Can I bring Cuban cigars to the U.S.?

I keep getting different information, so I thought I’d better come to the source of wisdom and knowledge. I will be going to Vegas for a bachelor party weekend on the 28th, and thought I might bring down some nice Romeo Y Julieta Churchills for the gang. There’s six of us going, and I figure a couple each, so call it an even dozen cigars. So…

  1. Can I bring Cuban cigars to the U.S.?
  2. Is there a limit to how many I can bring?

Many thanks.

I’d say you better not bring them. If you do, just hope the US border pratrol isn’t as harsh about Cuban cigars as the Canadian border patrol was about US ciggarettes.

Don’t use cuban cigars on interns… that would have finished Clinton ! (he used an american cigar)

Well I’ll be damned! I didn’t know it was illegal for me to purchase and smoke a Cuban cigar outside the United States!

I was looking forward to smoking one or two on the deck of the ship, during my upcoming cruise. I’d assumed they’d be for sale on the ship.

And those penalties look like they could be even harsher than those some drug smuggling acts.

ok, this is from my father, who is by no means a customs official but travels a great deal internationally on business and is a cigar smker.

According to him, if Customs catches you with Cuban cigars
A. They are very much not legal to import.
B. not only will they be confiscated, they will be (according to dad) gleefully destroyed while the agents observe and relish your sadness.
C. you will be blacklisted for future US entries and may be thoroughly searched upon each re-entry for some time after the initial incident.

Consider the source, but I personally would consider my dad a knowledgable layperson, at the least, on this subject.

Damn, that’s some seriously hardline stance.

I had no idea that Cuban cigars were such a detriment to U.S. National Security. Be careful Spectre. If customs catches a whiff of smoke from you, you may be searched. Thoroughly.

Couple of extra details. I am a Canadian citizen, and the cigars were purchased in Canada. Would that make a difference?

Remove the band and they won’t know whether they’re Cuban or not.

True, but I wouldn’t put it above Customs to confiscate them on suspicion of being Cuban, considering they know they’re legal in Canada and you would then have no proof they’re not Cuban. I don’t believe it makes a difference that you’re Canadian or that they were legally purchased in Canada.

In my experience the US Customs agents are a cranky lot.

Remove them from the box too… :smack:

[Captain Koons]
Hello, little men. I got somethin’ for you.
[/Captain Koons]

Removing the band and box to contravene customs is of course illegal and suggesting doing so is against the rules of this message board.

If you’ve got the bucks, there is a legal alternative. It is legal to import pre-embargo cigars. You’ll need a good paper trail to establish the cigars’ provenence, something which a reputable dealer will be able to provide. The downside is that they are mondo expensive – like, $200 to $2,000 per cigar expensive, depending on the quality of the original cigar and the storage conditions over the past 40 years. And the lesser-quality ones are said to be just terrible. One would only smoke them for the novelty value of smoking such an old cigar.

There are also blended cigars with bits of pre-embargo tobacco blended into more recent Cuban-seed (but not Cuban-grown) tobaccos. These are of generally very low quality.

Given all that, I’d say just pick up some good Domican-grown Cuban-seed cigars after your arrival in the States. The more recent Cubans aren’t supposed to be all that much better anyway.

What manhattan said. There are several top-notch cigar stores in Vegas. Save yourself a ton of trouble and get good cigars there. It’s a bachelor party…everybody is going to be too hammered to tell the difference anyway. :smiley:

Doh! To my knowledge, no player from the Maple Leafs, goonish or otherwise, owns a tobacco farm.

[Great Debates]

A few more decades and the embargo is sure to finish Castro off.

[/Great Debates]

Spectre of Pithecanthropus, if it makes you feel any better, the quality of cuban cigars has seem to gone down lately. Not the tobacco, but the quality of the roll. Nothing worse than spending the money for a cuban only to have it draw hard or burn unevenly.


That reminds me of one of my favorite political cartoons. It features a six panel montage with Nixon, Carter, Ford, Reagan, George Bush 41, and Clinton each uttering one word of the phrase


Well, he did, in the end :slight_smile: .

Think I’ll just buy some in Vegas. silenus makes a good point, anyway. I expect the lads will be pretty sauced most of the time. Any recommendations on where to buy, silenus?

Well, just about every mega-resort has a cigar shop somewhere. Outside of those, try here. There is also a Dunhill’s in the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace, Hamilton’s upstairs at New York, New York, and Mardi Gras Cigars at thr Rio. :smiley:

When I returned to Miami from Havana (in 1992), I brought a box of cigars and a bottle of rum back with me, and customs didn’t bat an eye, even though I was 19.

I suggest marrying said cigars, wait five years, and bring them in as your new U.S. citizen spouses. Yeah, that should do it.

Hey, those 'sploding ones might still be out there!