Question: I was hoping to do some day hiking in Cuba and a GPS is nice to have so I do not have to be as careful were I am and especially how far back to my hotel. Is GPS still banned?
Answer: Earlier this year (2010), Aduana General de la República de Cuba (General Customs of the Republic of Cuba) updated their website. Known as AduaCuba and located at www.aduana.co.cu, it is available in both Spanish and English, although the English section is not as comprehensive.
As you make your way through the site, you will find information on Customs Declarations, a List of Articles that can be brought into the country by visitors as Personal Effects, Export Duties, a List of Articles that are prohibited from entering the country, Articles and Products that can enter the country under certain requirements, guidelines of what you can and cannot take out of the country upon departure, Articles that can be taken out of the country under certain conditions, etc.
According to the website of Cuban Customs, prior authorization and a permit are required from the Oficina Nacional de Hidrografia y Geodesia (ONHG or Hydrographical and Geodesic National Office) to bring into the country a Global Positioning System (GPS) of any type. Below is the address, telephone and email where you might want to consult further:
Oficina Nacional de Hidrografia y Geodesia (ONHG)
Avenida 47 # 2829
e/ 28 y 34,
Reparto Kholy, Playa
Ciudad de La Habana CP 11300 Cuba
Telephone (537) 209 0926
FAX (537) 203 0967
If you require clarification on any regulation of Cuban Customs, or need a consultation, or lodge a complaint or claim, you can do so via three channels.
From within the country:
- Contact their Oficinas de Atención Público (Public Service Offices) at any Customs Unit
- Call Cuban Customs at (537) 883-7575 or (537) 883-8282
From outside the country:
- Send an email to email@example.com