The United States Coast Guard enacted new regulations involving entry into Cuban territorial waters on 2 July 2004. The regulations are titled "Unauthorized Entry into Cuban Territorial Waters" and are located at 33 C.F.R. § 107.200 et seq.
The regulations state that any U.S. vessel or vessel assimilated as one without nationality less than 100 meters (328 feet) in length must have a Coast Guard permit to depart from the 12-mile territorial sea and thereafter enter Cuban territorial waters regardless of intervening entry into, passage through, or departure from any other territorial waters. The regulations are enforceable against the vessel, its owner, agent, master, officers, persons in charge and members of the crew.
Applicants for a Coast Guard permit must fax completed applications to the Seventh Coast Guard District at (305) 415-6809 for approval. Applicants may direct questions to the Seventh Coast Guard District at (305) 415-6800.
Your faxed application for a permit:
If the Coast Guard approves your application, the permit and accompanying OFAC and Commerce documents must be on board your vessel at all times during your voyage.
Failure to comply with the Coast Guard, Commerce, Treasury, or other Federal government regulations regarding travel to Cuba will subject violators to federal criminal prosecution, as well as possible administrative proceedings by the Department of Commerce and Department of Treasury. Penalties for violations of these Federal statutes and regulations can result in fines, imprisonment, vessel seizure and forfeiture, and denial of future export privileges.
If you do not have all of the appropriate permits and licenses required by the Department of Commerce and the Department of Treasury, and you make a voyage into Cuban territorial waters, you are subjecting yourself to any and all of these sanctions. You are hereby advised that, in compliance with direction from the President, the U.S. Coast Guard will be stringently monitoring maritime traffic to and from Cuba in order to ensure that vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction have complied with all applicable licensing requirements, laws, and regulations, and will take aggressive enforcement actions if those conditions are not met.