Obstacles to Buying Food from U.S. Are Increasing for Cuba
- Submitted by: admin
- Business and Economy
- 08 / 11 / 2009
The Cuban official noted that, for this reason and in order to buy the products that used to be imported from the US, Alimport has been forced to look for safer markets that do not have any impediments to trade with Cuba and that do extend lines of credit, which is very important considering the increase in food prices as a result of the international economic crisis.
The directive noted that with so many inconveniences, import volumes from the US to Cuba are not likely to grow in spite of the American companies’ willingness to do business with Cuba, the high-quality products and the geographical closeness between the two countries.
He explained that any American company to initiate personal contacts with Cuba is required to have a travel license from the US Treasury Department.
Then, if an agreement is reached, the American entrepreneur most obtain another license from the US Trade Department before signing the deal with Cuba and, once it is closed, a Cuban bank most send a Letter of Credit to an European bank and the latter to the corresponding US bank and finally to the provider’s bank in that country.
The participation of at least three or four banks in the transaction generates additional charges and a higher margin of error in the management of the documentation, explained Alvarez. In addition, the bank in the third country is also required a license from the US Treasury Department to operate with Cuba.
Likewise, the shipping companies need a permit also issued by the Treasury Department to transport the goods to the island and once they unload in a Cuban port they have to return empty because the US administration does not allow the import of Cuban products. As it if were not enough, a recent regulation allows coastguards to intercept and search ships carrying goods to Cuba on the arbitrary
grounds that the Caribbean country does not have the necessary control mechanisms set to avoid possible terrorist acts.
Source: Cuban News Agency