Will You Be Able to Ship Cars to Cuba in 2016?


The relationship between the United States and Cuba has thawed considerably under the Obama Administration. After President Obama and the United States reached an agreement with Cuba to restore diplomatic relations in December 2015, one would have thought that all of the trade and financial embargoes that have been put in place between the United States and Cuba would have also been dissolved. But that has not been the case.

Despite President Obama’s pleas, this has not occurred, as the same embargoes that have been in place since 1962 still exist for the most part. The only thing that has changed so far is that some of the travel restrictions have been lessened, and people are allowed to now send money to Cuba under certain conditions.

What’s Holding It Back? 

The reason why shipping cars to Cuba is not yet allowed is because lifting the trade embargo requires Congressional action. The Executive Branch is not allowed to make this change alone, and many of the Republicans in Congress have opposed any change to the existing embargo that’s in place. Even one of the main Republican presidential candidates, Ted Cruz, has spoken vehemently against normalizing any type of trade relations between the two countries at this time. As long as both the Senate and the House of Representatives are controlled by Republicans, don’t expect the sentiment against Cuba to change anytime soon.

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It Rests On the Upcoming Elections 

The best chance for a change in the trade embargo is in the upcoming elections in November. If a Democrat happens to win and the party is eventually able to gain control of Congress, chances are that the trade embargo will be lifted. But that certainly will not happen in 2016 regardless of who wins, and 2017 doesn’t seem likely either. Even U.S. automakers are restricted from doing business with Cuba, and many of the international automakers also are in a complicated position due to having U.S. branches or subsidiaries in the United States.


Is There Any Way?

If you’re a citizen of the United States, you will not be able to transport cars to or from Cuba at this time. But, if you’re a citizen of another country, you may be able to do so, since most countries do not have similar embargoes with Cuba. You will need to contact an auto transport company from another country and see what can be arranged legally.


As for now, United States citizens have to play the waiting game. Many car collectors are actually watching this issue closely, since Cuba, mainly due to necessity, is known for the trove of classic cars that are currently operational in its country. Allowing imports from Cuba would mean that many car collectors would snatch some of them up.



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