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Questions and answers on the suspension of U.S. dollar cash deposits

CUba Banco DolarThe fierce financial persecution Cuba suffers as a result of the U.S. economic, commercial and financial blockade led to the decision by the Central Bank of Cuba (BCC) to announce the temporary suspension of cash deposits of U.S. dollars in the country’s bank branches.

In view of the obstacles created by interventionistU.S. policy toour national banking system’s ability to deposit abroad the cash in U.S. dollars collected on the island, it was essential to make this decision which has generated questions among the population, many of which the BCC has answered on its website.
-What will happen with magnetic cards linked to MLC accounts as of June 21?

These cards will continue to function as they have thus far, with the exception that, as of June 21, it will not be possible to deposit U.S. dollars in cash in these accounts.

-Will transfers from abroad in U.S. dollars continue to be accepted?
Yes, deposits to MLC accounts from abroad, in U.S. dollars or other currencies, will continue to be accepted, as has been the case to date.

-Can transfers continue to be made between MLC accounts?
Yes. The measure does not prevent transfers between MLC cards; they can be made as before, through the channels authorized for this purpose.(Transfermóvil, Enzona, ATMs and bank branches)

-Will it be possible to withdraw U.S. dollars in cash from MLC accounts as of June 21?
Individuals with MLC accounts may continue to make cash withdrawals in U.S. dollars or in any other currency available at thebranch at the time of the transaction.

At any given moment, it is possible thata particular branch may not have in its possession the amount of cash requested in the foreign currency. In this event, the branch will make arrangements to acquire the necessary cash funds requestedas quickly as possible.

-What will happen to U.S. dollar savings accounts; will they be affected by this measure?
U.S. dollar savings accounts will continue to operate as they have to date, with the exception that, as of June 21, it will not be possible to deposit U.S. dollars in cash in these accounts, although deposits in other currencies will continue to be accepted.

-Will it be possible to create new MLC accounts after June 21?
Yes, only cash deposits of U.S. dollars are affected, all other currencies are accepted.

-What options are available to tourists and travelers arriving from abroad with U.S. dollars?
International tourists should be aware that, for the duration of the suspension, U.S. dollars in cash will not be accepted by the country’s banking system. To cover their expenses, they will need to use a currency other than the U.S. dollar.International credit cards that function in the country will continue to operate as before.

-May individuals continue to hold U.S. dollars in cash?
Individuals may keep in their possessionU.S. dollars or any other foreign currency, without restriction.

-May MLC account holders continue shopping with their cards?
Yes. Individuals with MLC accounts may continue to make purchases with the balanceavailableon their cards in the MLC store network.

Will individuals with international cards be able to continue shopping at MLC stores as before?
Yes, Persons who have cards issued by foreign banks operating in Cuba will be able to continue operating as before.

In accordance with the measure adopted by the Central Bank of Cuba (BCC), temporarily suspending the acceptance of cash deposits in U.S. dollars as of June 21, the General Customs of the Republic reiterated, on its website, that this provision also applies to the payment of import customs duties and services at borders.

The information published by the agency emphasized that Cuban banking and non-banking financial institutions (including Cadeca money exchanges) will not accept U.S. dollars in cash from natural or legal persons, reiteratingthat the payment of customs duties and services must be made in other currencies accepted by the BCC or with foreign currency creditcards operating in the country.
In order to avoid unnecessary inconveniences, Customs has urged travelers to take the necessary steps to comply with these provisions and exercise their right to import in accordance with legislation currently in effect.

The Cuban government was obliged to discontinuecash bank deposits of U.S. dollars, due to the obstacles created by the U.S. blockade which limit the country’s ability to deposit these bills, collected within national territory,in international banks.
Prepaid cards for international travelers on sale in Varadero and Cayo Coco
In response to requests by international travelers to purchase goods and services atsales outlets that only accept payment through magnetic cards, the Bank of Credit and Commerce has designed and launched prepaid cards, initially only availableto non-resident international travelers.

According to information published on the Cadeca web site, sales of the cards has begun at authorized offices located in the tourist resorts of Varadero and Cayo Coco.

Thesecards, valid for two years, are for exclusive use within national territory and allow for the payment of goods and services at stores affiliated with the country’s foreign currencycommercial network, through POS (Point of Sale Terminals).

According to the Cadeca web site, the cards are not personalized, that is, they will not feature the name of the user printed on the card.A PIN number will be necessary to validate the card and complete a purchase, thus the prepaid cardcan only be used where a POS is available.

Non-resident travelers may acquire cards of 200, 500 and 1,000 USD, by presenting their identification document (passport) and depositing the cash in freely convertible currency. A fee of 5.00 USD will be charged for each card and a receipt issued, which customers should keepin their possession.

These cards do not allow fordeposits or transfers from abroad – nor between similar cards or to other cards operating in dollars. Users are able to check their balanceat ATMs, as well as review recent transactions, change their PIN and withdraw cash in Cuban pesos, at the current exchange rate.

The cards are designed to be purchased with any freely convertible currency accepted at Cadeca money exchanges, although the possibility of purchasing them with U.S. dollars was temporarily eliminated, as of June 21.

(Taken from Granma)

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