Advertising for OFAC Licensed Travel to Cuba

Ok, so you or your company has obtained a license to facilitate travel arrangements to Cuba for people to people educational exchanges. The next step is letting those licensed parties know about your services. Since both services to be provided and the travel itself are still subject to the authority of the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) it follows that advertising of travel to Cuba may have certain restrictions imposed on it as well. Indeed, it does. Luckily, last Friday OFAC released guidance on advertising people to people travel services to Cuba.

Below are two lists. One list defines what activities you can legally engage in relating to the advertising of travel to Cuba pursuant to licenses for people to people exchanges. The other list is a list of those activities which a U.S. person cannot engage in relating to the advertising of travel to Cuba pursuant to licenses for people to people exchanges. In the spirit of OFAC we will refer to the list of activities that are allowed as the Authorized Activities List and the list of activities which are prohibited as the Blocked Activities List.

*Disclaimer: These lists were not created by OFAC. They were merely compiled by me and were derived from the information contained in OFAC’s March 9, 2012 Guidance. These lists do not have the effect of legal authority. All OFAC cases are different and are considered based on their specific facts. Any questions about proposed activities should be referred to OFAC Compliance or at a minimum experienced counsel with a knowledge of OFAC regulations and OFAC’s Cuba travel policy.

AUTHORIZED ACTIVITIES LIST

1. Designing advertisement related to licensed Cuba travel;

2. Accepting advertisement related to licensed Cuba travel;

3. Publishing the advertisement in any medium;

4. Providing a link to the website of a licensed organization whose services are being advertised;

5. Posting of information related to licensed services on a website;

6. Production of a brochure advertising licensed services and distribution of that brochure to the public;

7. Promotion of licensed travel services via phone campaigns;

8. Promotion of licensed travel services at travel expositions;

9. Collection, organization, and production of contact information for prospective travelers in exchange for a referral fee or otherwise.

BLOCKED ACTIVITIES LIST

1. Registering travelers on behalf of a licensed travel provider;

2. Collecting funds from travelers for forwarding on to a licensed travel provider;

3. Advertising without including the licensed travel provider’s name;

4. Advertising using an alternate name for a licensed travel provider in the advertisement;

5. Advertising that misleads travelers into believing they will not be required to maintain a full time schedule of educational exchange activities;

6. Advertising for people-to-people travel that suggests the travel will focus on activities that may be undertaken after their daily full-time schedule of people-to-people activities;

7. Advertising activities that are primarily tourist-oriented;

8. Advertising self-directed educational activities that are intended only for personal enrichment.

The author of this blog is Erich Ferrari, an attorney specializing in OFAC matters. If you have any questions please contact him at 202-280-6370 or ferrari@ferrari-legal.com.

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