Tighter Controls on Cigars from Cuba
Written by Kevin Godbee

Friday, 11 December 2009

User Rating: / 3

tobacco legislation


Under the new rules you still won’t have to show a receipt if you are taking 50 or less cigars out of the country but they will have to be in an official cigar box and the cigar box will have to be sealed and stamped and carry an official hologram sticker.

And that’s where the authorities hope to stop the black market cigar makers stone cold dead in their tracks. If the box is not sealed and does not carry the hologram sticker then they will be confiscated by Cuban custom authorities.

Now you might think that the need for the hologram and the sealed box is going to spell the end of the black market trade in Cuban cigars and it might put a crimp in it for a while but I have a feeling that the cigar makers that trade in the black market will soon find away around the new regulations.

While that hologram may sound rather high tech and impossible to duplicate for someone working out of the back room of some run-down house I doubt that it will be long before those official hologram stickers are appearing on boxes of black market cigars. If employees of the official factories are prepared to risk taking cigar bands out of the factories then how long will it be before they’re taking hologram stickers out as well?

But regardless of whether they do overcome these new restrictions or they don’t the message for you, if you’re thinking of taking a cigar holiday to Cuba, is don’t buy on the black market. If you do buy on the black market the you had better be prepared to run the risk of losing your purchases at the Customs counter at the airport in Cuba.

The short flight back to the States can become quite long when you spend it kicking yourself for buying those wonderful cigars that never made it out of the country.




0 # Ji Kim 2009-12-10 14:44
I don't know of any informed cigar smoker that would feel compelled to purchase black market cigars in Cuba. If you spend enough time in the Puff forums, you'll learn quickly that these 'black market' I'll refer to as fake from this point forward lack in quality of construction and tobacco. Simply you're not getting the same quality cigars produced in the factories.

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0 # ihup 2009-12-12 04:20
I am very surprised by this article, where it is giving the reader the impression that you can get the same cigar on the black market as you can in official stores (La Casa Del, Habanos), for a fraction of the price. I have been to Cuba and seen, bought and smoked both. Yes, the black market cigars are a fraction of the price, and in some cases, very hard to see the difference in their appearance. But as soon as you smoke the black market cigar, you know, (if you ever smoked the authentic Cuban's), that this is garbage. Yes, the tobacco is grown on the same island, but the processes involving curing, fermenting and aging, are not followed for the tobacco destined for the black market. I tell my friends, who are not smokers, when comparing the authentic Cuban cigars to those from the black market, is like comparing a fine French or Italian wine, to a wine that is made from concentrated grape juice and water.

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