Cuba: self-employment rules modified

Progreso Weekly

A self-employed matress repairman. Photo: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES – A new law governing self-employment has been published in Cuba’s Official Gazette, the daily Granma reported today (Jan. 15). Law No. 315 spells out the punishments to be handed out to individuals who do not observe the regulations set for “non-state activities.”

Among them are:

– A single fine is established for each infraction, according to the seriousness of the infraction. The single fine eliminates the “no-higher-than” and “no-lower-than” latitude previously allowed for each infraction.

– Entrepreneurs will be barred from performing an activity if the activity endangers someone else’s health or life. However, the entrepreneur will be allowed to perform some other activity that does not carry the same risk.

– “Whenever the situation requires it, the confiscation of tools and raw materials will be applied to those who engage in self-employed labor both legally and illegally. Specifically, raw materials will be confiscated when it is shown that they are harmful to health or were illegally obtained.”

– The list of infractions is expanded to include (1) the sale of goods or services not included in the official description of the entrepreneur’s activities; (2) failure to register in the Tax Collector’s Office; (3) intentionally hindering the activities of any supervisory authority; (4) overcharging for transportation services.

– “If the violator pays the fine within three weekdays following issuance of the ticket, the fine will be reduced by half, with the exception of those who commit very serious violations or are shown to be repeat offenders.”

– “Finally, the new regulation eliminates violations such as trading in foreign currency or convertible pesos without prior agreement; utilizing intermediaries; performing services or selling products with state institutions without legal authority; selling goods wholesale; and engaging in self-employed labor in a province other than the province where [the entrepreneur] is registered.”

Details are available in the Official Gazette just published (in Spanish only), Granma concludes.