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New Cuban Custom Regulations, what you should know?

custom must-read

The General Customs of the Republic is the entity that elaborates and enforces the dispositions related to regulations, restrictions and special requirements applicable to imports and exports for economic, environmental, sanitary, patrimonial and public protection.

From September the 1st, 2014 new laws related to imports and exports will be applicable to all the people that arrives to the country.

You can download the Gaceta Oficial Ordinadia No. 30 de 11 de julio de 2014 in pdf format.

In this guide you can consult in a simple and direct way all the information related with the importations and exportations in Cuba, using a common language easy to understand.

Please check the topic you are interested and feel free to contact us trough email or by our Facebook page if you have any doubts.

How much money you can bring withoth declare it?

Like many other countries, when you enter to Cuba you should fill the Customs Declaration and provide all the information that is requested. Although the amount of convertible Cuban currency (CUC) entrance to Cuba is free you should declare it if you bring more than $5000.00 USD.

If you want to learn more about the Cuban currency please read the Cuban Currency Exchange Guidelines guide.

How is calcuted what you must pay at your arrival?

The customs duties are taxes that are determined by the State and charged by the Custom. The limit and the collection of these rights for the importations without commercial character are calculated starting from the value in Customs, from the articles that will be imported and are not exempt of payment. There are three methods to determine the value of these articles:

  • Bills of purchase: It is used to estimate the “equipment or appliances durability" (to be accepted should show a price that doesn't presume undervaluation intent).
  • The traveler's declaration: Mainly for makings and miscellaneous goods, when the alternative method of weight valuation is not used because of the baggage characteristics.
  • Valuation Internal listing: When the passenger doesn't show a purchase receipt, or if presume undervaluation intent to the declared value; although this listing contains all the articles that can be cared, it is usually used just to value the “durable equipment or appliances".
  • Weight/Value Method: To make the articles classified as miscellany valuation easier (this method is only applied to this type of articles), an automated procedure is applied to determine the value of it, through the relationship 1kg = $10.00 pesos. Those articles that don't classify as miscellany (equipment appliances and other durable equipment, their parts, pieces and other similar) are valued in an individual and independent way, they are not weighed, and they are considered inside the limit in value ($1000.00 pesos) which you have the right to import as a passenger.

Note: This method should not be confused with the weighing of your baggage that carries out the airline that you used, like one of its operations, or the collection that makes the same one for the baggage excess.

Items exempt from the payment of the customs duties

If you import products with a value of up to $50.99 pesos in each trip, you are exempted of the payment of the tariff rights.

If you enter to the country articles with a value above the $50.99, and up to a value of a thousand pesos ($1000.00), you will pay the rights that correspond, according to a progressive rate in function of the import value:

Valuation in pesos MN Progressive Taxes Customs Duties
From Until Accumulated
De $00.00 a $50.99 exempt $0.00 pesos
from $51.00 to $500.99 100% $1.00 to $450.00 $450.00
from $501.00 to $1000.00 200% $2.00 to $1000.00 $1450.00

Customs duties to collect if you import the authorized maximum value: $1450.00

Customs duties to paid if you import the authorized maximum value:

You should know that: as the first $50.99 importations are exempted of payment, these articles are equal to 5kgs of miscellany if the Weight/Value Method is applied (1kg = $10.00, therefore $50.00 = 5kgs x $10.00).

Payment of Customs duties for Cuban passengers and foreign permanent residents in the national territory

If you are among this group of people, the taxes payment will be in Cuban pesos (CUP) in the first import in every calendar year (January 1st to December 31). In the second and the following imports in the calendar year (entering articles paying customs duties for second or more times), the calculation of the taxes will be in convertible pesos (CUC) and they will be contributed in Cuban pesos (CUP), according to the rate of effective change.

Payment of Customs duties for Cuban passengers and foreign residents

If you are among these people, you will carry out the payment of the taxes in convertible pesos (CUC) in all the cases.

What and how much you can bring?

You can import articles subject to the payment without commercial character, until a limit in value of 1000 pesos.

You should know that: the certified custom authority can confiscate the quantities that exceed the established limit for the imports of the products without commercial character. If this authority determines that exists a commercial character of a product, the entirely of the same ones will be confiscated, except for the personal belongings.

