What's new

Cubans and Customs

AlohaStyle

BoM Sept '12 & Aug '13
Rating - 100%
185   0   0
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
5,297
Location
WA
https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/kbyg/customs-duty-info

Couple of paragraphs down is a section labeled Cuba. Maybe you can make more sense of it then I did. I didn't mean to imply that you can't bring in more then $1800 in goods, just that it becomes more complicated and falls into a "non-personal" classification.
Thanks, that's the first I've heard of this. Reading through the links, this changed as of 1/1/18. Looks like $800 - $1,800 is 4% taxed. Over $1,800 is according to the chart which if I read correctly, is $9.92/kg + 25%... good luck customs agent figuring that out exactly lol.

From your link:
In particular, HTSUS 9804.00.65 allows for the duty-free importation of personal-use articles from a Column 2 country when the fair retail value of such goods is under $800. Also see 19 C.F.R. 148.33. HTSUS 9816.00.20 establishes a duty rate of 4% of the fair retail value for personal-use articles under $1,000 imported from a Column 2 country. Thus, any articles imported under this section for personal use with a value of under $800 can be imported duty free, and any articles imported for personal use with a value between $800 and $1800, will be subject to a flat 4% duty rate. Any articles valued over $1800, regardless of whether for personal use, will be subject to entry and should be classified, appraised, and assessed duty appropriately under the specific HTSUS Column 2 rates. Also see 19 C.F.R. 148.101 and 148.102. Any commercial importation, i.e., not for personal use, is subject to entry requirements and payment of applicable duties, fees, and taxes.

The HTSUS Column 2 rate link:
https://www.usitc.gov/tata/hts/index.htm

The chart from that link, column 2:
https://hts.usitc.gov/current

But at the end of the day, I think customs just plays it by ear with the person in front of them and how that person acts. If they don't like the person, or the customs agent is feeling strict, he'll make up a duty. I've heard many stories of random small duties that are made up from thin air, both US and Canada. One Canadian I know brought back 450 cigars and 15 bottles of liquor. He declared it all. Canadian customs are known to tax heavy with people over the limit. He questioned my friend if he really had that much and my buddy was really nice about it saying yes, he loves cigars and rum, and was bringing back gifts too. When he got to the next agent to pay duty, he was rung up $11. He turned around to the guy that questioned him and just got a smile from him. lol
 

AlohaStyle

BoM Sept '12 & Aug '13
Rating - 100%
185   0   0
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
5,297
Location
WA
I'll add, from how I read it, because it says "regardless of whether for personal use", nothing says in stone what is considered more than personal consumption. Everything I've heard and read implies it's subjective. Above $1,800 just means they should by rule, use the Column 2 rate for duty.
 

Nacho Daddy

Irrepressibly Irreverent Inveterate Ignominy
Rating - 100%
117   0   0
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
3,133
I suggest that you go and have a good time and enjoy a few cigars.
Don't worry about trying to score a big time stash, maybe pick up one or two boxes you want.
Watch for well kept stock, your favorite shade of wrapper, good aroma. Aged boxes can be found, possibly at the regular prices.
I think Spain has Govt. price controls, so shop around.
Investigate Canary Island cigars while you are there, some are made w/ Cuban tobacco.
Don't feel pressured to buy if they do not meet your standards.
Remember that you can save $$$ through our Swiss friends.
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Mar 21, 2018
Messages
30
Don’t want to hijack this thread but it’s along the same lines and doesn’t constitute a new thread... is CBP issuing seizure letters/ creating enforcement cases against people from overseas vendors. I’m trying to do a box split with some people and am nervous that they will seize the package and attempt enforcement against me. Active Duty Military and can’t really be getting into that nonsense but I’m confused since the regulations have seemed to loosen.
 
