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September 03, 2009 

BIS Amends Export Adminstration Regulations Governing Travel and Gifts to Cuba

In addition to the changes made in the U.S. embargo on Cuba made today by OFAC (see previous post) the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) today amended the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to implement the President’s April 13, 2009 directive to make it easier for Americans with family members in Cuba to visit and send gifts to their relatives.

The amendments to the EAR will authorize items normally exchanged between individuals as gifts to be included in gift parcels going to Cuba and remove the requirement that gift parcels be sent only to members of the donor’s immediate family. Gift parcels may now be sent from an individual in the United States to an individual or an independent religious, educational, or charitable organization in Cuba.

The amendment also raises the value limit for gift parcels from $400 to $800 and increases the number of parcels that an individual donor may send each month.

The EAR update also removes the 44-pound limit on personal baggage that previously applied to travelers to Cuba and creates a new License Exception that authorizes exports and re-exports to Cuba of donated personal communications devices such as mobile phone systems, computers and software, satellite receivers and digital cameras.

The amendment also revises BIS licensing policy to facilitate exports needed to establish telecommunications links between the United States and Cuba, including links established through third countries, and including the provision of satellite radio or satellite television services to Cuba.

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