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Trump Administration Announces Rollback on Cuba Travel Sanctions Reductions

Thursday, April 18, 2019

On Wednesday, April 17, 2019, the Trump Administration announced plans to rollback Obama era reductions to the Cuba travel sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC). The OFAC sanctions will now, according to the press report, cover all or most travel to Cuba except for travel by family members for visitation of Cuban relatives.

As the actual text of the revised restrictions have yet to be released, it is difficult to determine what impact this decision may have on the previous administration’s efforts to open-up travel to Cuba for educational and research purposes.  Also unknown is the impact on the commonly used Support for the Cuban People travel related general license.

University travelers planning trips to Cuba should work with the Office of Ethics and Compliance's Export Compliance Team to determine whether the newly imposed sanctions (when issued) directly impact upcoming Cuba travel plans. Going forward, the Export Compliance Office recommends that University travelers contact the Office prior to finalizing any travel plans to obtain sanctions-related support and licensing as needed.

Questions about the impact of US sanctions on University activities, or with other export compliance issues, should be directed to the Export Compliance Office. More information and contact emails and phone numbers are available on the Penn State Export Compliance website at