Question: I am looking to support Cuban’s needs for lap tops and net books and perhaps software. I have access to surplus (used) Canadian electronic equipment but I don’t what Cuba’s needs are. I want to improve my Spanish by studying in Cuba and I am planning trips in the fall 2012. Let me know what would be of help and I will see what I can do for you. I am very interested in supporting journalism and development in Cuba.
Answer: Firstly thanks for writing us with your offer for help. Computers and cameras/lenses are hard to come by in Cuba so any assistance would be of help to Havana Times writers. The problem is Customs doesn’t let you as a tourist legally bring in items that aren’t for your personal use. Here is the Customs page with their rules and regulations:
Passengers arriving in Cuba as tourists:
The Customs Facilities Convention for Tourism adopted in June 4, 1954, defines as ¨tourist¨ all person with no racial, gender, spoken language or religion distinctions that enters a territory of a Contracting State different from the one the individual usually lives in, staying for at least 24 hours and no more than six months with the intention of tourism, entertainment, sports practicing, health, family issues, studies, religious pilgrimage or business, without the intention to immigrate.
All passengers travelling to Cuba as tourists will be under the provisions contained in the Customs Facilities Convention for Tourism, of which Cuba is a signatory country.
Free of customs duty and import taxes shall be temporarily admitted the personal possessions imported by tourists with private use purposes, those they carry with themselves and the accompanying baggage. Those articles should be re exported when they leave the country.
Under the regime of temporary import, tourists shall import clothes, toiletries and other personal stuff such as:
– personal jewelry
– photographic and movies cameras with a reasonable amount of films, cassettes and accessories;
a slide show equipment and its accessories, with the reasonable amount of slides or films;
– a portable musical instrument;
– a portable sound reproducing equipment, including tape recorders, CD and
portable discs readers and tape dictating machine, as well as discs;
– a portable radio;
– a cell or mobile phone; – a portable TV set;
– a portable typing machine;
– a personal computer and its accessories;
– a portable calculator;
– a baby carriage;
– Toys (under age passengers)
– a wheel chair;