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Mar 17, 2018
Messages
31
I think youre pretty safe if someone else orders them and splits and sends within the US. If you cant risk it then dont. Sounds like customs knows about it, and a few very rare cases are getting global entry denials for renewal or at least getting questioned about it, so I def wouldn't risk my military status just for some cigars. Next time I go to Canada I'd bring some back and send ya some for free (but will be a few months)
 

AlohaStyle

BoM Sept '12 & Aug '13
Rating - 100%
185   0   0
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
5,297
Location
WA
Don’t want to hijack this thread but it’s along the same lines and doesn’t constitute a new thread... is CBP issuing seizure letters/ creating enforcement cases against people from overseas vendors. I’m trying to do a box split with some people and am nervous that they will seize the package and attempt enforcement against me. Active Duty Military and can’t really be getting into that nonsense but I’m confused since the regulations have seemed to loosen.
Yes people can and do get their shipments seized, then get a letter. I don't know of any cases in the last 10+ years where someone that received one of these letters has actually been convicted of anything. People just ignore the letter. Regulations have not been loosened regarding buying from overseas and mailing it in. It's not legal. You can only bring cigars into the country personally. If you are too nervous, your best option is to have your split partner order the cigars. If I were you, I wouldn't worry about it... I know many military and other public service guys that buy cigars overseas, and, get the letters.
 
Rating - 100%
29   0   0
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
418
Location
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Do the prices vary that much from different duty free shops? Or better online prices?
I’m going to Canada,Montreal. in the summer and was going to bring back some cc from duty free...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Boudie

DONOR
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Jan 30, 2017
Messages
3,373
Pedro, I understand the prices for cigars in Canada are pretty steep. Can't imagine duty free being any different but members are always complaining about the prices they pay in Canada.

Visit some online retailers before you go and see what they would charge you and compare to what the duty free in Canada wants to charge you
 

gurgalunas

DONOR
Rating - 100%
21   0   0
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
711
Location
Platte City, MO
Pedro, I understand the prices for cigars in Canada are pretty steep. Can't imagine duty free being any different but members are always complaining about the prices they pay in Canada.

Visit some online retailers before you go and see what they would charge you and compare to what the duty free in Canada wants to charge you
I dont have specific experience with CC at the duty free shops in Canada, but alcohol is similarly expensive within Canada. The thing that makes them expensive is the Canadian taxes. I've always brought back rum from the Canada DF stores, and paid a fraction of US price. Once the tax comes off, it makes it much more reasonable. My example, a 12 yr appletons rum, in a Canadian store, would be $45+ (US), $35 bought in the US, and I paid $25 (us) at the duty free. Can't say everything is exactly the same with CC price wise, but Canadian sin taxes are what makes stuff expensive.
 

Boudie

DONOR
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Jan 30, 2017
Messages
3,373
After looking it seems duty free may not be required to charge local sales taxes, sin taxes and tobacco taxes in addition to avoiding the normal import Duties. So you would expect to find things to be considerably cheaper. The articles I read also made note that Duty Free Shops tend to run higher markups so it's still probably a good idea to check on-line pricing before making a purchase. Thanks for pointing that out Gurgalunus
 

fisherclive

DONOR
Rating - 100%
108   0   0
Joined
Mar 17, 2018
Messages
2,041
Location
Michigan
In regards to the duty free stores, I've only ever been to the Detroit and Windsor locations. Neither had much of anything.
I ended up buying a few Cubans from a B&M in Windsor, I ended up paying $23.00 usd for montecristo #4's
I can't speak to what the other duty free stores carry, but IMO I'd buy online. You'll get way more for your $
 

gurgalunas

DONOR
Rating - 100%
21   0   0
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
711
Location
Platte City, MO
I remember seeing CC at the crossing in ND last fall, but didnt realize I could bring them across. We were already going to be under scrutiny for being hunters, with guns, and potentially game, so I didnt think an "illegal" cigar was that important. Never bothered with the prices. There wasnt a great selection, and they were not humidified as far as I could tell.

The point about knowing what you can buy elsewhere is a great point, and probably the most important one. Buying CC from a store would be cool, but if the price isnt right, obviously not worth stocking up...
 
Top