Thursday, March 3, 2011

OFAC Regulations for Religious Licenses

§ 515.566 Religious activities in Cuba.

[General license, no application or report]

(a) General license. Religious 
organizations located in the United
States, including members and staff of
such organizations, are authorized to
engage in the travel-related transactions
set forth in § 515.560(c) and such
additional transactions as are directly
incident to religious activities in Cuba
under the auspices of the organization.
Travel-related transactions pursuant to
this authorization must be for the 
purpose of engaging, while in Cuba, in 
a full-time program of religious 
activities. Financial and material
donations to Cuba or Cuban nationals
are not authorized by this paragraph (a).
All individuals who engage in
transactions in which Cuba or Cuban
nationals have an interest (including
travel-related transactions) pursuant to
this paragraph (a) must carry with them
a letter on official letterhead, signed by 
a designated representative of the U.S. 
religious organization, confirming that
they are members or staff of the
organization and are traveling to Cuba to
engage in religious activities under the
auspices of the organization.

Note to paragraph (a): U.S. religious
organizations and individual travelers must
retain records related to the travel
transactions authorized pursuant to this
paragraph. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this
chapter for applicable recordkeeping and
reporting requirements. Financial donations
require separate authorization under
§ 515.570. See § 515.533 for an authorization
of the exportation of items from the United
States to Cuba. Exportation of items to be
used in Cuba may require separate licensing
by the Department of Commerce.

[Specific licenses, applied for]

(b) Specific licenses. Specific licenses
may be issued on a case-by-case basis
authorizing the travel-related
transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and
other transactions that are directly
incident to religious activities not
authorized by the general license
contained in paragraph (a) of this
section. The application for the specific
license must set forth examples of
religious activities to be undertaken in
Cuba. Specific licenses may be issued
pursuant to this section authorizing
transactions for multiple trips over an
extended period of time to engage in a
full-time program of religious activities
in Cuba.

(c) For the purposes of this section,
the term designated representative of 
the U.S. religious organization means a 
person designated as the official 
responsible for overseeing the 
organization’s Cuba travel program. 

Note to § 515.566: Religious organizations
engaging in activities authorized pursuant to
this section are permitted to open and 
maintain accounts at Cuban financial 
institutions for the purpose of accessing 
funds in Cuba for transactions authorized
pursuant to this section.

[It is questionable under Constitutional provisions of separation of church and state that OFAC can define "religious organization" or "religious activities" in any but the most extreme of cases, e.g. an advertized beach holiday by self-professed sun-worshipers.  In the case of a general license, it has to initiate a challenge after the fact and dispute the religious character of a US organization and of its activities in Cuba.]

§ 515.570 Remittances

(c) Remittances to religious 
organizations in Cuba authorized.
Persons subject to the jurisdiction of the
United States are authorized to make
remittances to religious organizations in
Cuba in support of religious activities,
provided that the remittances are not
made from a blocked source and that the
remitter, if an individual, is 18 years of
age or older.

[OFAC will find it difficult to argue that religious activities do not include humanitarian, service, educational and development work of Cuban religious organizations.]

No comments:

Post a Comment