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May 28, 2019: 09:00 - 10:00

Canadians Doing Business in Cuba: Implications Under the Helms-Burton Act

Angela Swan and Stephen Zolf

Recent actions taken by the Trump administration will have significant implications for Canadian companies active in the Cuban market. On April 17, 2019, the U.S. government announced that it will no longer suspend Title III of theCuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996, commonly known as theHelms-Burton Act. Join us as we discuss the implications of Title III and the issues that Canadian companies will need to consider to assess their legal risk.

As of May 2, 2019, U.S. nationals can bring civil claims up to treble damages against any non-U.S. business that may be “trafficking” in property confiscated by the Cuban government after Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution. Canadian companies with legitimate trade or investments in Cuba need to understand their legal exposure under Title III.

In the first week since the suspension of Title III, more than 6,000 lawsuits have been filed under Title III, estimated at $8 billion. Canadian companies most at risk include those operating in or with commercial arrangements in the mining, financial services and tourism sectors in Cuba.


Topics include:

The broad definition of “trafficking” in confiscated property under the Helms-Burton Act

The interrelationship between Title III and Canada’s Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act (FEMA) Orders

The need to assess existing contractual arrangements with Cuban entities

The scope of protection for prospective commercial arrangements with Cuban entities

Commercial and legal strategies to mitigate risk

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