(Jacksonville, Fla.; Nov. 28, 2001) – Crowley Liner Services signed a contract last night with Alimport, the Cuban agency involved with purchasing food products for its country, to transport containerized frozen poultry and dry food products from the United States to Cuba. Shipments are expected to commence in December.
Alimport, also known as Empresa Cubana Importadora de Alimentos, is purchasing the food from U.S. companies in hopes of providing relief for Cubans impacted by Hurricane Michelle, which caused widespread destruction as it passed over the island Nov. 4.
Because of Crowley’s longstanding history of service to the Caribbean and the fact that the company was the first U.S. carrier to meet all federal requirements to ship licensed cargo to Cuba earlier this year, Alimport invited Crowley to bid on the transportation contract.
“We are pleased that we could be a participant in the bid process,” said Tom Crowley, Jr., chairman, president and CEO of Crowley Maritime Corporation. “We look forward to carrying out the historic first shipment as well as subsequent shipments.”
Crowley Maritime is the parent company of Crowley Liner Services.
“The fact that we were able to respond to this request within the legal framework of both the U.S. and Cuban governments underscores our readiness to participate in this trade and reinforces our commitment to the Caribbean market,” Crowley said.
Earlier this year, Crowley became the first U.S. carrier to obtain a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C., to provide regularly scheduled common carrier services for licensed cargo from the United States to the Republic of Cuba.
The opportunity to participate in the trade was made possible by the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 signed into law on Oct. 28, 2000, by William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America.
The Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000, authorizes OFAC to license the transport of agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices or other products directly from the United States to the Republic of Cuba.
Crowley’s license from the OFAC permits certain Crowley executives to travel to Cuba to make whatever arrangements are necessary to ship licensed cargo to Cuba. This includes authorization to enter into contracts with and pay fees to Cuban port authorities, agents, stevedores and similar entities provided such contracts are required for Crowley to provide authorized services.
Crowley began regularly scheduled common carrier service to Cuba in April. Although no direct vessel calls have been made to date, Crowley has transported loads for customers to Mexico and then via third-party carriers to Cuba on Crowley bills of lading.
“We are hopeful that these initial, direct shipments of poultry from the United States to Cuba will result in ongoing direct vessel service for licensed cargo,” Crowley said.
For more information about Crowley, go to www.crowley.com.
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