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Cuban Assets Control Regulations

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Office of Foreign Assets Control, Treasury.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is amending the Cuban Assets Control Regulations to further implement elements of the policy announced by the President on December 17, 2014 to engage and empower the Cuban people. Among other things, these amendments further facilitate travel to Cuba for authorized purposes, expand the range of authorized financial transactions, and authorize additional business and physical presence in Cuba. These amendments also implement certain technical and conforming changes.

DATES:

Effective: March 16, 2016.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

The Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control: Assistant Director for Licensing, tel.: 202-622-2480, Assistant Director for Regulatory Affairs, tel.: 202-622-4855, Assistant Director for Sanctions Compliance & Evaluation, tel.: 202-622-2490; or the Department of the Treasury's Office of the Chief Counsel (Foreign Assets Control), Office of the General Counsel, tel.: 202-622-2410.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic and Facsimile Availability

This document and additional information concerning OFAC are available from OFAC's Web site (www.treasury.gov/​ofac). Certain general information pertaining to OFAC's sanctions programs also is available via facsimile through a 24-hour fax-on-demand service, tel.: 202-622-0077.

Background

The Department of the Treasury issued the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 CFR part 515 (the “Regulations”), on July 8, 1963, under the Trading With the Enemy Act (50 U.S.C. 4301-4341). OFAC has amended the Regulations on numerous occasions.

Most recently, on January 16, June 15, and September 21, 2015, and January 27, 2016, OFAC amended the Regulations, in coordinated actions with the Department of Commerce, to implement certain policy measures announced by the President on December 17, 2014 to further engage and empower the Cuban people. Today, OFAC and the Department of Commerce are taking additional coordinated actions in support of the President's Cuba policy.

OFAC is making additional amendments to the Regulations with respect to travel and related transactions, financial transactions, business and physical presence, and certain other activities, as set forth below.

Travel and Related Transactions

Individual people-to-people educational travel. OFAC is amending section 515.565(b) to remove the requirement that people-to-people educational travel be conducted under Start Printed Page 13990the auspices of an organization that sponsors such exchanges. This section now authorizes individuals to travel to Cuba provided that, among other things, the traveler engage while in Cuba in a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that are intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people's independence from Cuban authorities, and that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba. The predominant portion of the activities engaged in by the traveler must not be with certain Government of Cuba or Cuban Communist Party officials. Persons relying upon this authorization must retain records related to the authorized travel transactions, including records demonstrating a full-time schedule of authorized activities.

Payment of salaries. OFAC is amending section 515.571 to remove the limitation on the receipt of compensation in excess of amounts covering living expenses and the acquisition of goods for personal consumption by a Cuban national present in the United States in a non-immigrant status or pursuant to other non-immigrant travel authorization issued by the U.S. government. New section (a)(5)(i) explicitly authorizes the receipt of any salary or other compensation consistent with the individual's non-immigrant status or other non-immigrant travel authorization, provided that the recipient is not subject to any special tax assessment by the Cuban government in connection with the receipt of the salary or other compensation. New section 515.571(e) authorizes all transactions related to the sponsorship or hiring of a Cuban national to work in the United States and provides that an employer may not make additional payments to the Cuban government in connection with the sponsorship or hiring of a Cuban national. Section 515.571(e) also authorizes transactions in connection with the filing of an application for non-immigrant travel authorization. OFAC is also making conforming edits in section 515.560(d)(3) and the Note to section 515.565(a)(5).

Dealings in merchandise subject to section 515.204, including Cuban-origin goods, for personal use. OFAC is adding section 515.585(c) to authorize individuals who are persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction and who are located in a third country to engage in the purchase or acquisition of merchandise subject to the prohibitions in section 515.204, including Cuban-origin goods, for personal consumption while in a third country, and to receive or obtain services from Cuba or a Cuban national that are ordinarily incident to travel and maintenance within a third country. This provision does not authorize the importation of such merchandise into the United States, including as accompanied baggage. OFAC is making a conforming change to section 515.410.

