On October 14, the U.S. Treasury announced new amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations which will permit travelers to the United States to import Cuban-origin merchandise from third countries, such as Bermuda, for personal use. Previous regulations did not permit travelers to legally take Cuban products into the United States from any location except Cuba.
With the regulatory changes, visitors to Bermuda may purchase Cuban-origin merchandise such as alcohol or tobacco products from local vendors and take the products to the United States as accompanied baggage without value limitations. In all cases, the Cuban-origin goods must be imported for personal use, and normal limits on duty and tax exemptions will apply.
U.S. Consul General Mary Ellen Koenig commented, “I am pleased that U.S. policy has caught up with the wish of travelers to Bermuda to buy Cuban cigars and other popular products to take home for their enjoyment. These changes will benefit local vendors here in Bermuda and clear up some confusion stemming from earlier limitations on importation of Cuban goods to the United States.”
The Treasury announcement outlined a wide range of updates and changes in U.S. regulations on Cuba beyond the change on importation of Cuban goods. In making the announcement, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob L. Lew pointed to President Obama’s historic announcement in December 2014 to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba and said that these additional “steps have the potential to accelerate constructive change and unlock greater economic opportunity for Cubans and Americans.”