High Tariffs on Importing Personal Items

HAVANA TIMES — The Cuban government on Monday announced the impending application of severe import duties on “non-commercial goods by individuals shipped by air, sea, post or courier,” reported the Café Fuerte website.

According to both the Customs General Office and the Ministry of Finance and Prices, the tariffs will apply to articles such as “shoes, clothing, food, toiletries and household products, jewelry, lingerie, perfumes and the like.”

The measure will take effect this coming September 3, while the price regulation prepared by the Ministry of Finance and Prices will become effective starting August 2.

Passengers who import goods whose value exceeds 50.99 pesos must pay a tax of 10 CUC or CUP for every extra pound. The existing 20 kilogram tax exemption on personal baggage will remain in effect.

The decision reinforces controls on the importing of goods to Cuba, a measure that will be a blow to so-called “mules,” individuals who carry goods from Miami to sell on the island.