Note: You can review the Resolución 320-11 del Jefe de la Aduana General de la República to learn about the quantity of each product or article that you can import (without commercial character). Usted puede conocer la cantidad de cada equipo o artículo que puede importar, sin carácter comercial, consultando la Resolución 320-11 del Jefe de la Aduana General de la República.

Personal Belongings

You have the right to import your personal belongings (articles that you can use reasonably during you trip according to the duration, characteristics and objectives of the same), exempt from the payment of the Customs duties up to 25 kilograms. They are considered as personal belongings:

  • Jewels and garments of personal use
  • Clothes, footwear, dressing room articles and personal toilet
  • A reproducer of portable digital multimedia, next to their earphones and accessories
  • A mobile telephone (cellular)
  • A portable television
  • A portable personal computer
  • A photographic or portable video camera and their accessories.
  • Not more than, for mature person, 400 units of cigarettes, 500 grams of pipe tobacco, 50 units of pure and 2.500 cubic centimeters of alcoholic drinks.
  • Wheelchair for invalids; prosthesis when replace or substitute an organ or part of him; equipment, books or materials dedicated for blind. Disposable diaper for adults.
  • Scientific books, technicians, of art and literature; musical scores; disks, recording tapes, see fixed and film movies for the teaching.
  • Articles for the transportation, entertainment, feeding and the children's care, according to the age.

In the case of foreign tourists, they are also considered:

  • A portable reproducer of the CD y/o DVD or similar, with their portable earphones and accessories.
  • Binoculars.
  • A receiver of portable television, a portable typewriter.
  • Tents and the equipment to camp.
  • Sports articles (games of gears for the fishing, bicycle without motor, canoe of less than 5.50 meters long, two tennis rackets).
  • A pair of walkie-talkies.

You should know that: if you import more units than the allowed ones, the differences are not considered personal belongings and you will need either to pay for them or accept the decomission.


You can also import exempt from the payment, up to 10 kilograms of medications, in original containers, whenever they are not among the medications whose import is not authorized, or be subject to special regulations.


It is considered as miscellany the footwear, makings, foods, articles of personal hygiene and from the home, imitation jewelry, linen, perfumery and similar. The value of these articles is determined by means of the Weight/Value Method (relationship value/weight where 1kg is equal to $10.00).


If you carries with you an amount of cash superior to the 5 000.00 USD, or their equivalent in other currencies, you have to declare it to the entrance, or have the authorization corresponding of the bank.

Animals and Flora

Of course you can also transport any affective or domestic animal you own, whenever it possesses the Certificate of Health and of Vaccination that corresponds, emitted by the sanitary authority of your origin country; unless they are regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). In all the cases, in the frontier the authorization grants it the doctor-veterinary authority of Cuba, keeping in mind the certificate of Health and Vaccination that it is presented, the conditions of health of the animal and the origin country, to exempt them of the quarantine.

In the case of the transportation of species of the wild flora and fauna in extinction danger and protected by the CITES, you should present before the Customs the corresponding CITES certificate emitted by the Authority of your origin country. Among these protected species in our country they are the parrot, the crocodile, and the tortoiseshell; so you are not allowed to export the same ones, but you can admire them in the different tourist destinations of interest where they are exhibited in Cuba.

In the case of the minors

The minors, older than 10 years old, have the right to import articles until the limit of the established value ($1 000); needing, until the 18 years old, of the company of an adult that represents him for the office act.

Those under 10 years old, can bring only their personal belongings, according to their age. Among these belongings they are also considered: 2 units of toys, 2 units of games or electric or electronic instruments for their personal use.

In the case of babies, are also included articles for their transfer, hygiene, entertainment and their accessories, like a seat, a portable cradle, a baby carriage, and a baby-walker.

You cannot import:

  • Air conditioning unit of above 1 ton or 12,000 BTU.
  • Electric ovens, except for the microwave whose consumption doesn't surpass the 2000 watt.
  • Vehicles slight of motor (cars, motorcycles and bicycles of combustion motor). Motors and chassis of cars and motorcycles.


  • It would be easier for you to bring the articles that are exempt of payment (medicine, personal belongings, etc.), in separate and independent bundles of the rest of your baggage.
  • Don't bring excessive amounts of a same article, where it can be presume the import with commercial character of the same one.
  • Try to adjust the value of your importations to the authorized limit of 1000 pesos.
  • Avoid to transport articles whose import is not allowed.

