Saturday, November 13, 2021

Summary of Trump/Biden Restrictions on Travel

 

From Office of Foreign Assets Control

695. What are the general travel authorizations in the Cuba program?

Travel-related transactions are permitted by general or specific licenses for certain travel related to the 12 categories of activities identified in § 515.560(a).  Those travel-related transactions permitted by general license, subject to specified criteria and conditions, include: family visits; official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research; educational activities; religious activities; athletic competitions by amateur or semi-professional athletes or athletic teams; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials; and certain authorized export transactions. Each person relying on a certain general authorization must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of Reporting, Procedures and Penalties Regulations for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

In accordance with NSPM-5, on November 9, 2017, OFAC added a prohibition to restrict certain direct financial transactions with entities and subentities identified on the State Department’s Cuba Restricted List. For a description of the scope of the prohibition on direct financial transactions and the restrictions and exceptions that apply, see 31 CFR § 515.209. In order to implement this prohibition, OFAC made a conforming change to § 515.421 and added corresponding language in the following general licenses: §§ 515.530, 515.534, 515.545, 515.560, 515.561, 515.564, 515.565, 515.566, 515.567, 515.572, 515.573, 515.574, 515.576, 515.577, 515.578, 515.581, 515.584, and 515.590. OFAC has not incorporated this prohibition into certain general licenses in accordance with the exceptions detailed in section 3(a)(iii) of NSPM-5. 

Also, on September 24, 2020, OFAC added a prohibition at § 515.210 of the CACR, which prohibits any person subject to U.S. jurisdiction from lodging, paying for lodging, or making any reservation for or on behalf of a third party to lodge, at any property that the Secretary of State has identified as a property in Cuba that is owned or controlled by the Cuban government; a prohibited official of the Government of Cuba, as defined in § 515.337; a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party, as defined in § 515.338; a close relative, as defined in § 515.339, of a prohibited official of the Government of Cuba, or a close relative of a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party, when the terms of the general or specific license expressly exclude such a transaction. In furtherance of this change, the State Department is creating a new list, the Cuba Prohibited Accommodations List, to publish the names, addresses, or other identifying details, as relevant, of properties identified as meeting such criteria. In order to implement this prohibition, OFAC made a conforming change to § 515.421 and added corresponding language in the following general licenses:  §§ 515.533, 515.545, 515.559, 515.560, 515.561, 515.563, 515.564, 515.565, 515.566, 515.567, 515.572, 515.574, 515.575, and 515.576.


704. Can travelers still engage in “people-to-people travel” to Cuba on an individual basis or as a part of a group?

Generally, no. Effective June 5, 2019, there is no general license authorizing people-to-people educational activities in Cuba. The term “people-to-people travel” refers to an authorization that previously existed in the CACR, subject to conditions, for persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to engage in certain educational exchanges in Cuba on an individual basis or under the auspices of an organization that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction and sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact.

On November 9, 2017, in accordance with NSPM-5, OFAC amended the general license for people-to-people educational activities in Cuba to remove the authorization for individual people-to-people educational travel. Effective June 5, 2019, in further accordance with the President’s foreign policy toward Cuba announced in April 2019, OFAC removed the authorization for group people-to-people educational travel in § 515.565(b). There is a grandfather clause in § 515.565(b) that authorizes certain group people-to-people educational travel that previously was authorized where the traveler had completed at least one travel-related transaction (such as purchasing a flight or reserving accommodation) prior to June 5, 2019. Also, and effective September 24, 2020, OFAC amended this general license to exclude from the authorization lodging, paying for lodging, or making any reservation for or on behalf of a third party to lodge, at any property in Cuba on the Cuba Prohibited Accommodations List to the extent prohibited by § 515.210. For a complete description of the scope of this prohibition, see 31 CFR § 515.210.


701. What constitutes generally authorized travel-related transactions for “professional research” in Cuba?

Section 515.564 (a)(1) of the CACR contains a general license that authorizes, subject to conditions, travel-related transactions and other transactions that are directly incident to professional research in Cuba. Among other things, this general license authorizes, subject to conditions, professional research in Cuba relating to a traveler’s profession, professional background, or area of expertise. In accordance with NSPM-5, OFAC amended this general license to exclude from the authorization direct financial transactions with entities and subentities identified on the State Department’s Cuba Restricted List.

Also, and effective September 24, 2020, OFAC amended this general license to exclude from the authorization lodging, paying for lodging, or making any reservation for or on behalf of a third party to lodge, at any property in Cuba on the Cuba Prohibited Accommodations List to the extent prohibited by § 515.210. For a complete description of the scope of this prohibition, see 31 CFR § 515.210. The traveler’s schedule of activities must not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule of professional research. An entire group does not qualify for the general license merely because some members of the group qualify individually. For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, see 31 CFR § 515.564. 

On September 24, 2020, OFAC eliminated the general license previously contained in §515.564(a)(2) for travel-related transactions and other transactions that are directly incident to attendance at, or organization of, professional meetings or conferences in Cuba. Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are no longer generally authorized to attend or organize professional meetings or conferences in Cuba pursuant to this section. OFAC amended § 515.564 to clarify that specific licenses may be issued on a case-by-case basis authorizing the travel-related transactions in § 515.560(c) and other transactions that are related to professional research in Cuba that do not qualify for the general license under 515.564(a) or professional meetings or conferences in Cuba that are not authorized under other travel-related authorizations and that relate to activities otherwise authorized pursuant to the CACR.


| U.S. Department of the Treasury    https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/faqs/topic/1541


Full text of regulations 
SUBPART - Licenses, Authorizations, and Statements of Licensing Policy (govregs.com)
https://www.govregs.com/regulations/expand/title31_chapterV_part515_subpartE_section515.565#regulation_58

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