Financial Transactions

U-turn payments through the U.S. financial system. OFAC is amending section 515.584(d) to authorize U-turn transactions in which Cuba or a Cuban national has an interest to be conducted through the U.S. financial system. This provision authorizes funds transfers from a bank outside the United States that pass through one or more U.S. financial institutions before being transferred to a bank outside the United States where neither the originator nor the beneficiary is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction. Transactions through the U.S. financial system that do not meet these criteria, including all transactions where the originator or beneficiary is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction, remain prohibited unless otherwise authorized or exempt under the Regulations. OFAC is also making conforming edits to section 515.584(e), regarding unblocking of certain previously blocked funds transfers.

Processing of U.S. dollar monetary instruments. OFAC is adding new section 515.584(g) to authorize U.S. banking institutions to process U.S. dollar monetary instruments presented indirectly by Cuban financial institutions. Correspondent accounts used for transactions authorized pursuant to this section may be denominated in U.S. dollars. This section does not authorize banking institutions subject to U.S. jurisdiction to open correspondent accounts for banking institutions that are nationals of Cuba.

Certain bank accounts on behalf of a Cuban national. OFAC is adding new section 515.584(h) to authorize banking institutions to open and maintain accounts solely in the name of a Cuban national located in Cuba for the purposes only of receiving payments in the United States in connection with transactions authorized pursuant to or exempt from the prohibitions of this part and remitting such payments to Cuba. This provision would allow, for example, a Cuban national author located in Cuba to open an account with a bank or online payment platform in the United States to receive payments for sales of her book. This provision is in addition to the two existing authorizations for banking institutions to operate certain accounts on behalf of certain Cuban nationals. See Note to paragraph (a) of section 515.571(a)(5) and section 515.585(b). To avoid confusion, OFAC also is making conforming edits to the Note to section 515.571(a)(5) to clarify that all three account authorizations extend to banking institutions.

Business and Physical Presence

OFAC is amending section 515.573 to authorize additional persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to establish a business and physical presence in Cuba.

Business presence. In September 2015, OFAC amended sections 515.542 and 515.578 to authorize persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to establish and maintain a business presence in Cuba, including through subsidiaries, branches, offices, joint ventures, franchises, and agency or other business relationships with any Cuban individual or entity, to facilitate the provision of authorized telecommunications and internet-based services. OFAC is now expanding this authorization to establish a business presence to include the following additional categories of persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction (all of whom were previously authorized to establish a physical presence): exporters of goods authorized for export or reexport to Cuba by section 515.533 or section 515.559 or that are otherwise exempt; entities providing mail or parcel transmission services authorized by section 515.542(a) or providing cargo transportation services in connection with trade involving Cuba authorized by or exempt from the prohibitions of this part; and providers of travel and carrier services authorized by section 515.572. OFAC is clarifying that the business and physical presence authorization for providers of internet-based services extends to persons engaged in transactions authorized by section 515.578(e). OFAC is removing the prior provisions authorizing business presence that were located in sections 515.542 and 515.578 and consolidating these authorizations in section 515.573.

Physical presence. In September 2015, OFAC amended section 515.573 to authorize certain persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to establish a physical presence, such as an office or other facility, in Cuba, to facilitate authorized transactions. OFAC is now expanding this authorization to include the following additional categories of persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction: entities engaging in non-commercial activities authorized by section 515.574 (Support for the Cuban People); entities engaging in humanitarian projects set Start Printed Page 13991forth in section 515.575(b) (Humanitarian projects); and private foundations or research or educational institutes engaging in transactions authorized by section 515.576. OFAC is also adding a note to clarify that the activities that may be carried out by exporters of items exported or reexported pursuant to authorization by the Department of Commerce or OFAC, or that are otherwise exempt, at a physical presence authorized by this section include the assembly of such items.

Other Transactions

Grants and awards. OFAC is adding a new provision in section 515.565 to authorize the provision of educational grants, scholarships, or awards to a Cuban national or in which Cuba or a Cuban national otherwise has an interest. This could include, for example, the provision of educational scholarships for Cuban students to pursue academic studies for a degree. OFAC is also adding a note to section 515.575(b) to clarify that the existing authorization includes provision of grants or awards for humanitarian projects in or related to Cuba that are designed to directly benefit the Cuban people as set forth in that section.

