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Shipments to Cuba

All you need to know

Shipments to Cuba are one of the most important issues for every Cuban. Most of those who leave the island for any country, always keep in mind those they left behind and worry about sending them those things that can alleviate a problem or give them joy.

However, to send shipments to the Island, you must be well informed, so as not to waste time or money and ensure that the aid reaches your family members completely and safely.

On this page and other related pages we will provide you with all the information required to make shipments to Cuba, whether air, sea or unaccompanied baggage (ENA).

Shipments to Cuba: General Information

In order to understand what you can enter Cuba and how you pay, you have to differentiate 3 groups:

  1. Group I: Cubans who live abroad and no longer have an Identity Card: they pay all fees in CUC.
  2. Group II: Cubans who live abroad, but still maintain their Identity Card on the Island: they pay some fees in national currency and others in CUC. They can send what is known as ENA (Unaccompanied Baggage) and Household Goods.
  3. Group III: Cubans who live on the island and for any reason travel abroad: up to a certain limit they can pay the tariffs on what they import in national currency or or CUC (in the case of Unaccompanied Luggage).

Imports of a commercial nature (large quantities of the same product for resale in Cuba) are not allowed. You can send miscellaneous (see below Resolution. # 208 of the General Customs of the Republic), for whose valuation the Value / Weight alternative is used; and also household appliances, some tools and other durable items as well as their parts and pieces, which are valued individually, as established for each specific case.

The value limit of shipments is 200 points per BL (or Bill of Lading), and of these the first 30 points are free of payment.

When it comes to Miscellaneous, each BL cannot contain more than 3.3 pounds, which is equivalent to 30 points free of payment. If this weight is exceeded, then you will have to pay a value of 20 CUC for each kilogram that exceeds 3.3 pounds.

When it comes to durable articles, the equivalent of customs points will be paid for each article reduced by the 30 points free of payment.

Customs points correspond to the value in pesos that must be paid for each item to be imported.

Generally, when you send durable items to Cuba, you can send only 1 item (or 2 in some cases) to a single person. If you want to send more, you will have to specify other people, with their addresses and their identity cards, and always taking into account that they are not commercial imports.

Shipping to Cuba: Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Ship to Cuba?

Anyone, whether a Cuban citizen or not, resides outside of Cuba or resides on the Island, but is visiting abroad, can make shipments to Cuba, as long as they comply with the customs regulations in force in Cuba and the laws of the country in which the shipment originates from.

Who Can Receive Shipments in Cuba?

Any person, whether a Cuban or foreign citizen, residing temporarily or permanently in Cuba can receive shipments from abroad, as long as they comply with the established customs regulations, the corresponding taxes are paid (in CUC or national currency) and, of course, that it is nothing expressly prohibited. There are some items and equipment that, in addition to what is established by Customs, must comply with regulations established by competent bodies that must issue a prior authorization.

What items are expressly forbidden to send to Cuba?

Although this list may be incomplete, or it may vary at some point without prior notice, the prohibition of sending to Cuba includes:

– Telephone boards of all kinds.

– New freezers or freezers with a capacity greater than (7) feet.

– Freezer of use of any capacity.

– Ground stations and satellite communication terminals (includes receiving stations, parabolic antennas, their accessories and satellite phones).

– Devices for data networks (router, routers and switches).

– Cordless phones, except those that operate in the 40-49 Mhz, 2.4 Ghz and 5Ghz bands.

– Wireless microphones and their accessories.

– Wireless fax.

– Radio transmitters of any nature and service (radars, radio beacons, radio links, people finders, radio broadcasting, telemetering equipment, remote control).

– Radio transceivers, mobile fixed station equipment and walkie-talkie.

– Professional radio receivers (Different from domestic radio devices).

What items can be sent to Cuba?

All articles, equipment, etc., that can be sent to Cuba are regulated by Resolutions 206, 207, and 208 of the General Customs of the Republic of Cuba, which you can consult and download to your computer or cell phone from this same page.

What Requirements must Shipments to Cuba meet?

