03/17/2016 11:09 EDT | Updated 03/18/2017 01:12 EDT

US eases security for ships visiting Cuba

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is making it easier for U.S. cruise ships, cargo vessels and even ferries to travel back and forth between the United States and Cuba with much less hassle.

The U.S. is removing Cuba from the list of countries considered security risks because of insufficient security in their ports.

That means U.S. ships that have visited Cuba won't be subject to onerous additional security measures before re-entering American ports. No longer will all ships have to be boarded by the U.S. Coast Guard, though the Coast Guard still can conduct random checks.

The announcement comes three days before President Barack Obama heads to Cuba for the first presidential visit in generations. Obama has been easing restrictions on U.S. travel and commerce in Cuba.

Josh Lederman, The Associated Press