Telecommunications and internet-related services. OFAC is amending section 515.578 to allow the importation of Cuban-origin software.

OFAC is also making several technical and conforming edits. In particular, OFAC is correcting a typographical error in section 515.533(d)(2). OFAC is also conforming the language of the general authorization in section 515.559(d) to the corresponding authorization in section 515.533(d).

Public Participation

Because the amendments of the Regulations involve a foreign affairs function, Executive Order 12866 and the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) requiring notice of proposed rulemaking, opportunity for public participation, and delay in effective date are inapplicable. Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required for this rule, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) does not apply.

Paperwork Reduction Act

The collections of information related to the Regulations are contained in 31 CFR part 501 (the “Reporting, Procedures and Penalties Regulations”) and section 515.572 of this part. Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507), those collections of information are covered by the Office of Management and Budget under control numbers 1505-0164, 1505-0167, and 1505-0168. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a valid control number.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 31 CFR Part 515

  • Administrative practice and procedure
  • Banking
  • Blocking of assets
  • Financial transactions
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Travel restrictions
End List of Subjects

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control amends 31 CFR part 515 as set forth below:

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PART 515—CUBAN ASSETS CONTROL REGULATIONS

End Part Start Amendment Part

1. The authority citation for part 515 is revised to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

Authority: 22 U.S.C. 2370(a), 6001-6010, 7201-7211; 31 U.S.C. 321(b); 50 U.S.C. 4301- 4341; Pub. L. 101-410, 104 Stat. 890 (28 U.S.C. 2461 note); Pub. L. 104-114, 110 Stat. 785 (22 U.S.C. 6021-6091); Pub. L. 105-277, 112 Stat. 2681; Pub. L. 111-8, 123 Stat. 524; Pub. L. 111-117, 123 Stat. 3034; E.O. 9193, 7 FR 5205, 3 CFR, 1938-1943 Comp., p. 1174; E.O. 9989, 13 FR 4891, 3 CFR, 1943-1948 Comp., p. 748; Proc. 3447, 27 FR 1085, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 157; E.O. 12854, 58 FR 36587, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 614.

End Authority

Subpart C—Definitions

[Amended]
Start Amendment Part

2. In § 515.329, remove “]” at the end of the sentence.

End Amendment Part

Subpart D—Interpretations

Start Amendment Part

3. Revise § 515.410 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Dealing abroad in Cuban-origin commodities.

Section 515.204 prohibits, unless licensed, the importation of commodities of Cuban origin. It also prohibits, unless licensed, persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States from purchasing, transporting or otherwise dealing in commodities of Cuban origin which are outside the United States. Attention is directed to § 515.585, which authorizes certain dealings in commodities of Cuban origin outside the United States.

Subpart E—Licenses, Authorizations, and Statements of Licensing Policy

Start Amendment Part

4. In § 515.505, revise paragraph (a)(4) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Certain Cuban nationals unblocked.

(a) * * *

(4) Any entity, office, or other sub-unit authorized pursuant to § 515.573; and

* * * * *
Start Amendment Part

5. In § 515.533, revise paragraph (d)(2) introductory text to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Exportations from the United States to Cuba; reexportations of 100% U.S.-origin items to Cuba; negotiation of executory contracts.
* * * * *

(d) * * *

(2) The travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such additional transactions as are directly incident to the facilitation of the temporary sojourn of aircraft and vessels as authorized by 15 CFR 740.15 (License Exception Aircraft, Vessels and Spacecraft) or pursuant to other authorization by the Department of Commerce for travel between the United States and Cuba authorized pursuant to this part, including travel-related transactions by personnel who are persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction and who are required for normal operation and service aboard a vessel or aircraft, as well as personnel who are persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction and who are required to provide services to a vessel in port or aircraft on the ground, are authorized, provided that:

* * * * *
Start Amendment Part

6. In § 515.542, remove and reserve paragraph (f) and revise Notes 1 and 2 to § 515.542 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Mail and telecommunications-related transactions.
* * * * *

Note 1 to § 515.542:

For an authorization of travel-related transactions that are directly incident to the conduct of market research, commercial marketing, sales or contract negotiation, accompanied delivery, installation, leasing, or servicing in Cuba of items consistent with the export or reexport policy of the Department of Commerce, see § 515.533(d). For an authorization of travel-related transactions that are directly incident to participation in professional meetings, including where such meetings relate to telecommunications services or other activities authorized by paragraphs (b) through (e) of this section, see § 515.564(a).