The requirements for shipments to Cuba are many and may vary without prior notice, or be influenced by multiple regulations, provisions or regulations at the same time, so we recommend consulting a specialist. However, the most general aspects to consider are the following:

  • They cannot exceed the value of 200 CUC or M/N per shipment.
  • All articles that are sent, even the smallest ones, must be duly declared.
  • The same article should not be sent in commercial quantities, which are established for each specific case: in most durable articles it is 1 or in some cases 2, while in miscellaneous it can be several. The most advisable thing in this case is not to reach limits that may imply a possibility of commercial resale.
What Does Unaccompanied Baggage Mean for Shipments to Cuba?

As its name indicates, it is the luggage of a traveler, which does not go with him, but is sent by sea or air independently of the issuer. We must differentiate two types of Cuban Residents with the right to Unaccompanied Baggage (ENA):

Cuban residents who travel abroad: they have the right to import once a year articles with a customs value of up to 950 points / $ 1,500 Cuban pesos in total, which include both the value of those sent as ENA, as well as the luggage that the traveler carries with him.

Cuban Residents (who have already consumed their first time in Cuban pesos) and Visitors: these can send all kinds of items subject to regular customs taxes.

To qualify as ENA it is required that:

  • The luggage arrives or leaves before or after the passenger’s departure or arrival date.
  • It belongs to a person who is actually returning to Cuba after a trip.
  • Has been embarked in the same country of origin of the passenger.
  • Has been dispatched or shipped by the passenger himself or by someone on his behalf.
  • It is consigned to the passenger himself.
  • No more than thirty days have elapsed since the date of arrival in the passenger’s country if arriving by air, nor more than sixty days if the arrival is by sea.

Shipments to Cuba: Customs Regulations

Resolution No. 206 of 2014 of the General Customs of the Republic of Cuba: Establishes the Limit for determining the commercial nature of imports made by natural persons by any means, that is, the quantities of articles or products from which the commercial nature of imports is determined.

Resolution No. 207 of 2014 of the General Customs of the Republic of Cuba: Establishes the Customs Valuation List for non-commercial imports and the General Notes for its interpretation.

Resolution No. 208 of 2014 of the General Customs of the Republic of Cuba: Determines the Alternative Value / Weight for the determination of the value in Customs (ad valorem) of the items classified as miscellaneous (footwear, clothing, food, personal and household hygiene items, costume jewelery, lingerie, perfumery and similar), which are imported non-commercially.

Resolution No. 300 of 2014 of the Ministry of Finance and Prices: Establishes the payment of customs duties for non-commercial shipments that are paid in convertible pesos (CUC).

Customs Rules Book, Current Version 2016: It includes the set of rules that every passenger should know: items exempt from payment, determination of the customs value, application of the alternative value / weight method, and much more. It is a long document, but certainly useful.

Regulations of the Receivers of the Goods

Palco regulations

PALCO is one of the receiving companies of the merchandise that you send to Cuba and has issued a series of regulations that you must know and take into account for the billing of shipments:

1. Cell phone: It is mandatory to register on the invoice at least one cell phone number for each customer. If the recipient of your shipment does not have one, they will have to put that of a friend or relative.

2. The addresses: These must be registered in full, without abbreviations or simplifications in the text, the fields must always be filled out. (The only exception in this case is the cast, which may not be set).

3.The description of the goods on the invoice: The products cannot be registered as they appear in the Customs Regulation because they can be very long and unnecessarily extend the manifests, or it can lead to errors and conjecture when the work of ungrouping and classification is carried out, in addition to unnecessary expenses of office supplies. Therefore, it must be recorded in the “description of the merchandise” field, exactly the product that is being shipped.

Example: In category Hand tools (pliers, metal brushes, cutters, screwdrivers, files and rasps, adjustable wrenches, allen wrenches, fixed wrenches, socket wrenches, socket wrenches, hammers and masses, pliers, bits and bit holders, scissors) description with the name of the tool that is being sent, do not leave it general. In the category Flat screen TVs larger than 32 inches and up to 42 inches (LCD, plasma, LED, other similar technologies) you will have to put the exact brand and size.