Red and Green Channel System

By this procedure, you will pass through the Green Channel, without physical control of your baggage, if you import products free of the payment customs duties (medications, personal belongings and articles that don't exceed the $50.99). You will have to go through the Red Channel, if on the contrary you has goods to declare and for those you should pay the customs duties.

You should know that: if the custom wants can request or make the physical control to the passengers (and their baggage) that traffic for the Green Channel.

What can you take to your country?

You have the right to carry out of the country, as part of your baggage:

  • Your personal belongings.
  • Souvenirs or memories of your stay in the territory, gifts whose quantity and nature doesn't imply a commercial character.
  • Up to $5000.00 USD, or their equivalent one in other freely convertible currencies. Only the president of the Central Bank of Cuba can authorize people that request to export superior sums to this amount, presented the documents that credit the licit acquisition.
  • Up to 3 bottles of liquor and 200 cigarettes.
  • If you exports sums superiors to the 5 000 USD, you should declare it before the officials of the Customs, presenting the document that confirms the licit import, or the authorization of the Central Bank of Cuba, as it is the case.

You should know that: you cannot export lobster in any quantity or presentation form.


If you have heard about the fame and quality of the Cuban cigar, and you wants to take some of this product with you to your country, of course you can transport it, but you are required to declare it verbally before the Customs. Whenever you fulfill the established requirements for the export of this product, you can take:

  • Until 20 units of loose Cuban bent tobacco, without the need to present any document.
  • Up to 50 units, just if they are contained in original, closed, sealed containers and with the established official hologram.
  • For quantities bigger than 50 units, these cannot exceed the value of the 5000.00 CUC, you should present for all the bent tobacco that you tries to extract, the official invoice of sales of the stores authorized to market them, and they have to be contained in original, closed, sealed containers and with the established official hologram.

You should know that: The quantities of tobacco that excess the 50 units, not declared, will be confiscated, as well as any quantity that exceeds the declared one; also, once declared, their licit acquisition is not credited, by means of the invoice of official sale and the containers whose attributes identify it as Cuban tobacco.

Note: It is forbidden the export without commercial character of tobacco in branch, qualifications and inputs related to the tobacco industry, being subject to sanctions.

What is not authorized to bring to Cuba or to your country?

You are not authorized the import or export of:

  • Explosive. Firearms and ammunition, unless it has the expressed authorization of the Competent Organism.
  • Drug, narcotics, precursors and substances related with the effective regulation; when you don’t have medical certification or permission of the authority authorized by the Ministry of Public Health. Hemoderivados. Any product or medical material that it can be a risk for the human health, according to the dispositions of the Ministry of Public Health.
  • Literature, articles and obscene or pornographic objects, or that they attempt against the general interests of the nation, the morals and good customs.
  • Species protected by the The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, if you doesn't possess the Permission sent by the Competent Authority (CITES permission).


  • When you arrive to the country you should fill the Customs Declaration.
  • You doesn't have to pay the Customs duties for: 25 kgs of personal belongings, 10 kgs of medications and the products with a value of up to 50.99 (5 kgs of miscellany applying the method of valuation peso/valor).
  • You can import articles until a value of 1000 pesos.
  • Minors of 10 years can only bring their personal belongings, as they correspond to their age.
  • If you resides permanently in the country the payment of the customs duties in the first import of one calendar year will be in CUP, and the following imports will be in CUC, and it will be contributed in CUP according to the change rate. If you resides in the exterior, in all the imports the tariffs will be charged in CUC.
  • You will pass through the Green Channel if you import products that are exempt from the payment, and for the Red Channel if you have goods to declare and for those that you should pay the customs duties.
  • You can transport your mascot if possesses the corresponding vaccination certificates. -Exist certain products that require of certain requirements for their transportation.

For more information you can contact with the following phone numbers, or visit the Cuban Custom. For claims please contact by email: publico@agr.aduana.cu.

  • La Habana: +53 (7) 883-8282; 883-7575
  • Matanzas: +53 (45) 287827
  • Cienfuegos: +53 (48) 513965, (119)
  • Villa Clara: +53 (42) 225041
  • Ciego de Ávila: +53 (33) 223613, (120)
  • Camagüey: +53 (32) 211809; 21130
  • Holguín: +53 (24) 481801
  • Santiago de Cuba: +53 (22) 652892
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