Operation of the planned voyages is subject to obtaining all necessary approvals, permits and licenses from the governments of the U.S. and Cuba. All passengers must comply with U.S. and Cuban laws and regulations related to travel to Cuba. The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury (known as “OFAC”) has issued general licenses within the 12 categories of authorized travel for many travel-related transactions to, from, or within Cuba that previously required a specific license (i.e., an application and a case-by-case determination). Travel-related transactions are permitted by general license for certain travel related to the following activities, subject to the criteria and conditions in each general license: family visits; official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities; public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials; and certain authorized export transactions.
One of the General Licenses incorporates prior specific licensing policy and authorizes, subject to appropriate conditions, travel-related transactions and other transactions that are directly incident to people-to-people educational activities in Cuba. This general license authorizes, subject to conditions, persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to engage in certain educational exchanges in Cuba under the auspices of an organization that is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction and sponsors such exchanges to promote people-to-people contact. Travelers utilizing this general license must ensure they maintain a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities 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 Cuban individuals. The predominant portion of the activities must not be with a prohibited official of the Government of Cuba, as defined in 31 CFR § 515.337, or a prohibited member of the Cuban Communist Party, as defined in 31 CFR § 515.338. As stated above, U.S. persons may qualify under other General Licenses issued by OFAC such as those issued for family visits by individuals having family in Cuba, journalists or other qualifying individuals. Unless a traveler can qualify under another license for the activities identified above, participation in the People to People program organized by Scenic Cruises is mandatory.
A person subject to U.S. jurisdiction who is an employee, paid consultant, agent, or other representative of the sponsoring organization must accompany each people-to-people educational group traveling to Cuba to ensure that each traveler has a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities. Individuals 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 may rely on the entity sponsoring the travel to satisfy his or her recordkeeping obligations with respect to the requirements described above.
Travelers are authorized to acquire in Cuba and import as accompanied baggage into the United States merchandise for personal use only. Value imports remain subject to the normal limits on duty and tax exemptions for merchandise imported as accompanied baggage and for personal use. Authorized U.S. travelers to Cuba will be allowed to import certain goods acquired in Cuba for personal use. However, U.S. Regulations restrict persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction from engaging in direct financial transactions with entities and sub entities identified on the State Department’s List of Restricted Entities and Sub entities Associated with Cuba (“Cuba Restricted List”). The Cuba Restricted List is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/11/09/2017-24449/the-state-departments-list-of-entities-and-subentities-associated-with-cuba-cuba-restricted-list .