US Authorizes the Sale of ‘Motorinas’ to Private Companies and Individuals in Cuba

Motorcycles have increased the Cuban mobile fleet in the last two years, due to their lower prices compared to a vehicle and the ease of avoiding traffic. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 6 October 2022 — Cubans have just discovered that, since September 28, they can buy electric motorcycles and scooters from the United States thanks to an authorization issued that day by the US Department of Commerce.

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) approved an exclusive license in favor of the distributor Premier Automotive Export (PAE), based in Columbia, Maryland, for the export of these products, which may be purchased by residents and private companies on the island, as reported this Wednesday the US-Cuba Economic and Trade Council. Until now, only embassies had benefited from this type of exemption on some opportunities.

The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) prohibit the sale to Cuba of various items, particularly computers or certain telecommunications devices, among other things. However, the permit granted to PAE is based on an exception that allows the commercial exchange of elements “necessary for the environmental protection of the quality of the air, waters and coasts of the United States and internationally,” including those related to renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Premier Automotive Export received four authorizations for the export of automobiles to Cuba in the last five years. The first, in 2017, was granted by the Barack Obama Administration to sell electric vehicles from the Japanese manufacturer Nissan Leaf and Clipper Creek electric chargers to the Guyanese embassy in Havana.

The second, in 2019, was approved by Donald Trump for spare parts for gasoline vehicles destined for embassies in Havana, while the third was extended by the Biden government, last January, for the sale of cars with internal combustion engines, electric or hybrid, also for the embassies located in Havana.

Ten months ago, the current Administration denied PAE a request to export electric vehicles and chargers to the Island.

On August 15, new provisions approved by Customs came into force, allowing Cubans entering the country to declare two electric motorcycles as non-commercial accompanied luggage, in addition to two electric generators, two motorized scooters and a third if it is sent as freight.

The US-Cuba Economic and Trade Council noted that there is “a commitment” by the US government to “accompany the Cuban people in seeking to determine their own future… We will support those who improve the lives of families and workers, the self-employed who have forged their own economic paths and all those who are building a better Cuba,” the organization quoted Antony Blinken, Secretary of State of the United States.


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