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What do we mean by personal belongings?

Personal belongings are the new and used items passengers can reasonably need for their personal use during the trip; taking into account the circumstances and stopovers of the trip, and excluding goods imported or exported with trade purposes.

In the case of the passengers arriving in the country as tourists, personal belongings are those items described as such in the Convention on Customs Facilities for Tourism.

Can I import medicines?

All passengers can import up to 10 kgs of medicines which must come in their original containers and not be expressly prohibited or subject to permits or licenses, in case passengers do not have the permit. Passengers shall not pay customs duties for these medicines as long as they are carried in a separate baggage.

When should I fill out the customs declaration upon arrival in the country?

The Customs Declaration for Passengers shall be filled out and submitted when, besides the personal belongings, passengers bring items subject to the payment of customs duties, or when they carry cash exceeding USD 5000.00 or its equivalent in other currencies.

Which articles should I declare?

Items other than personal belongings, subject to the payment of duties or expressly exempt from it, shall be declared.

Also:

  • Weapons (firearms, sharp instruments used as weapons and others) and munitions.
  • Live animals, products of animal or plant origin.
  • Samples or other items with trade purposes.
  • Pornography.
  • Satellite communication equipment.
  • Other communication equipment ( Walkie Talkie)
  • Cash, provided that it exceeds five thousand (USD 5, 000.00) or its equivalent in other currencies.
  • Works of art and museum pieces.
  • Any valuable item which the passenger intends to reexport (take it with them when leaving the country).

Which is the limit of what I can import?

Besides your personal belongings you can import, upon payment of the relevant customs duties, new or used items up to maximum value of   $1,000.00 (one thousand).

What happens if I import items to a value exceeding $1,000.00?

Items exceeding the allowed maximum value ($1,000.00) will be subjected to confiscation.

What is the duty applied to items other than personal belongings?

Imported items exceeding fifty pesos and ninety-nine cents ($ 50.99) and up to a value of one thousand pesos ($ 1 000.00), shall pay a progressive rate according to the import value, as set out below:

  • de $ 51.00 hasta $ 500.99 el 100 %
  • de $ 501.00 hasta $ 1000.00 el 200 %

In what currency are customs duties paid?

  • Cuban and Foreign citizens with permanent residency in the national territory,  shall paid the customs duties in Cuban pesos (CUP) in the first import in each calendar year and in the second and subsequent imports within the calendar year (january 1 to december 31), the calculation of customs duties will be made in CUC and paid in Cuban pesos (CUP), according to the public exchange rate for the sales operations of CUC 

  • If you are a permanent resident abroad, regardless the nationality, you shall pay in freely convertible currency (Cuban convertible peso), applying the official exchange rate.

If I already paid to the transport company for the excess baggage, why do I have to pay again at Customs?

What you pay to the transport company is the cost of the excess baggage you travel with (freight).

All passengers, according to the class they travel, have the right to a certain amount of kg as maximum baggage weight, and they have to pay a fee for the excess baggage. But what you pay at Customs are the customs duties fixed according to the items imported.

What is the customs duty applied to exported items?

In Cuba, no duties are applied on exports.
 

How many equipment of the same type can I import?

In each trip you can import up to 2 equipment of each type, as long as they do not exceed the set value; e.g. 2 DVD players, 2 Play Station, 2 VCD players, 2 TV sets, 2 refrigerators, 2 sound systems, etc. Additional equipment is confiscated.

How many times can I import items as a passenger?

Every time you travel.

Can I import equipment without the required permit by a competent authority, and then get the permit upon my arrival in Cuba?

No. You have to get the permit before arriving in Cuba.

Can minors import items to Cuba as passengers?

Children must be at least 10 years old to import items as passengers, or be represented by a person of age. Children under 10 years cannot import items. They can only carry personal belongings according to their age.

Can I take pets with me?

You may bring pets with you to Cuba (dogs, cats, etc.) provided that you submit the Health and Vaccination Certificates, issued by the relevant health authority from the country of origin. In all cases, authorization to exempt animals from quarantine is given by the the border Cuban veterinary authority taking into account the Health and Vaccinations Certificates submitted, the animal's health conditions and the country of origin.

In the case of animals belonging to the endangered species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES), a CITES certificate will be also required, issued by the Authority of the country of origin.

Can tourists import items other than personal belongings?

They can import items according to the regulations for all passengers regarding limit value, applicable duty, number of items and currency for payment.

What items can I import exempt from payment of customs duties?

Pharmaceuticals; wheelchairs for the disabled; scientific, technical and art and literature books; music sheets; records; tapes; slides and films for educational purposes; prosthesis to substitute an organ or part of it ; and equipment, books or materials for the blind;

 

Medals and awards granted abroad; and items received as gifts or awards by Cuban citizens in their capacity as scientists, athletes, artists and others, as long as their origin can be proved with the relevant document.

FAQ regarding Export of Cigars

  1. Which is the amount of cigars passengers may take when leaving the country?
    • Up to twenty (20) units of bulk cigars, without submitting any document.
    • Up to fifty (50) units of cigars, but they must come in their original package, unopened, sealed and with the official established hologram. The export is not authorized without meeting these requirements; and
    • Amounts exceeding fifty (50) units of cigars, provided that passengers produce the official sales invoice issued by the store chains authorized to sell Cuban cigars, corresponding to all the cigars they intend to export which should be in the original package, unopened, sealed and with the official established hologram.
  2. What actions will be taken when the export of cigars does not meet the set requirements?
    • The amounts of cigars exceeding fifty (50) units not declared by passengers and any other amount exceeding the declared number; or if declared, the licit purchase cannot be proved by the official sales invoice, or the packages do not have the required characteristics that define them as Cuban cigars will be seized.
  3. Is it allowed to ship cigars to toher countries?
    • It is allowed, provided that packages are original, unopened, and sealed with the established official hologram;
    • the licit purchase is proved by the depositor by the official sales invoice;
    • do not exceed the amount of  fifty (50) units, and;
    • are shipped once a month.
  4. Is it prohibited the export of raw tobacco, equipment and supplies used for tobacco industry with non –trade purposes?
    • It is prohibited, and an export attempt will result in the implementation of the relevant sanctions, in accordance with the current legislation regarding customs administrative infractions, without affecting the current criminal liability.
  5. Is it the export of factory made tobacco cigarettes with a weight under three (3) grams per unit, in any of its registered trademarks and in original packages prohibited?
    • It is neither prohibited nor subjected to restrictions or to meet special requirements, except for the cases in which it is exported  with trade purposes.
 

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