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Old November 18th, 2000, 09:27 PM
norm norm is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,266


I probably shouldn't bother to tell you this after your nasty response to my earlier recommendation, but...

The ship-wide clearance upon entering port normally covers only immigration. It's done by INS. The Customs Service still has the right to check every passenger and crew member who disembarks for contraband, and just might be doing so. Sometimes, the agents are there with drug-sniifing dogs. Those dogs, BTW, can detect drugs and tobacco at a pretty fair distance. Methinks that the Customs Service probably is "onto" the potential for cruise ship passengers to bring Cuban cigars ashore in Key West and mail them home from there....

Basically, it's legal to posess Cuban cigars aboard the ship but it is not legal to bring them into the United States (unless you have been to Cuba on a properly authorized visit, which obviously won't be the case). Thus, it's much more prudent to enjoy your Cuban cigars aboard the ship and to bring a non-Cuban variety ashore to smoke in Key West.

There is one other BTW. The duty exemption only applies if you have not claimed another exemption within thirty days. If you bring anything ashore in Key West, that could constitute claiming an exemption -- which, at least theoretically, would mean that you could not claim it again at the end of the cruise.

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