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Cuban Cigars brought back into the US = trouble!

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#1 greysgirl

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    Posted 24 May 2010 - 09:20 AM

    Hi ladies. A co-worker of mine just returned yesterday from his honeymoon at Excellence Playa Mujeres (which he raved about). He and his wife went into the market in Cancun during their stay to do some shopping, and he bought some Cuban cigars. He asked the vendor, who was an American living in Cancun, about bringing Cuban cigars back into the US and was assured that the trade embargo had been partially-lifted. The vendor said Americans were allowed to bring in a maximum of 5 Cuban cigars for personal use back into the country.

    Yesterday, on their way back through customs in Houston, he stated when asked on his customs form, that he had 5 Cuban cigars. Here's where the event could have gotten hairy! He and his new bride were escorted to a holding area and they were interviewed by a customs agent, who repeatedly explained that the no such "partial lifting" of the trade embargo existed. My co-worker did say the customs agents were nice about it, but all of his identifying information (passport, flight itinerary, driver's license) was copied and a report was filled out. The cigars were also confiscated, of course.

    To make a long story short, despite the US government's ease of a few travel restrictions to Cuba, it is still illegal to bring Cuban cigars back into the US. Or, it's not advised to declare them on your customs form

    #2 taylorwd

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      Posted 24 May 2010 - 10:31 AM

      LOL, that was just the American in Cancun trying to make a sale! That's terrible for your friends, but I'm glad the customs guys were nice and treated them okay. It's good you confirmed this for others who might think the same thing.

      #3 jk1101

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        Posted 02 July 2010 - 11:48 AM

        If you want to bring Cuban Cigars back into the US, take the bands off of the cigars (that's what says they are Cuban). Not that I am advising that you break the law....I'm just saying that you can get away with it that way. And absolutely DO NOT DECLARE THAT YOU HAVE CUBAN CIGARS!!!!

        #4 msglave

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          Posted 02 July 2010 - 12:13 PM

          When we went to Cancun, one of the cigar rollers told us that they take the bands off and replace them with other ones to get them into the U.S., lol!
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          #5 LCBride2007


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            Posted 02 July 2010 - 12:18 PM

            lol, yea, he was just trying to make a sale - but i guess it worked! just doesn't seem worth the possible trouble to me, but then again, i am not a cigar smoker!

            #6 Dmitri_Markine

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              Posted 09 July 2010 - 11:08 AM

              I've heard a similar story a month ago as well.
              It all doesn't make any sense. Sooner or later the embargo is going to be lifted and they will realize how childish it was in the first place.
              Funny thing is, there's a good chance your authentic cuban sigars were counterfeit anyways,packaged in a proper authentic packaging(which is very easy and cheap to make)

              #7 miss_delerium

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                Posted 19 July 2010 - 02:25 PM

                You can never believe the vendors' information regarding what you are allowed to bring back into your country. When we went to Mexico last year, we received conflicting information from almost every place about how much alcohol we were allowed to bring back into Canada without having to pay duty only to find out they were ALL wrong when we were filling out the customs form on the plane ride back!

                #8 JaimeLynne

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                  Posted 06 May 2011 - 08:43 PM

                  Ah yes...my Husband has a thing for Cuban Rum (Havana Club), and we've made it back with a bottle. We didn't declare it; I think it went in the checked luggage...  He also brought back a Cuban cigar and just took off the band like previously stated.  The whole embargo is just irritating. 

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                  #9 lorneconor

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                    Posted 01 February 2012 - 03:16 AM

                    I heard a lot of stories like previously said, when people took the bands off of the Cuban cigars, some of them have already bought without bands, but here you must be careful to be sure that you buy authentic cigars. Anyway I just don't understand why cuban cigars are banned in the US if people whatever continue to buy, smoke and even bring them to the states....

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