Note 2 to § 515.542:

For general licenses authorizing physical and business presence in Cuba for certain persons, see § 515.573. An authorization related to business presence was previously included in this section. For an authorization of certain internet-related services, see § 515.578.

Start Amendment Part

7. In § 515.559, revise paragraph (d) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Start Printed Page 13992
Certain export and import transactions by U.S.-owned or -controlled foreign firms.
* * * * *

(d) General license. Travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such other transactions as are directly incident to market research, commercial marketing, sales or contract negotiation, accompanied delivery, installation, leasing, or servicing in Cuba of exports that are consistent with the licensing policy under paragraph (a) of this section are authorized, provided that the traveler's schedule of activities does not include free time or recreation in excess of that consistent with a full-time schedule.

* * * * *
Start Amendment Part

8. In § 515.560, revise paragraph (d)(3) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Travel-related transactions to, from, and within Cuba by persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction.
* * * * *

(d) * * *

(3) Salaries or other compensation earned by the Cuban national up to any amount that can be substantiated through payment receipts as authorized in § 515.571(a)(5).

* * * * *
Start Amendment Part

9. In § 515.565:

End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part

a. Revise paragraph (a)(5);

End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part

b. Redesignate paragraphs (a)(11) and (12) as (a)(12) and (13), respectively;

End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part

c. Add new paragraph (a)(11);

End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part

d. Revise newly redesignated paragraph (a)(12);

End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part

e. Revise paragraph (b);

End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part

f. Revise the Note to § 515.565(a) and (b); and

End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part

g. Revise paragraph (c).

End Amendment Part

The revisions and addition read as follows:

Educational activities.

(a) * * *

(5) Sponsorship of a Cuban scholar to teach or engage in other scholarly activity at the sponsoring U.S. academic institution (in addition to those transactions authorized by the general license contained in § 515.571).

Note to paragraph (a)(5):

See § 515.571(a) for authorizations related to certain banking transactions and receipt of salary or other compensation by Cuban nationals present in the United States in a non-immigrant status or pursuant to other non-immigrant travel authorization issued by the U.S. government.

* * * * *

(11) Provision of educational grants, scholarships, or awards to a Cuban national or in which Cuba or a Cuban national otherwise has an interest; and

(12) The organization of, and preparation for, activities described in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(11) of this section by employees or contractors of the sponsoring organization that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction;

* * * * *

(b) General license for people-to-people travel. The travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such additional transactions as are directly incident to educational exchanges not involving academic study pursuant to a degree program are authorized, provided that:

(1) Travel-related transactions pursuant to this authorization must be for the purpose of engaging, while in Cuba, in a full-time schedule of activities intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people's independence from Cuban authorities;

(2) Each traveler has a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba;

(3) The predominant portion of the activities engaged in by individual travelers is not with a prohibited official of the Government of Cuba, as defined in § 515.337 of this part, or a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party, as defined in § 515.338 of this part;

(4) For travel conducted under the auspices of an organization that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction that sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact, an employee, paid consultant, or agent of the sponsoring organization must accompany each group traveling to Cuba to ensure that each traveler has a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities; and

Note to § 515.565(b)(4):

An organization that sponsors and organizes trips to Cuba in which travelers engage in individually selected and/or self-directed activities would not qualify for the general license. Authorized trips are expected to be led by the organization and to have a full-time schedule of activities in which the travelers will participate.

