The importing of Cuban cigars to the U.S. is now legal, on a very small scale.
Following a series of high level talks, the United States and Cuba took major steps in restoring diplomatic relationships with eyes of ending the embargo.
The biggest news is that the countries will engage in full diplomatic relations, including a U.S. embassy in Havana, for the first time since Jan 3, 1961. For cigar smokers, there’s also a small reprieve.
American travelers will now be able to bring back $400 of goods from Cuba per trip, including $100 in alcohol and tobacco. While the price limits will make it challenging for a single person to bring back any full box of Cuban cigars, a handful of cigars is now legal. Previously, it was not only illegal for U.S. citizens to bring Cuban cigars back into the country, but a case could be made that even consuming Cuban cigars abroad could be considered a violation.
Despite the embargo, the U.S. is largely considered to be the largest market for Cuban cigars in the world and the enforcement of the law is not regularly enforced. Ironically, the holiday months are arguably the only time it is remotely challenging to procure Cuban cigars in the U.S. due to the symbolic enforcement that occurs in the months of November and December.
As for the end of the embargo against Cuba, there has been a growing belief that President Obama will attempt to make a normalization of relations between the estranged countries part of his legacy. It remains unclear if a full rollback of the embargo could occur within his final two years in office.