This guide is out of date, please refer to the New Cuban Custom Regulations, what you should know? guide for updated information.
The General Customs of the Republic is the entity of the State Central Administration 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.
In ports and airports the Customs workers are identified additionally by a black colored vest with ADUANA written in yellow letters and the supervisors will wear a red colored vest with yellow letters. So, any other person who doesn’t wear this vestment isn’t a customs officer.
Passenger value declaration or Temporary operation with no commercial purpose
All tourists that arrive to Cuba should make the value declaration, valuable articles, jewelry, pieces of art, decorative arts elements, appliances, hardwearing and others, given that its temporary import is allowed, with the purpose to credit the legal nature of the import operation with no payment. Free of customs duty and import taxes shall be temporarily admitted the personal possessions imported by tourists with private use purposes, those they carry with themselves and the accompanying baggage. Those articles should be re-exported when you leave the country.
As tourist you must staying for at least 24 hours and no more than six months with the intention of tourism, entertainment, sports practicing, health, family issues, studies, religious pilgrimage or business, without the intention to immigrate.
Free of customs duty and import taxes shall be temporarily admitted the personal possessions imported by tourists with private use purposes, those they carry with themselves and the accompanying baggage. Those articles should be re-exported when they leave the country. Under the regime of temporary import, tourists shall import clothes, toiletries and other personal stuff such as:
- personal jewelry;
- photographic and movies cameras with a reasonable amount of films, cassettes and accessories;
- a slide show equipment and its accessories, with the reasonable amount of slides or films;
- a portable musical instrument;
- a portable sound reproducing equipment, including tape recorders, CD and portable discs readers and tape dictating machine, as well as discs;
- a portable radio;
- a cell or mobile phone;
- a portable TV set;
- a portable typing machine;
- a personal computer and its accessories;
- a portable calculator;
- a baby carriage;
- Toys (under age passengers)
- a wheel chair;
- sports equipment;
- Scientific, technical, art and literature books, music score, discs, recording tapes, still views and films for teaching purposes, wheel chairs for disabled, prosthesis when they replace a mutilated organ or part of it, as well as equipment, books or materials for teaching blind people, and decorations, medals and awards received abroad and products received by Cuban citizens accompanying awards granted for a scientific, sport or artistic performance, all the time that the origin of the document can be proved. They can also import temporarily imported articles brought by foreign artists sports men, experts, scientists, journalists and movie makers, transit passengers and those persons that arrive in the country in special circumstances and those granted the benefit subject to international covenants of which Cuba is a party.
You can import 10 kilograms of medications given that those are carried separately and apart from other articles, in the original containers, such as elaborated pharmaceutical products not included in the list of medications which import is not authorized or linked to special requirements.
Others articles which are not personal possessions and that qualify as miscellanies (shoes, garments, food, personal cleaning articles, jewelry, linen) shall be weighted with the weight /price method to determinate the total price to pay, but you can import free of payment up to 25 kg of miscellanies being or not for personal use.
But if you exceed the 25 kg you must pay according the next table:
|From 0 - $50.99 (25kg)||Exempt||50.00 pesos|
|From $51.00 a 250.99||100%||200.00 pesos|
|From $251.00 a 500.99||150%||250.00 pesos|
|From $501.00 a 1000.00||200%||500.00 pesos|
Electrical appliances are allowed to be imported with no commercial purposes except the high electricity consumers. Individuals can import, with non-commercial purposes, telecommunications parts and equipment, if no authorization is required for equipment such as conventional wireless telephones and spare parts, wire fax, modems, among others. For more information read the Custom Regulations document.
Tip: Save all the bills concerning to the electrical appliance that you plan to bring Cuba, because you must pay their equivalent in CUC at the airport.
You can also bring your pet to spend holidays, the specialist on Veterinary Services helping at the border is the authority empowered to allow in the country the entrance of:
- domestic dogs and cats, vaccinated against rage, accompanied by the veterinary certificate (Health and vaccination Certificate) from the origin country, meeting the following requirements: defining details of import such as: race, quantity, origin and destination of the animal, official legislation of the origin country, certificate from the Consular Office of the Republic of Cuba,
- tropical fish or any other marine animal,
- canned or sterilized meat with brands recognized in the origin country,
- diet milk and mature cheese,
- stuffed animals and animal origin ornamental items duly treated,
- vaccines against rabies, canine leptospira, canine hepatitis, canine distemper, feline and canine parvovirus, all those vaccines with registered trademarks, certified and accompanied by the state sanitary control, duly updated,
- hay and straws, if not proceeding from countries impacted by foot and mouth disease, swine fever, vesicular swine diseases and anthrax, and sacks and bales, that will be demanded to be clean, independently from the origin country, and though they have been used as packaging,
- domestic or wild live animals, preserved and conserved,
- animal origin products for consumption, or to be used as ornaments, with industrial purposes, as experiments and research,
- microbial or parasite agents that harm animal health,
- animal origin serum, hormones and ferments,
- vaccines, bacteria and other similar products to be used in veterinary medicine,
- diagnostic and culture medium with animal origin components,
- any element, product or container of any origin that could damage
- animals health or transmit diseases,
- fresh, refrigerated, dehydrated, canned or frozen meat, hams, cold meat, fertile eggs, fresh and mature cheese, fresh or powdered (dry) milk, animal origin flour, bristles, leather, wool, animal products with domestic manufacture or handcrafted, animals fur, feathers, semen or fertilized ovules,
- biological products and materials prone to create damages for animal health,
- meat-eating animals, with research purposes.
You must sure have heard about the Cuban cigar and is probably you want to take some of them to your country as gift or for personal use. The cigar exportation is allowed, but but you must verbally declare before customs all cigars you carry with you, or in the accompanying luggage and up to twenty (20) individual cigars needless to present any document; up to fifty (50) cigars, given that they are contained in the original containers, closed, properly sealed and with the official hologram (without those elements, export is not authorized, and over fifty (50) units, passengers must show the official invoice issued by the network stores authorized to commercialize Cuban Cigars, to certify all the Cigars to be taken out of the country all the time in the original containers, closed, properly sealed and with the official hologram.
Flora and Fauna
You are allowed to export up to three (3) queen conch shells (Strombus gigas) considered as personal items. Queen conch meat is not authorized for export, neither are live animals from that specie, without the proper authorization.
The no trade purpose export of lobster (Panulirus argus) is not authorized in any quantity of presentation.
There are products (like cultural assets) that require permission to be imported or exported, so if you are trying to travel with one of these without authorization or without making the proper custom declaration, it can be taken by a contraband act and is punish by the Cuban law.
Is also considered a crime the violence and intimidation against the authority, public officials, or auxiliary agents and is also punish by the law.
Tip: Do not offer gifts to Customs officials, it is their responsibility to properly treat you, it is part of their duty. Do not try to present officials with a gift, trying to influence their behavior, you shall be reported for the crime of bribering.
- You must make the passengers value declaration when you arrive Cuba.
- You can import a total of 25 kg between personal possession and miscellanies and 10 kg if medications without extra cost.
- If you exceed the 25 kg you must pay according the weight/price method in CUC.
- Your pet can came with you following the veterinary regulations.
- You must pay the equivalent in CUC of the entire electrical appliance that you import.
- You can export Cuban cigar following the norms established.
- Any violation of the obligations is punished by the law.
If you are to get additional information, clarify doubts of express nonconformity with Customs procedure, please visit Customs website or contact the following phone numbers:
855 54 66 to 71 (Switchboard)
881- 97-32 (Client)
883- 82-82, 883- 75-75 (Complains and claims)
International fax: 883- 52-22
National fax: 881-56-31