(5) In addition to all other information required by § 501.601 of this chapter, persons relying on the authorization in paragraph (b) of this section must retain records sufficient to demonstrate that each individual traveler has engaged in a full-time schedule of activities that satisfy the requirements of paragraphs (b)(1) through (3) of this section. In the case of an individual traveling under the auspices of an organization that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction and that sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact, the individual may rely on the entity sponsoring the travel to satisfy his or her recordkeeping requirements with respect to the requirements of paragraphs (b)(1) through (3) of this section. These records must be furnished to the Office of Foreign Assets Control on demand pursuant to § 501.602 of this chapter.

Example 1 to § 515.565(b):

An organization wishes to sponsor and organize educational exchanges not involving academic study pursuant to a degree program for individuals to learn side-by-side with Cuban individuals in areas such as environmental protection or the arts. The travelers will have a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba. The organization's activities qualify for the general license, and the individual may rely on the entity sponsoring the travel to satisfy his or her recordkeeping requirement.

Example 2 to § 515.565(b):

An individual plans to travel to Cuba to participate in discussions with Cuban artists on community projects, exchanges with the founders of a youth arts program, and to have extended dialogue with local city planners and architects to learn about historical restoration projects in Old Havana. The traveler will have a full-time schedule of such educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba. The individual's activities qualify for the general license, provided that the individual satisfies the recordkeeping requirement.

Example 3 to § 515.565(b):

An individual plans to travel to Cuba to participate in discussions with Cuban farmers and produce sellers about cooperative farming and agricultural practices and have extended dialogue with religious leaders about the influence of African traditions and religion on society and culture. The traveler fails to keep any records of the travel. Although the traveler will have a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba, the traveler's failure to keep records means that the individual's activities do not qualify for the general license.

Example 4 to § 515.565(b):

An individual plans to travel to Cuba to rent a bicycle to explore the streets of Havana, engage in brief exchanges with shopkeepers while making purchases, and have casual conversations with waiters at restaurants and hotel staff. None of these activities are educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba, and the traveler's trip does not qualify for the general license.

Example 5 to § 515.565(b):

An individual plans to travel to Cuba to participate in discussions with Cuban farmers and produce sellers about cooperative farming and agricultural practices and have extended dialogue with religious leaders about the influence of African traditions and religion on society and culture. The individual also plans to spend a few days engaging in brief exchanges with Cuban food vendors while Start Printed Page 13993spending time at the beach. Only some of these activities are educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba, and the traveler therefore does not have a full-time schedule of such activities on each day of the trip. The trip does not qualify for the general license.

Note to § 515.565(a) and (b):

Except as provided in § 515.565(b)(5), each person relying on the general authorizations in these paragraphs, including entities sponsoring travel pursuant to the authorization in § 515.565(b), must retain specific records related to the authorized travel transactions. See §§ 501.601 and 501.602 of this chapter for applicable recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

(c) Transactions related to activities that are primarily tourist-oriented are not authorized pursuant to this section.

* * * * *
Start Amendment Part

10. In § 515.571, revise paragraph (a)(5) and add paragraph (e) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Certain transactions incident to travel to, from, and within the United States by Cuban nationals.

(a) * * *

(5) All transactions ordinarily incident to the Cuban national's presence in the United States in a non-immigrant status or pursuant to other non-immigrant travel authorization issued by the U.S. government.

(i) This paragraph (a)(5) authorizes the receipt of salary or other compensation by a national of Cuba consistent with the individual's non-immigrant status or non-immigrant travel authorization, provided that national of Cuba is not subject to any special tax assessments by the Cuban government in connection with the receipt of the salary or other compensation.

(ii) Examples of other transactions authorized by this paragraph (a)(5) include: the payment of tuition to a U.S. educational institution by a national of Cuba issued a student (F-1) visa, and the rental of a stage by a group of Cubans issued performance (P-2) visas.

Note to paragraph (a)(5):

This paragraph authorizes banking institutions, as defined in § 515.314, to open and maintain accounts solely in the name of a Cuban national who is present in the United States in a non-immigrant status or pursuant to other non-immigrant travel authorization for use while the Cuban national is located in the United States in such status, and to close such accounts prior to departure. See paragraph (b) of this section for an authorization for banking institutions to maintain accounts opened pursuant to this paragraph while the Cuban national is located outside the United States.

