cuba - prohibtFollowing President Obama’s historical break in precedent, easing restrictions on Cuba in 2016, President Trump now seeks to deprive the Communist regime of revenue from American citizens.

President Trump, not wanting the US to be complicit in the oppression and subjugation of Cubans, has decided to roll back the newly established relationship and directed the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to draft a final rule limiting the types of aircraft that are authorized to fly to Cuba and the types of vessels that are authorized to sail to Cuba on temporary sojourn. This change is likely to be a result of the exponential growth of the island’s economy, coupled with the lack of improvement in overall quality of life for its citizens.

Specifically, this rule amends:

  • License Exception Aircraft, Vessels and Spacecraft (AVS) in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to remove the authorization for the export or reexport to Cuba of most non-commercial aircraft and passenger and recreational vessels on temporary sojourn;
  • The overly broad classification of “educational travel” to limit the potential gains of the Cuban government from American tourism by amending the licensing policy for exports and reexports to Cuba of aircraft and vessels on temporary sojourn to establish a general policy of denial absent a foreign policy or national security interest as determined by the U.S. Government.

 Consequently, private and corporate aircraft, cruise ships, sailboats, fishing boats, and other similar aircraft and vessels generally will be prohibited from going to Cuba. It’s likely that the cruise ships, as well as Cruises became a target of limitation due to the recent growth of tourism, and the lack of limitations set on the boats.

The final rule explains that “BIS is making these amendments to support the Administration’s national security and foreign policy decision to restrict non-family travel to Cuba to prevent U.S. funds from enriching the Cuban regime, which continues to repress the Cuban people and provides ongoing support to the Maduro regime in Venezuela.”

Despite the US cruise industry generating millions of dollars a year for Cuba, the Cuban government imposed food rations on its populous just under a month ago. While cruise ships, as well as, recreational and private vessels are prohibited from departing the US on a temporary sojourn to Cuba effective today (June 5), commercial air travel remains unabated.

The new rule is now published in the Federal Register Notice as of today Wednesday, June 5 and is now effective.

If your company is looking to do business with Cuba, Diaz Trade Law can assist you with analyzing the complex legal framework to ensure you comply with the vast U.S. federal government requirements. Diaz Trade Law provides expert analysis of all aspects of U.S. law including the U.S. Treasury Departments, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Cuban Assets Control Regulations, and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Export Administration Regulations. Our customs and international trade lawyers are available at 305-456-3830 or by email at