Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Sailing to Cuba? Do not Pass Go.


I generally stick to customs law here, but in real life I do export and trade work as well. With that in mind, here is a story I should have covered earlier. It's a sailing story, and I like those. It is also an international trade enforcement story, so that makes it doubly interesting. It seems that the Bureau of Industry and Security charged Michele Geslin and Peter Goldsmith with violating the export control regulations for helping to organize a regatta to Cuba. According to BIS, that constitutes exporting their respective vessels to Cuba without a license and that is illegal. Apparently, BIS had gone so far as to show up at the launch party to explain that export licenses were required for any vessel intending to visit Cuba. The result was a fine of $11,000 each and the denial of export privileges for three years.

The details are interesting. But, more important is that the reported decision is instructive in its explanation of the process. Read it and you'll learn about charging letters, the roles of the Administrative Law Judge, the Recommended Decision and Order, and the role of the Undersecretary of Commerce in reviewing the ALJ decision.

Related to this, I heard today that post-election polling is showing a major shift in the opinions of Cuban-Americans with respect to the Cuba embargo. Apparently, the hard line is melting. Given the important role Florida plays in presidential elections, it will be interesting to watch whether U.S. policy toward Cuba changes.

1 comment:

max said...

well, is it changing?