FACT SHEET: U.S. Department of State Section 515.582 List
BUREAU OF ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS AFFAIRS
February 13, 2015
Goods and Services Eligible for Importation
In accordance with the Cuba policy changes announced by the President on
December 17, 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry
and Security (BIS) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of
Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) made amendments to their respective Cuba
sanctions regulations on January 16, 2015. As part of the amendments,
OFAC’s regulations introduced a new provision authorizing the
importation of certain goods and services produced by independent Cuban
entrepreneurs. This provision is set forth in OFAC’s Cuban Assets
Control Regulations (CACR) at 31 C.F.R.§ 515.582.
The goods and services authorized for importation pursuant to § 515.582
are set forth on the State Department’s Section 515.582 List, which can
be found at http://www.state.gov/e/eb/tfs/spi.
This new provision is just one of several in BIS’s and OFAC’s revised
Cuba sanctions regulations that are designed to increase the flow of
information and resources to Cuba’s nascent private sector. Under the
amended regulations, persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are authorized
by general license to send remittances to individuals and independent
non-governmental entities in Cuba to, among other things, support the
development of private businesses, including small farms, and U.S.
exporters may commercially sell certain goods for use by entrepreneurs.
In addition, expanded general licensing for travel permits persons
subject to U.S. jurisdiction to engage the Cuban private sector through
activities like development projects and entrepreneurship training
without the need to apply for a specific license from OFAC. As noted by
the White House in its press release on January 15, 2015, regarding the
regulatory changes, the Administration believes that allowing increased
travel, commerce, and the flow of information to and from Cuba will
allow the United States to better advance our interests and improve the
lives of ordinary Cubans.
Q: When may I begin importing goods and services authorized by Section
A: Immediately. Pursuant to § 515.582 of the CACR, which went into
effect on January 16, 2015,U.S. persons are authorized to engage in all
transactions, including payments necessary to import those goods and
services identified in the State Department’s Section 515.582
Q: Which goods and services are eligible for importation under this
A: The State Department’s Section 515.582 List references sections and
chapters of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) of the United States to
indicate categories of goods that are not eligible for import into the
United States pursuant to § 515.582, even if such goods were produced by
independent Cuban entrepreneurs; any other goods produced by independent
Cuban entrepreneurs and not covered by the listed sections and chapters
of the HTS may be imported, as provided in the State Department’s
Section 515.582 List and subject to compliance with all other relevant
requirements understate and federal law and regulations. All services
supplied by independent Cuban entrepreneurs are eligible for import,
again, as provided in the State Department’s Section 515.582 List and
subject to compliance with other requirements in state and federal law
Q: Will the Cuban government allow independent entrepreneurs to export
to the United States?
A: We cannot predict what the Cuban government will or will not allow,
but we sincerely hope that it makes this and other new opportunities
available to Cuba’s nascent private sector. This is another measure
intended to support the ability of the Cuban people to gain greater
control over their own lives and determine their country’s future.
Q: What are some examples of independent Cuban entrepreneurs?
A: Cuba’s nascent private sector includes self-employed individuals,
private small businesses, and private cooperatives that are independent
of Cuba’s state sector. Those importing goods or services authorized by
§ 515.582 must obtain documentary evidence that demonstrates the
entrepreneur’s independent status, such as a copy of a license to be
self-employed issued by the Cuban government or, in the case of an
entity, evidence that demonstrates that the entrepreneur is a private
entity that is not owned or controlled in whole or in part by the Cuban
Q: Do Cuban entrepreneurs require a license from the Cuban government?
A: Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction importing goods are required to
obtain evidence that demonstrates the Cuban entrepreneur’s independent
status, and, in the case of an entity, that the entity is private (i.e.,
not owned or controlled in whole or in part by the Cuban government).
The Cuban government issues licenses to private individuals for
self-employment or to operate small private businesses. Evidence that
the entrepreneur holds this license, such as a copy of the license, is
one way that a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction can show that the
entrepreneur that provided the goods/services intended for importation
holds independent status. However, third party verification by an
independent organization may also suffice in the future. The State
Department will work with other agencies to assess the situation on an
on-going basis, and make adjustments to the State Department’s Section
515.582 List, published fact sheets, and/or other guidance, as the
Q: Will authorized imports of goods undertaken pursuant to this
regulation be subject to tariffs?
A: Yes, authorized goods are subject to applicable duties, taxes and
fees. For travelers importing authorized goods into the United States
pursuant to § 515.582 as accompanied baggage, the $400 monetary limit
set forth in § 515.560(c)(3) of the CACR does not apply to such goods.
If goods are for personal use, certain personal exemptions from U.S.
Customs and Border Protection may apply.
Q: Do existing personal duty exemptions apply to Cuban goods coming into
the United States from Cuba? If so, when?
A: Yes, standard personal duty exemptions apply when goods are
accompanied by the traveler and are for personal use. For example, a
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) standard personal exemption of
up to $800 could include $400 of Cuban goods under the OFAC
authorization for the importation of merchandise as accompanied baggage
(§ 515.560(c)(3) of the CACR) and another $400 under the OFAC
authorization for the importation of certain goods produced by
independent Cuban entrepreneurs (§ 515.582 of the CACR). Personal duty
exemptions do not apply to commercial imports. To learn more, please
visit the CBP webpage at:
Q: Where can I find out which tariffs will apply on goods coming into
the United States from Cuba?
A: Goods that fall outside of the personal duty exemptions will be
subject to tariffs. For a searchable database of tariff rates associated
with a particular product, please see the U.S. Harmonized Tariff
Q: How often will the State Department update this list?
A: The Department of State, in consultation with other federal agencies,
will update this list periodically. Any subsequent updates will take
effect when published on the webpage of the Bureau of Economic and
Business Affairs’ Office of Economic Sanctions Policy and Implementation
(http://www.state.gov/e/eb/tfs/spi). The list published today and any
future updates will also be published to the Federal Register.
Q: Where can I find more information?
A: For further information on this list, please consult the webpage of
the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs’ Office of Economic
Sanctions Policy and Implementation (http://www.state.gov/e/eb/tfs/spi),
or contact the State Department at 202-647-7489. For regulatory
questions, please consult the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Cuba
Source: FACT SHEET: U.S. Department of State Section 515.582 List –