Everyone should take a few minutes and have a look through the Aduana (Cuban Customs) website.
It’s undergone some major changes, and everyone should familiarize themselves with the new policies.
A quick look shows…
1.) Import limit before confiscation of goods has been bumped from 250 to 1,000 CUC.
2.) There’s now a graduated scale for import duty. Up to 50 CUC is still exempt and from 50 to 250 CUC is still at 100%. From 250 to 500 CUC is 150% and from 500 to 1,000 CUC is 200%. Bring in 1,000 CUC worth of goods, and your total duty will be 1,575 CUC.
3.) There’s a new Customs Declaration Form. There’s a copy of it on the website. If you’re only bringing in personal items and no more than $5,000 then you don’t have to fill out the form.
4.) In Prohibited Articles they mention freezers with a capacity exceeding 7 feet. Weird. They’ve dropped all mention of DVD or VCR players though.
5.) In Regulated Articles they’ve bumped undocumented cigars from 23 to 50. This is big news.
6.) Anything over two units of regulated items (DVD players, televisions, Playstations, refrigerators, etc.) will be regarded as commercial import and will be confiscated.
I can’t find any mention of the duty imposed on DVDs. They should fall under the normal duty rates in #2 above, but of course they don’t.
I’ve been told Havana and Varadero Customs are charging 62 CUC per unit, flat rate. (Has anyone heard differently?)
Oh well, you can’t expect a Cuban website to tell you everything…
Website Cuban Customs: http://www.aduana.co.cu/pasajero3.htm
There is no reason for Cuban Customs to ever know, or to be involved.
It is very rare that a laptop is registered upon entry at Customs. If it is, it’s because they suspect you’re going to leave it there. Anything still in original boxes or looking brand new will arouse suspicion.
If it is registered, then bring it home with you. Do not “lose” it there. Waaaaaaay too much hassle otherwise.
If your laptop doesn’t get any attention from Customs (99% of them don’t) then there’s nothing stopping you from leaving it in Cuba. No worries.
English and Spanisch custom website
I notice a lot of difference between the Spanish and English Aduana Customs sections, mainly in the fact that the Sp section gives more complete listings and explanation.
One of the more frequently asked questions here is about taking personal use portable DVD’s which is listed on this Sp page; http://www.aduana.islagrande.cu/turista.htm as ‘un equipo DVD portátil’ and says that these may be imported without payment and with the expectation that they are to be re-exported by the traveler when leaving. (No paperwork involved).