ND From Belgium, joined Feb 2004, 280 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2132 times:
Fortune has it that I have found myself in possession of Cuban cigars. Since I myself do not smoke cigars, I wish to provide them as a gift for someone else. However, that person resides in Europe and my flight to Europe originates in the US. Would it be possible for me to take these along with me or would security confiscate them?
UAL747DEN From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2226 posts, RR: 12 Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2091 times:
This problem is very similar to my Vicodan and Percocet in Mexico one! Here is what I say, put them in your checked bag DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HIDE THEM in any way and if they stop you just tell them that you didnt know that it was illegal and let them take them without a fight. I have only once ever had a problem and the officer told me either I can turn them over as "waist" or they would have to try to figure out exactly where I had got them and if they were illegal all the while I would have to be held. I imagine cigars are the same because truly the officer at the desk cannot determine if they were bought there.
Jc2354 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 542 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2062 times:
Leaving the US, there is no customs check or inspection. However, I don't know how the TSA/security inspection would affect this. Are they allowed to seize contraband items from your luggage? Most countries in Europe, if not all, allow import of Cuban products.
I agree with UAL747DEN, can't do any harm to take them, just do not hide them. Now, about the Vicodan and Percocet,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Adriaticus From Mexico, joined May 2004, 1112 posts, RR: 21 Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2046 times:
My two cents... unwrap them, carefully take the paper ring off, and place them inside a ziploc-bag somewhere in your checked luggage. If truly a quality cigar, the connoisseur recipient will surely appreciate them, even without all the fancy packing.
I've been smoking cigars for 18+ years, and at least 5 to 10 cigars accompany me in a travel humidor in any typical four-day business travel. Never had a problem, in or out the US... Although I never attempt to bring in Cuban, I have never been questioned about their origin.
As a side note, I find Cuban cigars to be an overrated (and overpriced) cult myth... There are excellent cigars made in Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Mexico... And on a recent trip to Lima, I smoked a couple of astonishingly good Peruvian-made "Bolivares". Wow.
So no need to get in trouble for bringing in a fine Cuban cigar into the US - plenty of fine options out there.
OD720 From Lebanon, joined Feb 2003, 1919 posts, RR: 36 Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2025 times:
Adriaticus is right. Just remove any label that indicates that they are Cubans and you should have no trouble. I was told this at LHR duty free when I asked if I can buy cubans to take them with me to the States.
AirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 26 Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2000 times:
I know this is off topic, but what is so bad about cuban cigars?
And when you have to give up the cigars at U.S. customs, what exactly do they do with the cigars, really? Do the customs agents keep it for themselves or go out back in the break room and smoke one for themselves?
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Spacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3277 posts, RR: 14 Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1990 times:
Are they allowed to seize contraband items from your luggage? Most countries in Europe, if not all, allow import of Cuban products.
Of course they are allowed to seize contraband. If they see you travelling with 50 kilos of cocaine, for example, they're not going to just let you go because you don't have any weapons to go along with it. Their job is law enforcement.
Cuban cigars are not 100% forbidden in the US anymore, but there are still some pretty strict rules. I would think exporting them from the US would be greeted with suspicion at the very least, and suspicion is one of the things you don't want when you're trying to board an airplane.
I would also think anything over the $100 value currently allowed to be brought back from Cuba would be confiscated immediately (you don't say how many you have), since it is illegal to sell Cuban cigars and you'd have a tough time convincing anyone you were going to smoke more than that amount yourself on a vacation. (I'm not sure what the rules are for giving them away, but again you'd probably be questioned at least as to where you got them, since you can't bring more than that amount into the country to begin with.)
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Blackbird1331 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1892 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 1940 times:
The cigars are legal in the US if they were purchased in/from Russia, which I am sure they were. My friend gave me one, the last one in the box. I gave the cigar away. I thought the box was of more value.
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Miamiair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 1924 times:
Its not illegal to smoke Cuban cigars in the US. You just can't import them from a third country, say the UK. If I were to fly from Cuba to the US, I am allowed three boxes of cigars. I've brought them back from EU several times and not even a hiccup.
As to leaving the US for a foreign destination, you won't have any problems. I usually place them in my carry-on, yes, yes, I know, no lighters and no matches...
Don't worry about it. Like the saying goes...smoke 'em if you got 'em.
F9Fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 689 posts, RR: 3 Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1847 times:
One option is to ship them by mail. Just go to the local post office and mail them to the person you want to give them to.
While it is illegal to transport Cuban cigars through the United States, I've found customs enforcement to be somewhat lax in regards to this. U.S. Customs is primarily looking for drugs and explosives. Since you will be "in transit", they are less likely to do a thorough search of your checked luggage. I've taken five cruises (three through Miami, one through Tampa, and one through Long Beach), and I've never had my luggage searched. In fact, my last cruise (through Tampa) was the only time that the customs officer even asked me any questions. By the way, the questions were, "How many people are traveling with you today?", "Do you have any cigars?", and "Do you have any alcohol with you?" After I answered his questions, I was sent on my way.