized to travel to Cuba remain subject to daily spending limits and are prohibited from bringing any Cuban "souvenirs" or other goods into the United States, with the exception of information and informational materials.

Civil and criminal penalties remain in place for violations of the Cuba sanctions regulations. 

The OFAC Advisory is available for review, here