Outline of the system
Sanitary-veterinary regulations governing the importation of animals, animal products, biological products and materials of any origin which are liable to harm animal health and which arrive in national territory by sea or by air.
The purposes of licensing are protection of national territory from the introduction of exotic diseases; prevention and control of animal diseases, including zoonoses; epizootiological monitoring; veterinary drug registration; and sanitary/hygienic control of food of animal origin intended for human consumption or animal feed. The established regulations cover imports of the following:
- live domestic and wild animals of protected species;
- products of animal origin for consumption or for industrial, decorative, experimental or research purposes;
- microbial and parasitic agents that affect animal health;
- vaccines, strains and other similar products used in veterinary medicine;
- culture and diagnostic media with components of animal origin; and
- elements, products and packaging of any origin capable of transmitting or carrying animal diseases.
Nature of licensing
If Automatic, administrative purpose
If Non-Automatic, description of the notified Non-Automatic Licensing regime
Products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
There is no restriction as to the value or quantity of imports; licensing is solely for sanitary purposes.
Questions for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
There is no restriction as to the value or quantity of imports.
The system applies to products originating from which country?
This procedure applies to goods from any country in the world.
Expected duration of licensing procedure
Is the licensing statutorily required?
Law No.1224, Decree-Law No.137 and Resolution No.121 of 1993 of the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG). Licensing is mandatory.
Does the legislation leave designation of products to be subject to licensing to administrative discretion?
Is it possible for the government to abolish the system without legislative approval?
Eligibility of applicants
Is there a system of registration of persons or firms permitted to engage in importation?
What persons or firms are eligible to apply for a licence?
Entities and institutions are eligible to apply subject to presentation of accreditation in Cuba by the appropriate bodies; natural persons are eligible to apply subject to presentation of a power confirming their accreditation by the entity they represent.
Is there a registration fee?
Is there a published list of authorized importers?
Contact point for information on eligibility
Directorate of Animal Health, MINAG
(+53)7833 7330; 7830 6615
Director: Yobani Gutiérrez Ravelo
Submission of an application
Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application
What information is required in applications?
What documents is the importer required to supply with the application?
All applications for authorization to import animals must be accompanied by the certification issued by the competent authorities of the exporting country, authenticated and certified by the Cuban consular authority, where appropriate.
Applications are granted or refused on the basis of a health risk analysis.
Window of submission of an application
How far in advance of importation must application for a licence be made?
Prior to signing the contract with the supplier.
Are there any limitations as to the period of the year during which application for licence can be made? If so, explain
There are no limitations as to the period of the year.
Issuing the license
Can a licence be granted immediately on request?
A licence cannot be granted immediately given that the established procedure must be followed.
Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence
Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?
Consideration of applications is effected solely by the Directorate of Animal Health.
Must the applications be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval?
Are there any other conditions attached to the issue of a licence?
Fees and other administrative charges
Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?
What is the amount of the fee or charge?
The amount charged depends on the type of product.
Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?
There is no deposit requirement associated with the issue of licences.
Amount or rate?
Is it refundable?
What is the period of retention?
What is the purpose of this requirement?
Refusal of an application
Under what circumstances may an application for a licence be refused other than failure to meet the ordinary criteria?
Without prejudice to whether or not an infringement of the provisions on veterinary medicine has been established, preventive, counter-epizootic, therapeutic and any other measures required may be imposed in respect of ships, aircraft and land transport vehicles of any class deemed to contain organisms, micro-organisms or other animal-disease-carrying or animal-disease-causing agents.
Where required, the preventive detention for further examination of animals, products of animal origin, means of transport and equipment may also be ordered.
The State inspection and sanitary control of food and products of animal origin for human consumption is conducted in the facilities where they are processed or stored or in their means of transport by the Ministry of Agriculture in conjunction with, and under the direction of, the Ministry of Public Health.
Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?
Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?
If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?
The Ministry of Agriculture, in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance, will establish the regulations governing the compensation, where applicable, due to owners in the event of sanitary slaughter under the infectious and contagious disease control programme.
Biological and pharmaceutical preparations produced in Cuba for farming and veterinary activities or for foreign trade are subject to the corresponding controls, in accordance with the standards established by the Ministry of Agriculture. Imported biological and pharmaceutical preparations are subject to controls prior to their use in national territory, in accordance with the quality certification provided by the manufacturer.
Are there any limitations as to the period of year during which importation may be made?
There are no limitations as to the period of the year.
What documents are required upon actual importation?
The import licence issued by the DSA is required.
Are there any other administrative procedures, apart from import licensing and similar administrative procedures, required prior to importation?
Before filing an application for an import licence, importers are required to apply to the competent authority for an inspection and sanitary certification visit of the establishments wishing to export to Cuba. (MINAG, Directorate of Animal Health) and for registration of the products in question (MINSAP, INHEM Food Register).
Conditions of licensing
What is the period of validity of a licence? Can the validity be extended? How?
Licences are valid for one year; their validity may be extended.
Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?
There is no penalty for the non-utilization of a licence.
Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?
They are not transferable.
Is foreign exchange automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported?
Is a licence required as a condition to obtaining foreign exchange?
Is foreign exchange always available to cover licences issued?
What formalities must be fulfilled for obtaining the foreign exchange?