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Cuba updates the system of foreign company commercial representation

| Publications | Cuban Desk

On June 7th 2021, a batch of standards was published in the Ordinary Official Gazette of the Republic of Cuba No. 63, updating the legal regime of branches and representations of foreign companies

These new regulations aim to eliminate the existing normative dispersion, recognise other modalities that operate in the commercial traffic of goods and services, and adapt the legal regulations to the terms and practices of international use, differentiated from the legal regime established by Law No. 118 on Foreign Investment. Within the group of regulations, Decree No. 32 of 22nd February 2021, "Regulations for the Establishment of Foreign Commercial Representations in Cuba", hereinafter Decree No. 32, which repeals Decree No. 206 of 10th April 1996, "Regulations for the National Registry of Branches and Agents of Foreign Commercial Companies", hereinafter Decree No. 206.

Among the developments introduced by Decree No. 32 are the following:

  • The Regulation assumes a generic denomination, based on the term "foreign commercial representation in Cuba", which includes: (i) representative offices, (ii) branches, (iii) agency and representation contracts with Cuban companies authorised for such purposes, and (iv) representative offices of foreign entities promoting trade and investment. To date, only branches and agency contracts have been recognised. Travel agencies may be established through branches or agency contracts, and branches and representative offices may be of individual entrepreneurs or commercial companies.
  • Licences are granted for up to 5 years, renewable, and their registration continues to be handled by the Registry attached to the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Cuba, now called the "National Registry of Foreign Commercial Representations".
  • New documents have been added to process the application for registration and the existing obligation to attach the volume of operations carried out during the last three years with Cuban companies, which was set at USD 500,000 per year, has been excluded. This exclusion is a major step forward with respect to Decree No. 206 because it opens up the possibility for foreign companies and individual entrepreneurs who wish to establish themselves in Cuba, without having had previous relations with Cuban companies in the term and volume mentioned above.
  • Licences already granted remain in force until the expiry of the term granted, and the formalisation of the registration in the National Register of Foreign Commercial Representations must be requested within ninety (90) working days prior to their expiry.

Entities already registered, which by reason of the activity they carry out in the national territory require registration as a branch in the National Register of Foreign Commercial Representations shall process their respective registrations within 180 days of the enactment of this Decree.

You can download the full PDF file here.

For further information please contact:

Ignacio Aparicio | Partner Corporate / M&A and Director of the Cuban Desk

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