Doing Business With Cuba: What You Need to Know

Cuba is home to 11 million consumers and a growing private sector. Its proximity to the United States (the Port of Havana is only 198 nautical miles from the Port of Miami) makes the country a natural trade partner. While changes in policy over the last several years have unlocked new business opportunities in Cuba, there are still regulatory barriers that individuals and companies should be aware of.

U.S. Embargo

The United States imposed a comprehensive economic embargo on Cuba in the 1960’s which restricts most trade between the two countries. It also includes restrictions on travel and investment.

Although the U.S. faced pressure to end the embargo, the state of affairs remained largely unchanged until 2014.

In December 2014, President Obama made a historic announcement: “Today, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people.” By January 16, 2015, both the U.S. Treasury Department and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) amended its Cuban Assets Control Regulations, and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amended the Export Administration Regulations with a “Support for the Cuban People” license exception. The license exception was most significant for travel, telecom, building materials and agricultural equipment, financial services, and personal importations.

OFAC and BIS issued additional new rules on January 16, 2015, September 21, 2015, January 27, 2016, March 15, 2016, October 14, 2016, November 9, […]

By |2023-07-18T08:29:16-04:00July 18, 2023|Countries, Cuba|Comments Off on Doing Business With Cuba: What You Need to Know

Cuban Cigars Seized by CBP

Mark Twain once said, “I never smoke to excess – that is, I smoke in moderation, only one cigar at a time.”

With the loosening of restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba, including the authorization to import Cuban Cigars (for personal use only, under a certain value), persons under “U.S. jurisdiction” are getting caught right and left trying to take advantage and import more than their share of Cuban cigars to the US. In May of this year, Maxim magazine declared Cuban Cigars are still the worlds best. However, as relations thaw, will the Cuban cigar be able to take back the market share it lost in the past half century when countries like Dominican Republic and Nicaragua have served the US? That is a question recently posed by Will Yakwowicz in an article for Inc. earlier this year.

Although you are allowed to bring Cuban cigars back to the U.S. (if you are on an “authorized trip” to Cuba) there is a limit and the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can, and will, seize any amount over the allowed limit.

What is the scope and limit on how many cigars I can bring in?

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