* * * * *

(e) The following transactions by or on behalf of a Cuban national are authorized:

(1) All transactions related to the sponsorship or hiring of a Cuban national to work in the United States in a non-immigrant status or pursuant to other non-immigrant travel authorization issued by the U.S. government, except that an employer may not make payments to the Cuban government in connection with the sponsorship or hiring of a Cuban national; and

(2) All transactions in connection with the filing of an application for non-immigrant travel authorization issued by the U.S. government.

* * * * *
Start Amendment Part

11. In § 515.573:

End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part

a. Revise the section heading;

End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part

b. Revise paragraph (a) introductory text;

End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part

c. Reedesignate paragraphs (b) and (c) as paragraphs (c) and (e);

End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part

d. Add new paragraphs (b) and (d); and

End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part

e. Revise newly redesignated paragraphs (c) and (e).

End Amendment Part

The revisions and additions read as follows:

Physical presence and business presence in Cuba authorized; Cuban news bureaus.

(a) Physical presence: The persons listed in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section are authorized to engage in all transactions necessary to establish and maintain a physical presence in Cuba to engage in transactions authorized pursuant to or exempt from the prohibitions of this part, including the following:

* * * * *

(b) Business presence. Except for transactions prohibited by § 515.208, the persons listed in paragraph (c) of this section are authorized to engage in all transactions necessary to establish and maintain a business presence in Cuba to engage in transactions authorized pursuant to or exempt from the prohibitions of this part, including the following: establishing and maintaining subsidiaries, branches, offices, joint ventures, franchises, and agency or other business relationships with any Cuban national, and entering into all necessary agreements or arrangements with such entity or individual.

(c) Persons authorized to establish physical and business presence. The following persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction may engage in the transactions authorized pursuant to paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, provided that such transactions may only be engaged in to support transactions authorized by or exempt from the prohibitions of this part:

(1) Providers of telecommunications services authorized by § 515.542(b) through (d) or persons engaged in activities authorized by § 515.542(e);

(2) Providers of internet-based services authorized by § 515.578(a) or persons engaged in activities authorized by § 515.578(c) or (e);

(3) Exporters of goods authorized for export or reexport to Cuba by § 515.533 or § 515.559 or that are otherwise exempt;

Note to paragraph (c)(3):

This section authorizes the assembly in Cuba of items exported or reexported pursuant to authorization by the Department of Commerce or OFAC or that are otherwise exempt but does not authorize the incorporation of Cuban-origin goods into items assembled pursuant to this section or the processing of raw materials into finished goods in Cuba.

(4) Entities providing mail or parcel transmission services authorized by § 515.542(a) or providing cargo transportation services in connection with trade involving Cuba authorized by or exempt from the prohibitions of this part; and

(5) Providers of travel and carrier services authorized by § 515.572.

Note to paragraph (c)(5):

This authorization does not allow persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to establish a physical or business presence in Cuba for the purpose of providing lodging services in Cuba.

(d) Persons authorized to establish physical presence. The following persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction may engage in the transactions authorized pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, provided that such transactions may only be engaged in to support transactions authorized by or exempt from the prohibitions of this part:

(1) News bureaus whose primary purpose is the gathering and dissemination of news to the general public authorized by paragraph (e) of this section;

(2) Entities organizing or conducting educational activities authorized by § 515.565(a);

(3) Religious organizations engaging in religious activities in Cuba authorized by § 515.566;

(4) Entities engaging in non-commercial activities authorized by § 515.574 (Support for the Cuban People);

(5) Entities engaging in humanitarian projects set forth in § 515.575(b) (Humanitarian projects); andStart Printed Page 13994

(6) Private foundations or research or educational institutes engaging in transactions authorized by § 515.576.

* * * * *
Start Amendment Part

12. In § 515.575, redesignate the Note to paragraph (a) as Note 1 to paragraph (a) and add Note 2 to paragraph (a) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Humanitarian projects.
* * * * *

(a) * * *

Note 2 to paragraph (a):

Transactions authorized by this paragraph include the provision of grants or awards for humanitarian projects in or related to Cuba that are designed to directly benefit the Cuban people as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section.

