Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sending Gifts to Cuba

Dear America,

Please send gifts to us in Cuba. We would especially like computers, music, phones and medicine.

Your Friends in Cuba

For Americans with relatives in Cuba, the relaxation of certain restrictions is great news. Even though the embargo remains in place, the allowance of certain activities has been expanded.

Of great importance to individuals, the amendments now expands the exchange of gifts to allow gift parcels to be sent from an individual in the United States to an individual, or religious, educational or charitable organization in Cuba. The value limit for these gift parcels has been increased from $400 to $800 per parcel, and the number of parcels that an individual donor may send each month increased from one parcel per household to one parcel per recipient. Gifts may not include civilian clothing, personal hygiene items and certain communications devices, such as mobile phones.

The amendments provide two significant benefits for U.S. exporters. First, the regulations allow an expanded range of commercial telecommunications transactions with Cuba, such as cellular and satellite communications This rule provides a license exception for Consumer Communications Devices (CCD) that authorizes the export and reexport to Cuba of certain donated consumer communications devices. Note that the license exception requires the goods to be donated and provides no limits on value or frequency of shipments of mobile phones, personal digital assistants, laptop and desktop computers and peripherals such as monitors, flash drives, printers, and digital cameras.

The regulations authorize a general license that allows employees of producers or distributors of medical or agricultural products (including food) to travel to Cuba to participate in marketing, sales negotiation, accompanied delivery or servicing in Cuba of agricultural commodities, medicine or medical devices eligible under the Department of Commerce's export or re-export licensing policy to Cuba.

Click HERE to view the document posted by the BIS that explains the changes made, eligibility, limits on donations and other information relevant the new regulations.

Click HERE to view the information published in the Federal Register on September 8, 2009.

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