New US regulations Open Markets to Self-Employed Cubans

Artesanos frente al Teatro de Caridad en Santa Clara (Wilder Méndez)
Artisans in front of the Caridad Theater in Santa Clara (Wilder Méndez)

The US State Department published new details on its website on Friday about the goods and services that US citizens may import from Cuba. The list includes articles such as perfumes, soaps, candles, photographs, jewelry and crafts, including wood, some metals, hide, plastic or rubber, textiles, shows, ceramic and glass, among others.

However, the limits are maintained for the importing of animal products, vegetables, prepared food, mining products, tobacco and alcohol, wool or silk textiles, some metals, machinery and appliances, transport equipment and firearms, among others.

Companies or individuals in the US who import products made in Cuban must have proof that the import is from a self-employed person and not from a State enterprise. For travelers who import the products on the new list, the $400 limit applied to other products does not apply.

For the import of services provided by the self-employed in Cuba, the US government has created even fewer regulations than for goods As of now, any self-employed Cuban who offers services with a license authorized by the State will be able to import that service to the United States. The US person or company that imports goods or services from Cuba must keep a copy of the self-employment license associated with the good or service.

With these new measures, self-employed Cubans will have a new market to export their goods and services, and will have more opportunities to grow their businesses. However, the Cuban government still has no legal framework for self-employed to enter into legal contracts with international companies.

Sources close to the State Department US have assured  14ymedio more changes in the regulations are coming.

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