Can You Bring Cuban Cigars Back From Cuba?

Cuban cigars are regarded as some of the finest cigars in the world. They are one of the first things you associate with Cuba.

Can You Bring Cuban Cigars Back From Cuba?

Cuban brands are undoubtedly the most prestigious in the world, but you may be wondering whether you can buy these renowned cigars and bring them home with you?

With the help of this article, you’ll know everything you need to do regarding getting Cuban cigars home with you.

Can You Bring Cuban Cigars Back From Cuba?

As of 2020, bringing Cuban goods back to the United States for personal consumption or use became illegal once more.

This was part of President Donald Trump’s hard line against Cuba, so should you buy any alcohol or tobacco products, you must make sure that you only use them in Cuba or outside of the United States.

Previously, you would have been allowed to buy Cuban cigars for personal use should you be traveling to and from Cuba.

However, the Trump administration chose to bring back the trade embargo that was first established in 1962.

Of course, you must first be authorized to travel to Cuba.

Since Joe Biden became president, he did promise to review the US policy toward Cuba, but there have since been no updates.

So, to answer your question. No, you can’t bring Cuban cigars back from Cuba.

Can You Import Cuban Cigars From Cuba?

It’s difficult to import Cuban cigars from Cuba, and unlikely that you can do it legally.

There’s a high likelihood that US Customs will confiscate your cigars.

Remember that Cuban cigars aren’t the cheapest, so even if you were to bring them into the country, you’re more likely to lose out on what money you have spent on them.

It’s essential that you remember that even though there are online retailers who advertise Cuban cigars, you shouldn’t buy from them.

Any import of Cuban cigars, and especially buying them online, has always been illegal in the United States.

But How Can I Get Cuban Cigars?

Truthfully, traveling to Cuba for tourism purposes is severely restricted for citizens of the United States.

Traveling for tourism is forbidden for US citizens, and if you want to go to Cuba, there are only twelve reasons why you would be allowed to go.

So, if you happen to travel to Cuba for professional reasons, or if you’re outside of the United States, you should be able to get some Cuban cigars.

However, if you want to bring them onto home soil, you’re out of luck.

How Can I Travel To Cuba?

How Can I Travel To Cuba?

There are twelve reasons that permit you to travel to Cuba from the United States legally.

In 2020, the Trump administration banned American citizens from staying at many Cuban hotels and resorts, making it more challenging to stay in Cuba.

If you want to visit, these are twelve reasons you would be allowed to visit.

  • You can visit any family you may have living in Cuba.
  • Suppose you’re doing any business for the United States or a foreign government. You may also be allowed to visit if you’re working for specific intergovernmental organizations.
  • If you’re a journalist, you may be allowed to visit Cuba for professional reasons.
  • Should you be undertaking professional research that needs you to visit Cuba.
  • If you’re a student, you may be allowed to visit Cuba for educational purposes.
  • You may be allowed to visit Cuba for religious activities.
  • Athletes have permission to go to Cuba for competitions. Either amateur or semi-professional athletes are also allowed.
  • Humanitarian projects are also permitted to be undertaken when needed.
  • If you work for a private foundation that requires research, or you work for a private educational institute, you may also visit Cuba should you need to.
  • When you need to import or export information and materials between the US and Cuba.
  • If you have authorized exports, you may be allowed to visit for transactional business purposes.

You can get more details regarding visiting Cuba by accessing the United States Treasury website to get further information.

Could You Ever Bring Cuban Cigars Back To The United States?

Before the Trump administration, the Obama administration had been making steps in normalizing relations with Cuba.

In 2014, it was made legal to bring Cuban cigars and rum into the United States for personal consumption.

You were allowed to bring in around one hundred dollars worth of cigars without duty for personal use.

Even then, you still needed to be an authorized worker, and you weren’t allowed to purchase them in other countries.

But after 2016, you were allowed to legally buy cigars and rum with the same restriction as other alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.

Before this, any Cuban product was illegal.

For fans of Cuban cigars, it was a great time to be able to purchase them for personal consumption without legal ramifications.

Why Were Cuban Cigars Banned Again In 2020?

Leading up to the 2020 election, President Trump sought to get more popularity from the Cuban-American population in Florida.

In order to do this, he toughened his stance on Cuban alcohol and tobacco in a bid to overturn the Obama administration’s policy which allowed American travelers to bring back cigars and rum for their own personal use.

The measures given in this policy mean that Americans can no longer stay at Cuban hotels that are either owned or controlled by their government.

These rules were planned to leave a massive dent to Cuban authorities.

However, these didn’t have too significant an impact during 2020 due to the island having already had travel restrictions in place due to the pandemic.

What Happens If You Are Caught With A Cuban Cigar?

If you were to consider sneaking Cuban cigars into the United States, regardless of personal use or resale value, you would likely be in trouble.

Due to the ban of Cuban cigars, purchasing them and importing them to the US is a criminal offense, and it will have severe consequences.

In some cases, if a traveler is lucky, their Cuban cigars will simply be confiscated.

However, depending on the severity of the crime, you may find yourself with a fine of up to $250,000 and a criminal case.

To avoid these, it’s best not to even try and bring Cuban cigars into the United States.

Final Thoughts

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy established a trade embargo on Cuban imports which made it illegal to purchase Cuban cigars in the United States.

Then, in 2014, President Obama began to relax these embargoes which allowed travelers to bring up to $100 of cigars for their own personal use.

By 2016, the limits on bringing Cuban cigars in for personal use were relaxed, but buying them online was still illegal.

After a number of years, the Cuban cigar ban was established once more, and now they are no longer allowed in the United States.

So, you are now forbidden from bringing Cuban cigars into the country, regardless of personal use.

However, if you were to travel to Cuba, or outside of the United States, you would be able to have Cuban cigars.

As a general recommendation, it’s best to avoid buying Cuban cigars online, or there’s still a chance that you will get into trouble with the law.

Jim Stanton
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