Can I take donated Laptops to Cuba?

Question: My work is donating four older laptops, all, come with windows XP and office and nothing else. Will I be able to give them to friends that I have made in Cuba during my holidays last year? Two of them are medical students, one is a music teacher and one is the little sister of one of the medical students.

Answer: You can only legally take in one laptop and accessories as a tourist.   The others could be held by customs until a cumbersome paperwork process takes place.  I suggest the recipients investigate on their end what they would need to do to get a used laptop donated to them.  Then decide if it is worth doing.  Another, probably easier way, would be to find people traveling to Cuba without a laptop that might be willing to take one of yours.

9 thoughts on “Can I take donated Laptops to Cuba?

  • Wow.
    Here we are, just trying to older laptops away to people we meet in Cuba because so many there don’t have much and they won’t even let you get away with that.
    Most of the recent revenue from more open tourism has mostly benefitted, once again, the Cuban government and militia, not the people. I really hope one day, there will be justice for the Cuban residents. I can really, really care less for it’s politics.


  • Please do not suggest that other passengers without laptops can take them in – this is contrary to customs procedure and would be an exceptionally foolish thing to do.

  • You can take your personal LT no problem,,but you will have no internet conection anywhere, but if you need it say in Mex or somewhere else while on vacation, take it. They will write down the serial numbers and description of your LT, and you must have it with you when you leave, and the old “someone stole it” trick will not fly, you will be paying a big tax, and probably miss your flight. Their is internet cafe’s for turists in every city and hotels, for 6 dollars an hour, so that is best. Have fun, just follow the rules, will have no problems.

  • I can understand, the laptop being detained until you were ready to leave, I can understand the 500.00 for duties to have it released, (it might be excessive but tariffs are tariffs, what I cannot understand is the request for 400.00 to be paid before the item can be collected upon departure. Sounds fishy

  • There is no problem taking your laptop to Cuba. The problem is when you take more than one.

  • Ho, I’m very worried about that… Impossible travel without my laptop, my works is selling products on the web, and I can’t get money without… So, do I stay at home ????

  • Someone in customs needed it badly. I have heard of coffee makers held and the fee to retreive was well in excess of its value. I had a printer intercepted and it cost 29.99 at Wallys world but they wanted 50 CUCs to get it thru . Grin and bear it and paid up . My GFs friend needed it. I have had butter taken and I speak Spanish so I told the man “disfuta su comida ” Likewise a sweet middle aged lady took my Chinese sausages ( cryogenicly sealed) and havarti cheese. I am sure her family ate it as it never went into a proper disposal bin .I laugh at this as the sausage looks like pepperoni BUT must be cooked to be edible . It is sweet in taste and never eaten straight just as a side dish with other food. such as rice .

  • I have entered Cuba on a tourist visa with two laptops (one was meant for a friend) but the customs officials took the other laptop away from me and asked me to pay 500 euros if I wanted to take it through. When I refused to pay, I was told that I can pick the laptop up at the airport when I leave but it will cost me some 400 euros. I left the laptop there and spent a lot of time and energy in trying recover it during my stay in Cuba. However, despite my very many efforts I never saw that laptop again.

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