My boyfriend and I are going on a cruise to the WEstern carribean next week. He wants to buy some cuban cigars for his dad and brother. Is there any reason to think he could get in trouble for bringing them back with him?
Most definately. It is illegal to bring Cuban cigars into the USA and he could be charged with smuggling, a Federal crime! Customs are standing right there when you dibark the ship looking for things like this. High fines and possible imprisonment even though that is unlikely in reality. Just remember it could happen.
Will he get caught, not likely? Can he get caught, yes? Is it worth getting caught, NO.
Asking if is okay on a chat board may make you feel better because I'm sure there are posters who will tell you they have done it and have no problem. However, bringing Cuban cigars (or any other product of Cuba) into the US is currently against the law.
What are you going to tell the cCustom's guy if you get caught, so and so on my chat board told me it was ok? Buy a good brand of Dominican Cigars and everyone will be happy.
What customs? On my last three cruises, 02 & 03, we just walked off the ship and out onto the sidewalk. No customs, no police, no anything. The ships were escorted out by the Coast Guard and the Navy but coming back, nothing. This was in San Pedro for Carnival and San Diego for Holland America and Royal Caribean. Cigars are the last thing anyone cares about in customs. Any obvious contraband, large amounts of cash are way more suspicious to customs than boxes of cigars. Drugs coming of cruise ships are another matter but I think if you want a box of cigars just bring along a box of your favorite brand and put the Cubans in that one when you come back. You won't see any customs people and if you do they could care less. This whole custom inspection thing just isn't happening anymore.
<VBG> Okay, just don't get bent out of shape when you do get nailed and face a big fine. One more time, IT IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE TO BRING BACK CUBAN CIGARS. Even though I haven't smoked in over a dozen years I do have some friends that enjoy cigars including some staff people on ships. They all pretty much say that Cuban's aren't all that good anymore and many cigars made in the USA and other islands are better. Your choice but accept any consequences you may get and whatever you do, don't give advice that breaking the law is okay, it isn't.
What ships were you on? I have sailed at least twice a year and sometimes more in the past 5 years. I have never just walked off the ship onto the sidewalk.
I have had to go through customs everytime. Now granted I have not been searched ever after a cruise but I have been questioned.
Another thing some people don't know is almost all the bags are searched by a sniffing dog. They are looking or drugs etc.
But as stated above the probability of getting search is low but if you are caught I have been told it is a $10,000 per occurance fine.
Now let me tell you something I know for sure. The federal government will make an example out of you just to get the attention of others. I know. I was made an example once. Didn't smuggle or anything that serious. Most said if I was dealing with state or local officials I would of been to don't do it again. The federal government made me pay ever penny of the fine.
not saying that I would bring back contraband but, if someone takes their cigars out of the box and removes the bands, how can anyone tell if they are Cuban, or Dominican, or Honduran. If having the bands is important to someone, why couldn't you just put them in an envelope and mail them to yourself. Just a thought.
Cuban cigars..or other contraband...would be easy to bring back in. However I do not endorse or suggest that you do so. I have just returned from the 08/16 Glory sailing and for all our sakes...I hope there is more security than what I experienced when I debarked the Glory. We did the Self debarkation and carried our suitcases off...they were not xrayed, sniffed or inspected in any visable form. All we did what show a picture ID to a customs agent and drop our customs form in a big box...then straight out of the terminal. Maybe I don't fit a "profile" but I could have had "anything" in my suitcases.
Ok i'm an "avid" cigar smoker. i definately enjoy a good cigar now and again. And i'm reading all these people warning that the cubans are 'contraband' and what not and that its not worth the risk of getting caught to try to bring them back. ok well i definately agree w/ that and think that the chance of ending up in prison over a $10 cigar definately is not worth the risk. BUT does anyone have any thoughts as to other cigars that are as good if not better than the cubans that are not illegal?? i'm doing western carib. on the glory in december, wondering if anyone has any opinions or recommendations of places to pick up good cigars?
Smuggling Cuban cigars into the U.S. is, as others have posted, ILLEGAL !!
I buy Cubans when I'm in the islands and smoke them on board. I have brought back 1 or 2 in my suitcase with the bands removed. They cannot verify the cigars are Cubans without the bands identifying them. However, if they wish they can make your life miserable over a few cigars. Suppose they hold you for further investigation just long enough for you to miss your flight back.
However, there is nothing like a good Cuban cigar.