importing Cuban cigars

I am travelling to Europe in a few months and a friend has asked me to bring him back some Cuban cigars. Now I know it is illegal in the US, but wanted to see if any Dopers have tried running the customs gauntlet. What kind of penalties are there for this?

A serious smack-down from SDMB Admins.

I have brought back some, but in accordance with the Board rules, I won’t give out tips, except…

One my brother-in-law learned - When the Customs official asks you if you have any tobacco products, don’t say “Yes, some Cuban cigars.” :smack:

:smiley: If I was in line, and someone in front of me did that, I’m fairly certain that I would not be able to resist hysterical laughter.

Oh, I forgot this might be against the Board rules. Sorry Mod!

Aside from being against the rules, keep in mind, should you get caught, you’d be entered into the boarder patrol’s “latex glove” list and would pretty much be assured of future boarder crossings being a longer than normal question/search the bags" affair.

I’ll just concentrate on the “what penalties” part of the OP’s question.

Everything you need to know is at [this link]( ofac/sanctions/t11cuba.pdf). (Warning–it’s a PDF.)

An ex girlfriend of mine did the same thing when she brought some back for me, about 7 or 8 years ago. She really thought that the duty free limit on tobacco included cigars from Cuba. The Customs agent reportedly rolled his eyes and then asked her “They are for personal use, right?”. She replied “No, they are for my boyfriend”. Not the answer Customs agent was wanting, so he asked again “No, they are for personal use, right?”. Girlfriend caught on, said “Yes”, and was allowed to keep them.

I’m kind of busy right now, so I’m sending you a wet noodle via UPS. When it arrives, flog yourself.
Thank you.