What you should know if you travel to Cuba

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These are the basic questions  that those who travel to Cuba must know and comply with, if they want to go through Cuban Customs controls without problems.

1.- All passengers are required to complete the online  Advanced Traveler Information form  (  D’Viajeros ) before arriving in Cuba.  You can access this form from any device that connects to the internet, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from 72 hours prior to your arrival in Cuba. 

2.- Regardless of their nationality or place of residence, all passengers are subject to the same provisions, rights and duties before Customs. In other words, wherever they live and whatever nationality they have, they can bring the same as long as they are over 10 years old. 

3.- An IMPORT is considered to have been made when customs duties are paid for the items we bring. If you do not pay customs duties, then you have not made an import. The entry of personal effects and/or items exempt from payment is not considered an import.

4.- The “First Import of the year” is NOT the first time you enter the country in a calendar year, but rather the first time customs duties are paid . A passenger can enter with 30 kg. as many times as he wants during the year and import “the thousand Points” on December 31. 

5.- All passengers over 10 years of age, regardless of their nationality or immigration category, CAN IMPORT THE SAME . That is, items up to a maximum value of One Thousand (1000) USD, in the quantities established by Law. 

6.- Children under 10 years of age cannot carry out non-commercial imports and  ONLY their personal effects can enter the country , including means of transportation, as well as food, toys, etc. according to your age. They must always carry out customs clearance accompanied by an adult who represents them.

7.- Personal effects of passengers enter the country free of payment (without paying duties). Among other items, Personal Effects are considered :   

  • 1 Laptop or Tablet (One of the two)
  • 1 Cell phone
  • 1 Photographic and video camera.
  • 1 player and 1 portable television, portable being understood as any equipment that works with batteries

In most cases, up to 25 kg of miscellaneous items (clothing, footwear, etc.) are considered personal effects.

8.- Medicines can be imported (see «Temporary measures» at the end ) , as long as they are not expressly prohibited and are presented for control in their original containers and preferably separated from the rest of the items. Those passengers who suffer from chronic illnesses and need to travel with quantities and varieties of medicines should do so with a Medical Certificate that certifies this. See more at this link  

9.- You can enter the country, exempt from payment and without being weighed or valued as part of the thousand USD (points) allowed as non-personal import:

  • wheelchairs for disabled people, crutches, canes, etc.
  • prostheses, when they replace or substitute an organ or part of it;
  • equipment, books or materials intended for the blind;
  • Disposable adult diapers
  • Reagents, kits and means to control chronic diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure, etc.
  • pets

10.- Passengers can import all those items that are not expressly prohibited : Here the legal principle that «what is not prohibited is allowed» applies. 

11.- There is a group of items that require a License or Authorization to enter the country: See this link . In this case, the authorization must be arranged before arrival in the country or they will be retained by Customs until presented. If not done within a period of 30 days without requesting an extension, they fall into Legal Abandonment and will be confiscated for this reason.    

12.- Passengers can ONLY import on a NON-COMMERCIAL BASIS and within the limit established in  Resolution 175-22 and its annexes.Customs can determine that what is imported has a commercial nature according to the technical characteristics of the products, the quantities that are intended to be imported and the frequency with which it is done.    

13.- Customs duties will be charged from one percent of the value of the items (Ad-Valorem Duties).

14.-The value of imported items is established in USD. The so-called POINTS are a tool created to facilitate accounts and be able to work with whole numbers. Thus, the limit of 1000.00 pesos becomes 1000 Points and when we talk about the customs value of a laptop, for example, we say 250.00 USD or also 250 points. 

15.- To speed up clearance, customs may use the “ alternative method of valuation by weight”  for the purposes of finding the customs value of Miscellaneous goods (clothing, footwear, etc.) without having to open the luggage. In this case, the packages are weighed and each kilogram of Miscellaneous is valued at 10.00 USD or 10 Points.  

16.- Passengers can only import those equipment that, due to their technical characteristics, have a DOMESTIC use . For example, a two-door refrigerator with a 12-foot capacity could be imported, but not an 8-foot refrigerator-display case used in a cafeteria. 

17.- The Green Channel may be used provided that:  

  • Only items defined as personal effects  and up to 30 kg of miscellaneous items are imported. 
  • Only items defined as personal effects, 25 kg of miscellaneous items and other items are imported up to a maximum value of 50.00 USD (Points)  

18.- If you intend to bring Unaccompanied Baggage (ENA), it is necessary to take into account:  

  • Declare it this way in the Advance Information of travelers 
  • If you bring items in your Accompanied Baggage for which you must pay customs duties, their value is deducted from the total value you can bring as ENA.

19.- Customs duties are applied from one percent on the value of the imported item (number of points). For this, a Progressive Rate is used. The first 50 USD are free, between 51 and 500 USD they pay one percent of the value and between 501 and 1000 USD they pay another.  

In fact, there are  two tariff rates  with different percentages of debts: One applies to permanent residents on their first import of the calendar year (4% and 8%) and another for the rest of the cases (100% and 200%). In addition to the duties, those who import must pay the Customs Services Fee, which is equivalent to 50.00 CUP.

20.- All payments to Customs are in CUP (Cuban Pesos) and are only made at the CADECA office, before leaving the Terminal.

To pay the fees and taxes, passengers may exchange any freely convertible currency accepted in Cuba at CADECA, in the amount they need. Those who have a Cuban bank card (BANMET, for example) will be able to do so with it.

21.- All passengers can bring with them any amount of freely convertible currency (there is no limit), but when this amount is greater than 5 thousand USD, or its equivalent in other MLCs, they must declare it in the Advance Traveler Information . 

On the other hand, the import and export of up to 5 thousand Cuban pesos is allowed.

Temporary Measures

Until December 31, 2023, the importation is authorized, without limits in quantity and exempt from payment of customs duties, of Medicines, Food and Toiletries, as long as they are brought as  Accompanied Baggage  and separated from the rest of the items. The weight and/or value of these items are not considered within the established limit of one thousand usd (points) See more in this link