Rules for sending money to Cuba (remittances) from the US have been relaxed for many years, but only recently have packages and gifts to Cubans been possible.
In March, the first direct mail from the US to Cuba officially arrived at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana.
It was first flight to carry U.S. direct mail to Cuba in more than 50 years. President Obama pinned a letter to Ileana Yarza, a 76-year-old letter writer in Cuba who has been waiting for the President to visit for years. “I think there are not many Cubans so eager as I to meet you in person,” she wrote on February 18. “Not as an important American personality, but as a charming president whose open smile wins hearts.”
Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate your support over the years, and I hope this note — which will reach you by way of the first direct mail flight between the United States and Cuba in over 50 years — serves as a reminder of a bright new chapter in the relationship between our two nations.
I am looking forward to visiting Havana to foster this relationship and highlight our shared values — and, hopefully, I will have time to enjoy a cup of Cuban coffee.
The types of mail that customers in the US can send to Cuba include First-Class Mail International items, First-Class Package International Service items, Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelopes and Priority Mail International Small Flat Rate Priced Boxes.
This month the US Department of Transportation (DOT) approved FedEx’s uncontested application to become the first all-cargo airline to provide scheduled flights to Cuba.
FedEx has thus far been the only all-cargo carrier to seek scheduled authority to Cuba. Beginning January 15, 2017, the company will commence once-daily Monday through Friday service between Miami, Florida and Matanzas, Cuba.
US Department of Commerce Rules for Gift Parcels
License Exception Gift Parcels and Humanitarian Donations (GFT) authorizes the export and reexport of certain donated items by an individual (donor), or a forwarding service acting on behalf of the donor, to an eligible recipient (donee). Gift parcels may contain a variety of items, including food, most medicines, medical supplies and devices, certain consumer communications devices, and other items of a type normally exchanged as gifts between individuals. Eligible recipients (donees) are individuals, other than certain Cuban Government or Cuban Communist Party officials, and charitable, educational, and religious organizations in Cuba that are not administered or controlled by the Cuban Government or the Cuban Communist Party. For example, hospitals or schools administered or controlled by the Cuban Government are not eligible recipients.
Donors may send one gift parcel per month per eligible recipient. The combined total domestic retail value of eligible items may not exceed $800 per gift parcel. However, the frequency and value limits do not apply to food donated in gift parcels. Items contained in gift parcels must also be in quantities normally given as gifts between individuals.