* * * * *
Start Amendment Part

13. In § 515.577, revise paragraph (e) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Authorized transactions necessary and ordinarily incident to publishing.
* * * * *

(e) Section 515.564(a)(2) authorizes the travel-related transactions set forth in § 515.560(c) and such additional transactions that are directly incident to attendance at or organization of professional meetings that are necessary and ordinarily incident to the publishing and marketing of written publications.

Start Amendment Part

14. In § 515.578, revise the section heading, paragraph (d), and add a Note to § 515.578 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Exportation, reexportation, and importation of certain internet-based services; importation of software.
* * * * *

(d) Software. The importation into the United States of Cuban-origin software is authorized.

* * * * *

Note to § 515.578:

For general licenses authorizing physical and business presence in Cuba for certain persons, see § 515.573. An authorization related to business presence was previously included in this section. For an authorization of certain telecommunications-related services, see § 515.542.

Start Amendment Part

15. In § 515.584, revise paragraph (d) and paragraph (e) introductory text, add paragraph (g), a Note to paragraph (g), and paragraph (h) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Certain financial transactions involving Cuba.
* * * * *

(d) Funds transfers. Any banking institution, as defined in § 515.314, that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction is authorized to process funds transfers originating and terminating outside the United States, provided that neither the originator nor the beneficiary is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

(e) Unblocking of certain previously blocked funds transfers authorized. Any banking institution, as defined in § 515.314, that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction is authorized to unblock and return to the originator or originating financial institution or their successor-in-interest previously blocked funds transfers that could have been processed pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section, § 515.562(b), or § 515.579(b) if the processing of those transfers would have been authorized had they been sent under the current text of those provisions. Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction unblocking funds transfers that were originally blocked on or after August 25, 1997, pursuant to this section must submit a report to the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, Attn: Sanctions Compliance & Evaluation Division, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Freedman's Bank Building, Washington, DC 20220 within 10 business days from the date such funds transfers are released. Such reports shall include the following:

* * * * *

(g) Any banking institution, as defined in § 515.314, that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction is authorized to accept, process, and give value to U.S. dollar monetary instruments presented for processing and payment by a banking institution located in a third country that is not a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction or a Cuban national and that has received the U.S. dollar monetary instruments from a financial institution that is a national of Cuba for which it maintains a correspondent account and which received the U.S. dollar monetary instruments in connection with an underlying transaction that is authorized, exempt, or otherwise not prohibited by this part, such as dollars spent in Cuba by authorized travelers or a third-country transaction that is not prohibited by this part.

Note to paragraph (g):

Correspondent accounts used for transactions authorized pursuant to § 515.584(g) may be denominated in U.S. dollars.

(h) Any banking institution, as defined in § 515.314, that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction is authorized to open and maintain accounts solely in the name of a Cuban national located in Cuba for the purposes only of receiving payments in the United States in connection with transactions authorized pursuant to, or exempt from the prohibitions of, this part and remitting such payments to Cuba.

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16. In § 515.585, revise the section heading, add paragraph (c), and revise Note 3 to § 515.585 to read as follows:

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Certain transactions in third countries.
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(c) Individuals who are persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction who are located in a third country are authorized to purchase or acquire merchandise subject to the prohibitions in § 515.204, including Cuban-origin goods, for personal consumption while in a third country, and to receive or obtain services from Cuba or a Cuban national that are ordinarily incident to travel and maintenance within that country.

Note to paragraph (c):

This section does not authorize the importation of merchandise, including as accompanied baggage. Please see § 515.544 for an authorization to import certain Cuban-origin merchandise from a third country.

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Note 3 to § 515.585:

Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, this section does not authorize any transactions prohibited by § 515.204, including the purchase and sale of Cuban-origin goods.

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Start Signature

Dated: March 11, 2016.

John E. Smith,

Acting Director, Office of Foreign Assets Control.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2016-06018 Filed 3-15-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4810-AL-P