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March 09, 2005 

Alimport Enters Into Contracts to Buy Agricultural Products From Louisiana

The Baton Rouge Advocate, which is following Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco's trade mission to Cuba, reports that the Government of Cuba's food purchasing and importing agency, Empresa Cubana de Importacion de Alimentos (commonly known as Alimport), signed two two contracts to purchase rice and dairy products from Louisiana. The article states that the payment term specified in the two contracts is letters of credit, rather than cash. Pursuant to provisions of the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (commonly known as "TSRA") all licensed sales of agricultural products, medicine and medical devices must be paid for via "cash in advance."

As previously reported in International Trade Law News, OFAC amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations on February 25, 2005 to specify that the term "payment of cash in advance" means that payment is received by the seller or the seller's agent prior to shipment of the goods from the U.S. port at which they are loaded. In a statement issued on the same day that the OFAC regulations were published, Alimport stated that the change in payment terms "places the American producers, carriers and port operators in disadvantage and gives ground to competitors in other foreign countries that are keen to develop the Cuban market."

The article referred to above and other articles reporting on Governor Blanco's trip to Cuba can be found at the following link:



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