Question: Is it possible to take walkie talkies to use in Cuba and leave there as gifts?
Answer: According to the website for Aduana General de la República de Cuba (General Customs of the Republic of Cuba), walkie-talkies are included among the articles and products that are subject to specific requirements if one wants to take them into Cuba. For walkie-talkies, a licence or previous permit is necessary from the Ministerio de la Informática y las Comunicaciones (Ministry of Informatics and Communications) in order to bring them into the country.
If you want to consult the page on the customs website that talks about walkie-talkies, here’s how to do it: The AduaCuba website – as it’s called – is located at www.aduana.co.cu and is available in both Spanish and English, although the Spanish section is much more complete.
To find information on walkie-talkies in the Spanish-language section, go to the homepage, click on Información a Viajeros, then click on Generalidades a la ENTRADA, then click on Artículos que necesitan autorización and look for walkie-talkies.
To find information on walkie-talkies in the English-language section, go to the site’s homepage and, on the right-hand side of the thin blue banner, click on English (written in red). This takes you to the Cuban Customs page. Then click on “Need previous permit” and find where it talks about walkie-talkies.
The page does not list how to contact the Ministerio de la Informática y las Comunicaciones. And although this ministry has a website at www.mic.gov.cu it does not appear to be working. However, Cuban Customs provides two ways to contact them if one needs clarification on any of their regulations as to how to proceed. From within the country, you can call Cuban Customs at (537) 883-7575 or (537) 883-8282. From outside the country, you can send them an email at [email protected]
One final point: On the AduaCuba homepage, there is a new document available, only in Spanish, entitled Normas, Aduana – 2011, Repúbica de Cuba (Norms, Customs – 2011, Republic of Cuba). It is the first edition of custom regulations – in great detail – currently in use and can be downloaded as a PDF document. Among other things, it includes a declaration form which all passengers must fill out. Walkie-talkies are one of the several items which must be declared if a visitor has one on hand. However, later on in the same document, the Norms explain that walkie-talkies remain one of the items which must have prior authorization – as indicated above – to come into the country.