Ceramics are one of the products that can now be exported to the US.
Ceramics are one of the products that can now be exported to the US.

HAVANA TIMES — The United States government approved Friday the import of certain goods and services produced by the Cuban private sector, reported dpa. Now the ball is in the court of the Cuban government to decide whether to allow private producers to engage in exports, to date the sole domain of State companies.

The US State Department published a list of “goods and services produced by independent Cuban entrepreneurs that can be imported to the United States.”  See the list below.

The new authorization comes less than two months after the resumption of diplomatic relations announced by the two countries on December 17, following more than half a century of confrontation.

The Obama administration seeks to support the emerging private sector on the island, known as the self-employed. Those wishing to export to the US must provide proof that their products were produced by independent Cuban entrepreneurs.

On January 16, the US Department of Commerce relaxed some aspects of the embargo against Cuba, among other things, making it easier for US citizens to travel to the island (although still prohibiting tourist trips); allowing travelers to bring back US $400 in goods, and taking off limits in the sending of remittances to support private businesses and NGOs.

With these measures, Washington aims to help the emerging Cuban private sector, but the authorization to export is for the moment only symbolic, since the government of Cuba does not allow the self-employed to export their products and imposes several restrictions on the sale to private companies.

Likewise, at this time, freight transport is only possible through Cuban state companies.

“We cannot predict what the Cuban government will allow, but we hope to make it possible for the emerging private sector to have new opportunities. This is another measure to support the capacity of the Cuban people to achieve greater control over their own lives and determine the future of their country,” said the State Department.

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The State Department’s Section 515.582 List

Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs

February 13, 2015

Goods and Services Eligible for Importation

In accordance with the policy changes announced by the President on December 17, 2014, to further engage and empower the Cuban people, Section 515.582 of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (31 CFR Part 515 – the CACR) authorizes the importation into the United States of certain goods and services produced by independent Cuban entrepreneurs as determined by the State Department as set forth on the Section 515.582 List, below.

Goods

The goods whose import is authorized by Section 515.582 are goods produced by independent Cuban entrepreneurs, as demonstrated by documentary evidence, that are imported into the United States directly from Cuba, except for goods specified in the following sections/chapters of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS):

  • Section I: Live Animals; Animal Products
    • All chapters
  • Section II: Vegetable Products
    • All chapters
  • Section III: Animal or Vegetable Fats and Oils and their Cleavage Products; Prepared Edible Fats; Animal or Vegetable Waxes
    • All chapters
  • Section IV: Prepared Foodstuffs; Beverages, Spirits, and Vinegar; Tobacco and Manufactured Tobacco Substitutes
    • All chapters
  • Section V: Mineral Products
    • All chapters
  • Section VI: Products of the Chemical or Allied Industries
    • Chapters 28-32; 35-36, 38
  • Section XI: Textile and Textile Articles
    • Chapters 51-52
  • Section XV: Base Metals and Articles of Base Metal
    • Chapters 72-81
  • Section XVI: Machinery and Mechanical Appliances; Electrical Equipment; Parts Thereof; Sound Recorders and Reproducers, Television Image and Sound Recorders and Reproducers, and Parts and Accessories of Such Articles
    • All chapters
  • Section XVII: Vehicles, Aircraft, Vessels, and Associated Transportation Equipment
    • All chapters
  • Section XIX: Arms and Ammunition; Parts and Accessories Thereof
    • All chapters

Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction engaging in import transactions involving goods produced by an independent Cuban entrepreneur pursuant to § 515.582 must obtain documentary evidence that demonstrates the entrepreneur’s independent status, such as a copy of a license to be self-employed issued by the Cuban government or, in the case of an entity, evidence that demonstrates that the entrepreneur is a private entity that is not owned or controlled by the Cuban government.

This list does not supersede or excuse compliance with any additional requirements in U.S. law or regulation, including the relevant duties as set forth on the HTS.

For travelers importing authorized goods into the United States pursuant to § 515.582 as accompanied baggage, the $400 monetary limit set forth in § 515.560(c)(3) does not apply to such goods, but goods may be subject to applicable duties, fees, and taxes.

Services

The authorized services pursuant to 31 CFR 515.582 are services supplied by an independent Cuban entrepreneur in Cuba, as demonstrated by documentary evidence. Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction engaging in import transactions involving services supplied by an independent Cuban entrepreneur pursuant to § 515.582 are required to obtain documentary evidence that demonstrates the entrepreneur’s independent status, such as a copy of a license to be self-employed issued by the Cuban government or, in the case of an entity, evidence that demonstrates that the entrepreneur is a private entity that is not owned or controlled by the Cuban government. Supply of services must comply with other applicable state and federal laws.

Note 1: All payments in settlement of transactions authorized by § 515.582 should reference this section in order to avoid having them rejected.

Note 2: The authorization in §515.582 of the CACR does not supersede or excuse compliance with U.S. laws or regulations or any other additional requirements.

Note 3: The Department of State, in consultation with other federal agencies, reserves the right to update this document periodically. Any subsequent updates will take effect when published on the webpage of the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs’ Office of Sanctions Policy and Implementation (http://www.state.gov/e/eb/tfs/spi). Updates will also be published in the Federal Register. For further information, please contact the State Department at 202-647-7489.

Note 4: For provisions relating to recordkeeping and reports, see 31 CFR§§ 501.601 and501.602 and 19 CFR Part 163

13 thoughts on “US to Allow Certain Imports from Cuba

  • China rules both the U.S.A. and Cuba :::
    The USA and Cuba are both
    indebted to Communist China to keep their economies functioning in a
    stable and peaceful like manner. The Chinese want to put manufacturing
    plants in Cuba due to location a very well educated youth and lack of
    debt at all levels. Cuba has no under funded pensions and has excellent
    health and dental care provided by the state .
    A key to manufacturing in Cuba is direct access to the U.S. market so the embargo
    must end. The new $ 1 billion Mariel container port hub / duty free
    zone along with the new $ 700 million Melia Marina Varadero with a
    resort complex are all part of the big picture. Cuba’s future in the new
    world economy will will shortly lead the western world in expansion.

    Those Cubans that have multi language skills will do a great deal
    better than those that only spreak Spanish. The skilled trades persons
    will also do very well in the new Cuban market economy.
    Cubans with
    entrepreneur skills and drivive will lead Cuba in both business and
    politics.The new Cuban business of politics is critical to the countries
    success in the current world economy. This is a fact that is not
    debateable.
    Gordon Robinson / abuc12@yahoo.ca

  • WTF? Read Griffin’s comment. 11 million poor Cubans, with the purchasing power of Gary, Indiana will have negligible impact on the US economy. I would agree that a handful of rich Miami Cubans will get richer and the Castro military oligarchy will also do very well. I also have a couple of Cuban-American children. They will do just fine without getting involved in business in Cuba.

  • Cuba already is a “rich – poor” society with a rich Stalinist elite and a poor people.
    Castro enriched his cronies and made all other Cubans poor in the name of the revolution. More capitalism will spread a better life to more people. Communism in Cuba only succeeded in generalizing poverty and hardship for the people.
    As far as democracy goes: communism has led to democracy nowhere. All communist systems are dictatorships. All democracies have a (mixed) capitalist system.

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