Cuba to Establish New Customs Regs as of September

Ivette Leyva Martínez (Café Fuerte)

paquetesHAVANA TIMES — As part of a new round of measures aimed at combatting the trafficking of different products through messengers or travelers known as “mules”, Cuban authorities will begin applying drastic restrictions on the import of items for personal use, household appliances and computer equipment as of September of this year.

Resolution 206 of 2014, issued by Cuban Customs on June 30th, sets down strict limits on the number of items that can be declared for personal use for as many as 381 different products.

According to the 36-page document obtained by CafeFuerte, the resolution will come into effect on September 1 this year. The Cuban government has not yet officially announced the new measures that will apply to all travellers.

Custom authorities will be entitled to confiscate all items in excess of the established limit. When a customs official considers that a traveler is guilty of “repeated imports of a particular product,” they will be authorized to confiscate the luggage in its entirety.

Less Products

The new regulations imply a drastic reduction in the number of products that may be imported into the country under Resolution 320 of 2011.

Electronic and computer devices are among the most severely affected by the new regulations. In addition to the fact that the number of such products that may be brought into the country has been reduced by half in nearly all cases, travelers will require special permits issued by the Cuban Ministry of Communications (under the supervision of State Security) to bring any of the following into the country:

– Wireless fax (only one allowed)
– Phone switchboards (1)
– Wireless microphones and their accessories (1)
– Routers and switchers (1)
– Walkie-talkies (1)

The number of food, personal hygiene, clothing and footwear products allowed into the country will also be reduced significantly. Below are some examples illustrating the new restrictions that will come into effect in September:

Product 2011 2014
Mouse 2 1
Personal computer 2 1
Compact discs 200 50
Motherboard 2 1
Preserves of any kind 50 20
Dairy products of any kind 30 10
Disposable razors 100 20
Hair styling equipment 100 24
Soaps 60 30
Panties 4 docenas 2 docenas
Bathing suits 10 5
Baseball caps 40 10
Women’s shoes 30 15 (5 de vestir, 5 sandalias o chancletas, 5 deportivo)
Men’s shoes 30 15 (5 de vestir, 5 sandalias o chancletas, 5 deportivo)

A second resolution issued by Cuban Customs (Resolution 207 of 2014) complements these restrictions and establishes new duties (without specifying whether these are in Cuban pesos or Cuban Convertible Pesos) applicable to personal items brought by travelers.

According to Resolutions 222 and 223 of 2012, promulgated by the Ministry of Finance and Prices, all passengers who carry items for a value above $ 50.99 pesos will have to pay a duty of 10 Cuban pesos (CUP) or Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) for every kilogram in excess of the established limit. The 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of personal luggage allotted will remain tax-free.

Since May of this year, Cuban Customs has issued several warnings to passengers who travel to Cuba carrying packages for third parties, pointing out this could lead not only to the confiscation of the items transported but to criminal proceedings as well.

Custom authorities are focusing their efforts on detecting drugs concealed in luggage and electronic devices that could be used to skirt restrictions on Internet use on the island.

25 thoughts on “Cuba to Establish New Customs Regs as of September

  • August 24, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Cuba restrictions are related to the outflow of Cuba’s scarce capital resource.
    As the wealth of Cuba increases with massive increase in tourism
    and when the offshore oil deposit is developed and revenue flows
    in then all these restrictions will disappear. China was forced last week to put on a restriction out flows of capital resulting in a 92% decline on Chinese capital outflow into foreign real estate. You live by a budget unless you are ultra wealthy and so you control your outflow of capital/savings so that you don’t end up in debt above your ability to pay that debt. Cuba is financially over its head in debt which Russia a year ago forgave a billion+. Currency controls are in non-communist countries also. It is not a communist ideology but rather a capitalist ideology. I favour the later but I understand economics enough to know that excessive outflow of funds can lead to bankruptcy. The people of Cuba would be even worse off. You gift givers, do you have enough resources financially to bring as gifts billions to support the free Cuban education, medical system and food supplement programs?
    If you are American is there free Univ education for all and medical? It sounds
    to me that many of you do not understand country finances and economics
    and some are merely haters that look for any excuse to degrade.
    Cuba has incompetence in governance because of people in positions of authority via Favoritism, Cronyism, and Nepotism and then there is corruption.
    Yep, it’s not just the US that has these, most countries in the world do and it is not related to capitalism nor communism, it’s people doing what is best for their own which is a form of self interest over the interest of the majority. Is this resolvable, not likely, it is human trait to care for one’s own, corruption excluded.

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