Many restrictions on travel to Cuba were lifted following the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with the United States. The November 2017 changes to the Cuba regulations, however, have affected UF engagement with Cuba. While most UF activities—including research, conference participation, professional meetings and study abroad—continue to be authorized under a “General License," additional steps are now required to supplement the standard travel approval process.
As with all official travel, UF faculty and staff must complete and submit a Travel Authorization request in advance. In addition, all faculty and staff must register their international travel through the online UFIC Travel Registry. When registering for travel to Cuba, you will receive a notification that your travel registration is on hold, pending approval from the UFIC Dean.
For approval, all travelers must complete and submit the “UF Travel to Cuba: Acknowledgement of Compliance with Regulations” form before traveling. Key provisions in those regulations include the requirement to avoid engaging in transactions with a number of denied entities in Cuba, including many hotels. You are also responsible for maintaining records of your trip for five years. Once approved, you will receive the required Cuba travel letter from the UFIC dean.
The comprehensive US embargo on trade with Cuba also remains in effect. This embargo restricts the items that you are permitted to take when traveling to Cuba. All UF travelers are responsible for ensuring that they are in compliance with relevant regulations.
You may take the following approved items to Cuba without the need for further consultation or permission:
- laptops and mobile devices as long as they are standard-issue, commercially available devices that do not contain (a) any export controlled information, data, or software or (b) specialized encryption software;
- personal effects for your use (including clothes, toiletries, medical supplies, food).
Any UF traveler planning to take items beyond those normally allowed as enumerated above or if permanently exporting ANY ITEM must consult and receive approval from the Division of Research Compliance before traveling.
In no circumstance may you bring items to Cuba that qualify as defense articles controlled under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).