Independent Cuban cosmetic entrepreneurs given the go ahead in the US

By Michelle Yeomans contact

- Last updated on GMT

Independent Cuban cosmetic entrepreneurs given the go ahead in the US

Related tags: Cuba

Cuba’s independent cosmetic makers have made it onto the new list of products that can be sold in the United States.

The Obama administration has created a new policy for the 483,396 Cuban entrepreneurs (cuentapropistas) registered as wanting to export their products to the US.

According to Miami Customs attorney Lenny Feldman, those who make soap, cosmetics, candles, waxes and polishes, perfume or photographic or cinematographic goods, have made the cut.

The attorney looked into the details of the new policy for the Bradenton Herald after many became confused about the move while the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba still remains firmly in place.

Trade embargo still in place - but new policy will support small cosmetic makers

According to the US State Department, along with buying products from private Cubans, the policy will allow for the export of U.S. products to support cuentapropistas, small private farmers and to help in private building projects and renovations.

Feldmen reports to the Bradenton Herald that more sophisticated manufactured products such as medical, optical and surgical instruments also are permissible — although it’s unclear whether any independent entrepreneurs or private cooperatives are making such items in Cuba.

"Many aspects of the new approach that will help independent Cuban entrepreneurs increase access to information and resources they need to improve their livelihoods, and to effect positive change within their communities."

Not making the cut..

Sugar, tobacco and vegetables, prepared foods and beverages, spirits didn't make the cut though with Obama's administration stating that it “cannot predict what the Cuban government will or will not allow, but we sincerely hope that it makes this and other new opportunities available to Cuba’s nascent private sector.​”

Before the rule change, the embargo prohibited the importation from Cuba of anything except for informational materials, art and very select additional items that could be brought in by special license

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