A Legal Way To Smoke A Cuban Cigar

Americans can now legally purchase Cuban cigars from retailers in third-party countries, such as this Casa del Habano located in Dubai.
Americans can now legally purchase Cuban cigars from retailers in third-party countries, such as this Casa del Habano located in Dubai.


Are you an American traveling to London, Montreal or Paris? That Cuban cigar you're eyeing in the shop window will be legal to smoke tomorrow.

Today the U.S. Government announced changes to the longstanding ban on Cuban goods, including the nation's legendary cigars. Starting on March 16, Americans located in a third-party country are no longer prohibited from buying or acquiring Cuban-origin goods or services for personal consumption while traveling abroad. Previously, it was illegal for American citizens to buy Cuban cigars in another country.

That means you can now legally smoke that Cohiba in the Lanesborough Hotel in London, enjoy that Regional Edition Edmundo Dantes while on the beach in Cancún and have that Monte 2 after dinner in St. Barth's—with a glass (or two) of Havana Club 7 year old rum.

The changes come as President Obama is preparing for his landmark visit to Cuba next week.

The embargo remains in effect, and Americans are still prohibited from bringing Cuban cigars into the country (save for a mere $100 worth on authorized visits to Cuba from the United States) and the shipping of Cuban goods to the United States from anywhere remains off limits.

This is a breaking story with much more to come. Visit cigaraficionado.com to stay abreast of all things relating to Cuba.

Gregory Mottola March 16, 2016 5:35pm ET
Many people never even knew that this law was on the books in the first place. Here's the old law below, just for a bit of perspective. It's from section 515.204 of OFAC's Code of Federal Regulations (CAFR) before the amendments were made.

No person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States may purchase, transport, import, or otherwise deal in or engage in any transaction with respect to any merchandise outside the United States if such merchandise:
(1) Is of Cuban origin; or
(2) Is or has been located in or trans-
ported from or through Cuba; or
(3) Is made or derived in whole or in
part of any article which is the growth,
produce or manufacture of Cuba.
joe akers March 16, 2016 8:16pm ET
Never heard of a US citizen being fined or arrested for consuming a glass of Havana Club rum or smoking a Cuban cigar while outside the US.
Tony Judice Ivyland, PA, United States, March 20, 2016 7:01pm ET
Spent time in Mexico last spring and just returned from Londonand Germany. In all places I purchased and smoked a Cuban cigar. This article is news to me.
GARY CLEAVES NEW GLOUCESTER, MAINE, USA, March 24, 2016 1:04pm ET
It's funny how many people don't understand what an "EMBARGO" on a nation means! Either that or they were just plain horrible in history class!
Then again actually admitting that you broke the law says a little as well!
It would be pretty hard for anyone to actually get in trouble while being in another country and lighting up a true hand rolled Cuban cigar. Unless a U.S. fed or the like was standing by you at the time and really wanted to push the issue, But nonetheless if a person were to follow the true guidelines of being a patriot to his/her country they wouldn't buy things from any country that was under an "EMBARGO!" The reason being that when you buy that item from hence country you are supporting them financially in which allows them to pay for things we (US) don't want them to be able to pay for!
Though it has been over 50 years in this particular case and it does make that forbidden fruit that much more desirable!
On the bright side things are changing and for a person that enjoys a true Cuban cigar! For all those that desire that forbidden fruit it's now legally possible with a short trip! Bad news a hundred bucks won't bring much back in the way of truly good smokes, But that doesn't mean you can't smoke the hell outta them while your there!
Happy smokin'....
daniel nist pittsburgh, pa , usa, March 30, 2016 10:03am ET
Hopefully , we will be able to bring them home from other country's, and with the same limits imposed on other cigars.

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