On July 22, 2015, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), an agency of U.S. Department of Commerce, amended the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to reflect Cuba’s removal from designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. The Secretary of State rescinded Cuba’s designation on May 29, 2015.

As part of Cuba’s removal from designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, BIS amended the EAR to remove references in the text associating Cuba with terrorism. It also removes anti-terrorism (AT) license requirements from Cuba. Finally, BIS amended the EAR to remove Cuba from Country Group E:1, although Cuba remains on the Country Group E:2 list.

These amendments to the EAR affect certain license requirements and exceptions that apply to exports to Cuba. Specifically, the EAR apply to items that contain more than a de minimis amount of U.S.-origin content. For exports to most countries, that de minimis amount is 25 percent, but for exports to countries on the Country Group E:1 list, that de minimis amount is 10 percent. Exports of most items to Cuba are now also subject to the 25 percent de minimis rule. Yet, foreign-made items destined for Cuba that incorporate certain U.S.-origin 600 series content continue to be subject to the EAR regardless of level of U.S.-origin content.

Additionally, Cuba’s removal from the Country Group E:1 list makes exports to the country eligible for four new license exceptions including:

  • License Exception Servicing and Replacement of Parts and Equipment (RPL);
  • License Exception Governments, International Organizations, International Inspections Under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the International Space Station (GOV);
  • License Exception Baggage (BAG); and
  • License Exception Aircraft, Vessels and Spacecraft (AVS).

Despite these changes, it is important to remember that Cuba is still subject to a comprehensive embargo. Licenses are still required to export or reexport to Cuba any item subject to the EAR unless authorized by a license exception. Those who would like to export items authorized by license exceptions may only use license exceptions listed in 15 CFR 746.2(a).