U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

785. What types of internet-based services are authorized under general license?


The general license at 31 CFR § 515.578 authorizes the provision of certain services incident to the exchange of communications over the internet, services to support the exchange of communications over the internet, and services related to certain authorized exports or reexports.  Transactions incident to providing internet-based communications services, such as instant messaging, chat and email, social networking, sharing of photos and movies, web browsing, blogging, web hosting provided that it is not for the promotion of tourism, domain-name registration, social media platforms, collaboration platforms, video conferencing, e-gaming and e-learning platforms, automated translation, web maps, and user authentications services, as well as services to support the exchange of communications over the internet, such as software design, business consulting, information technology management services, and cloud-based services (including remote data storage, data transport service, content distribution networks, virtual machines, software-as-a-service, and infrastructure-as-a-service), are authorized in most circumstances, see FAQs 1174 and 1176. Note that 31 CFR § 515.578(a)(ii) authorizes the provision of cloud-based services only if such services support the exchange of communications over the internet (e.g., the sharing of photos using the cloud).  Similarly, section 515.578(a)(i) of the CACR only authorizes the provision of internet-based services when incident to the exchange of communications over the internet. 

Services related to many kinds of software (including applications) used on personal computers, cell phones, and other personal communications devices are also authorized, along with other services related to the use of such devices.  Additionally, services, including training, installation, repair, or replacement of items related to communications, or items used to develop software that improves the free flow of information or will support private sector activities in Cuba that are licensed or otherwise authorized by the Department of Commerce for exportation or reexportation to Cuba, are also authorized by OFAC.  Finally, the importation into the United States, as well as the exportation or reexportation from the United States to third countries, of Cuban-origin software and Cuban-origin mobile applications is also authorized.  For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, see 31 CFR § 515.578.  See FAQ 1175 for additional information on authorized application programming interfaces.

Updated: May 28, 2024

Date Released
September 6, 2019