Frequently Asked Questions

769. What types of Cuban-origin goods are authorized for importation directly into the United States?

Answer

Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction authorized to travel to Cuba may import into the United States as accompanied baggage merchandise acquired in Cuba provided that the merchandise is for personal use only. Please note that, as of September 24, 2020, this authorization no longer applies to the import into the United States of Cuban-origin alcohol or tobacco products. See 31 CFR § 515.560. Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction located in third countries may purchase or acquire Cuban-origin merchandise and may import such merchandise into the United States as accompanied baggage provided that the merchandise is for personal use only; however, effective September 24, 2020, this authorization excludes imports into the United States of Cuban-origin alcohol or tobacco products. See 31 CFR § 515.585. Foreign persons traveling to the United States from a third country may import into the United States as accompanied baggage Cuban-origin merchandise provided that the merchandise is not in commercial quantities, is not imported for resale, and does not include alcohol or tobacco products. See 31 CFR § 515.569. In addition, Cuban nationals who are present in the United States in a non-immigrant status or pursuant to other non-immigrant travel authorization issued by the U.S. government are no longer authorized to bring Cuban-origin alcohol or tobacco products for personal use as accompanied baggage. See 31 CFR § 515.571. Normal limits on duty and tax exemptions for merchandise imported as accompanied baggage will apply. 

Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are also authorized to import certain goods produced by independent Cuban entrepreneurs as determined by the State Department, as set forth in the State Department’s Section 515.582 list. If these goods are for personal use, certain personal exemptions from U.S. Customs and Border Protection may apply.

Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are also authorized to import Cuban-origin software, including Cuban-origin mobile applications. See 31 CFR § 515.578.

The importation into the United States of merchandise from Cuba or Cuban-origin merchandise from a third country intended as gifts is authorized, provided that the value of the merchandise is not more than $100, the merchandise is of a type and in quantities normally given as gifts between individuals, the merchandise is sent and not carried by a traveler, and the merchandise is not alcohol or tobacco products. For a complete description of what this general license authorizes and the restrictions that apply, see 31 CFR § 515.544.

The importation into the United States from Cuba of information and informational materials is exempt from the prohibitions of the CACR. The definition of “information and informational materials” may be found at 31 CFR § 515.332.

Date Released
September 23, 2020