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US allows certain goods imports by Cuban independent entrepreneurs

Staff writer |
The United States has narrowed a list of goods prohibited for import from Cuba by independent entrepreneurs, according to the US State Department.

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"In accordance with the policy changes announced by the US President, Barack Obama on December 17, 2014, to further engage and empower the Cuban people, Section 515.582 of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations authorizes the importation into the United States of certain goods and services produced by independent Cuban entrepreneurs," US State Department document said.

The new regulation comes into effect immediately, but, however, still limits tobacco and spirits, animal and vegetable products, textile and base metals, machinery and appliances, vehicles and arms from the allowed imports list, the document explained.

Cuba's entrepreneurs willing to import their goods to the United States are required to obtain documentary evidence of their independent entrepreneur status, according to the State Department.

The US State Department will update Cuba's goods eligible for importation list periodically.

Earlier on Friday, a group of bipartisan US senators introduced legislation to repeal the current legal restrictions against doing business with Cuba, including the trade embargo of 1961.

Under US President Barack Obama's new policy to normalize relations with Cuba, the United States will open an embassy in Havana and ease five-decade-long US trade and travel restrictions. Obama has urged Congress to pass legislation to end the embargo, which was initially put in place due to Cold War antagonism between Washington and the Communist government in Havana.


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