Unauthorized entry into Cuban territorial waters

Friday, July 09, 2004
To clarify and expand upon the item in yesterday’s newsletter regarding entry into Cuban waters, the new U.S. Coast Guard regulation prohibits vessels of less than 100 meters in length that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction from traveling to and entering Cuban territorial waters unless such vessel shall first have obtained a written permit from the Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District. When requesting such permit, the applicant must show that it has a valid and applicable license issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce for export of the vessel to Cuba and a valid and applicable license issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury authorizing travel-related transactions in Cuba. Unauthorized departures may result in a civil penalty of up to $25,000 per day. Knowing failure to comply with the regulations or an order issued thereunder may subject the offender to imprisonment for up to 10 years, a monetary penalty of up to $10,000, seizure and forfeiture of the vessel, and a civil penalty of up to $25,000 per day. False statements made in regard to a permit application may result in imprisonment for up to five years and a fine. One gets the distinct impression that the United States Government does not look with favor upon boat trips to Cuba. 69 Fed. Reg. 41367 (HK Law).

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