International Travel to CUBA

ARE YOU GOING TO CUBA?

Although travel to Cuba is a hot topic in the news, it is still prohibited under most circumstances by U.S. State Department regulations.  The recent change provides an exception under the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) general license for “full time professionals whose travel transactions are directly related to attendance at professional meetings or conferences in Cuba organized by an international professional organization, institution, or association that regularly sponsors such meetings or conferences in other countries. The organization, institution, or association sponsoring the meeting may not be headquartered in the U.S. unless it has been specifically licensed to sponsor the meeting.”

It is very important that you check with OFAC to ensure that your conference or business purpose qualifies under the general license and/or a specific license. In addition, it is very important to note that while you may be authorized under the general license to travel to Cuba this does not automatically allow for the import of certain types of goods and or the provision of services. There are specific limitations on how much and on what things you can spend money on while in Cuba, and you will want to make sure that you are staying within the proscribed spending amounts (see State Department’s Travel Per Diem Allowances for Foreign Areas).  Additionally, there may be specific license requirements for equipment that you might need to take (e.g., laptop computers, cell phones, flash drives, other wireless/encryption technology, and other items).

If you are considering travel to Cuba, contact the University’s Export Control office at exportcontrol@osu.edu or (614) 688-1596 as soon as possible to get an export control review of your plans and the types of items you would like to take so we can determine if any licenses would be required. Additional information about export controls and international travel is also available on our web-site at orc.osu.edu/exportcontrol/. For information about student travel to risk designated countries, including Cuba, click here.

Here is a link to the OFAC summary information on travel restrictions to Cuba along with information on who to contact if you have questions or need additional information: http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Pages/cuba.aspx.