Obama lets Americans bring home more Cuban cigars and rum

Obama lets Americans bring home more Cuban cigars and rum

By Mike Dorning

Bloomberg

Americans traveling to Cuba can soon bring home a lot more of the island’s famous cigars and rum.

The Obama administration announced Friday that it would raise limits on the importation of Cuban alcohol and tobacco products for personal use in the baggage of returning U.S. residents. Importing Cuban cigars and rum for commercial purposes remains illegal.

The regulatory change, which takes effect Monday, is part of the sixth round of eased sanctions since President Barack Obama re-opened relations with Cuba in December 2014. The administration also will ease importation of pharmaceutical products from Cuba and allow joint medical research and U.S. work that assists infrastructure development in Cuba.

The administration previously re-opened the U.S. embassy in Havana and resumed direct flights to and from the island. Last spring, Obama became the first U.S. president to visit the country in 88 years.

The president said in a statement that the regulatory changes announced Friday are “another major step forward in our efforts to normalize relations with Cuba,” and predicted that they would help “make our opening to Cuba irreversible.”

The U.S. Cuba embargo law remains in effect and can only be lifted by Congress. The administration has urged repeal of the embargo, though Republicans in Congress have blocked legislation to end it.

Previously, travelers had been limited to a maximum $100 combined value of Cuban alcohol and tobacco products and could bring them home only if they had personally traveled to Cuba. Travelers are allowed only $400 in total goods from Cuba.

For the first time, Americans traveling abroad also will be allowed to bring home Cuban cigars and alcohol purchased in countries other than Cuba.

Cuban alcohol and tobacco products will now face the same restrictions as products of other countries, with a limit of 100 cigars or 200 cigarettes and 1 liter of alcohol eligible for import. Travelers are allowed as much as $800 in all products without duty and can bring home more if they pay duties.

The changes don’t affect the ban on commercial imports of Cuban cigars and rum for resale.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Commercial Aircraft Interiors General Manager James Barnett stands in a warehouse aisle of 777 overhead bins at the company's new building on Monday, May 20, 2019 in Arlington, Wash. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
12 Snohomish County aero firms get $19M for job protection

The Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection grants could save 2,280 Washington jobs for up to six months.

FILE - The logo for Boeing appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, July 13, 2021. Despite the pandemic's damage to air travel, Boeing says it's optimistic about long-term demand for airplanes. Boeing said Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021 that it expects the aerospace market to be worth $9 trillion over the next decade. That includes planes for airlines and military uses and other aerospace products and services. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)
Pandemic hasn’t dimmed Boeing’s rosy prediction for planes

The company is bullishly predicting a $9 trillion market over the next decade.

Washington August jobless rate was 5.1%; 16,800 jobs added

August’s rate was the same as July’s rate, and increased even as COVID-19 cases surge.

Boeing moving 150 jobs from Washington and California to Texas

The affected jobs are in the company’s global parts distribution unit.

School-age lead Emilee Swenson pulls kids around in a wagon at Tomorrow’s Hope child care center on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021 in Everett, Washington. A shortage of child care workers prompted HopeWorks, a nonprofit, to expand its job training programs. Typically, the programs help people with little or no work experience find a job. The new job training program is for people interested in becoming child care workers. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
HopeWorks to offer career training for child care workers

The Everett nonprofit hopes to train workers as child care centers struggle to hire staff.

Genna Martin / The Herald
David Barney, owner of Barney's Pastrami on Evergreen, has changed the last names of the dozens of celebrities who's photos hang on the wall of his restaurant to Barney.  The newly named celebrities include Humphrey Barney, Uma Barney, Marilyn Barney, Olivia Newton-Barney and Stevie Ray Barney.  
Photo taken 11252014
Where’s Barney? His pastrami shop has served its last hoagie

Even the Evergreen Way deli’s landlord is looking for him. David Barney has vanished.

Tasty and healthy asian food - spicy ramen with wheat noodle, meat, eggs and onion in white pot with chopsticks. Vector illustration of traditional korean cuisine for menu, recipe books or printing
You voted: The best Vietnamese food in Snohomish County

Even during a pandemic, folks still have their favorites.

‘Fulfillment center’ proposed along Bothell Everett Highway

Amazon denies that it’s involved in the project. But permitting documents include the company name.

A drawing of the giant Funko Pop! balloon depicting Baby Yoda, which will wind through the streets of New York during this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. (Funko) 20210912
It’s OK to Pop! this balloon: Funko to join the Macy’s parade

Funko’s incarnation of Baby Yoda will float by in this year’s Thanksgiving Day event.

Most Read