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Cuban Cigar Laws

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What Are Cuban Cigars?

Cuban cigars are a specific type of tobacco product that are produced and manufactured in the country of Cuba. They are often highly praised and sought-after due to their reputation of being well-crafted with the use of high quality tobacco. The high demand for authentic Cuban cigars, as well as their legal status in the U.S., has caused them to be a somewhat rare commodity. Many companies have passed off inferior cigars as "Cubans" in order to make a profit.

Are Cuban Cigars Legal in the U.S.?

The importation of cigars from Cuba is highly restricted. While many think that it’s completely illegal to bring Cuban cigars in the country, there are a few limited circumstasnces in which they can be imported directly from Cuba. Several requirements need to be met, which are:

  • The person is returning directly to the U.S. from Cuba (i.e., they didn’t stop at a different country first).
  • The visit to Cuba was "licensed". Persons who can be licensed for such a trip include: Cuban-Americans, athletes, politicians, researchers, religious groups, and other persons.
  • The total value of the cigars does not exceed $100 (U.S. domestic prices).
  • The cigars can only be imported if they will be used for personal use.

Can Cuban Cigars Be Sold in the U.S.?

No, as mentioned, Cuban cigars can only be imported for personal use, meaning that they can’t be resold for money once they are brought into the country. This is true whether it is a private citizen wishing to make a sale or if it is a licensed tobacco vendor.

Most people associated tobacco companies with class action tobacco lawsuits. However, Cuban cigar class action suits are not at all common because the cigars are very highly restricted to begin with (there are many legal considerations surrounding Cuban cigars).

Are there any Legal Penalties for Violations of Cuban Cigar Laws?

Violating any of these requirements can lead to some pretty serious legal consequences. For instance, a fine of up to $50,000 can result, and criminal consequences can sometimes be involved as well. Also, confiscation of the cigars will usually result. Violations may include illegal importation, sales, trades, or other transactions. As with any tobacco product, cigar sales involving minors are prohibited.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Cuban Cigar Laws?

Restrictions on product imports and trades can often be quite complex. This is especially true for specialty products like Cuban cigars. If you have any questions, concerns, or legal issues involving Cuban cigars, you may wish to hire a lawyer for assistance. Your attorney can inform you of how the laws might be affecting you. Also, your lawyer can represent you if you need to file a lawsuit or appear in court.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 01-15-2014 12:25 PM PST

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