Cuban Cigars and Rum Limitation of $100 Lifted

Bring back rum and cigars” was what I heard from friends when they found out I was going to Cuba. The cigar’s rich earthy flavor is known around the world. The unavailability in the US added to the mystique too. Even if you aren’t a cigar smoker, you have friends who are, so they make coveted gifts upon your return. And the aged Havana Club Rum…you just can’t get enough of that.

The off-limit nature of the Cuban cigar has made it almost mythical.  This prestigious status  was cemented by John F Kennedy, who asked Press Secretary Pierre Salinger to deliver him 1000 Cuban cigars right before he signed the trade embargo; Salinger delivered 1200 of them.

Cigar making - Cuban cigars and rum limitation
Cigar making in Vinales, Cuba

However, when I came back from Cuba last year I was allowed to bring back only the max of $100 total in Cuban cigars and rum limitation. Nobody really adds up what you bring back, so it is easy to stretch this a bit, but still, $100 is not much, especially with greedy friends all hoping for a bottle.. Now, however, that limit has just been lifted by President Obama.

For other restrictions see my page on American Travel Rules for Cuba for other restrictions

It is reported here, that Americans no longer have this restriction. So, you can bring back more for personal use.

This CNN Article implied you could fill your suitcase with rum and cigars, but I doubt this is true. When I come back to Texas from Mexico, Customs won’t let me through with a suitcase of Tequila, so I assume normal Customs limits will apply. More on this when further reported.

Note: this relaxation in rules only applies to personal use. The Cuban rum and cigars cannot be re-sold.

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