Recently Ministry of Cigars got confronted with the wild range of different rules and regulations for cigars while traveling internationally. Most countries in the world have an allowance to bring in cigars for personal consumption. It ranges from no allowance at all, to a no limit as long as the boxes are open and it’s for personal consumption. Some countries measure by numbers, others by weight, some in grams in the metric system, others by pounds in the imperial system.
Now even though there are limits to the duty-free allowance, it doesn’t mean you can’t bring in cigars at all. Just declare them, and after paying tax, you can bring in the cigars anyway. Our advice is to play by the rules. Don’t be a dumbass and risk a fine, or even be arrested and trialed for smuggling. It’s not worth your time, or your reputation.
In a series of articles, we dive into the allowances per country, categorized by continent. We started with Europe, then we went to Asia, Africa, Oceania and today we dive into the regulations of North America.
North America is where most of the premium cigars come from. North America is more than Canada and the U.S.A and even includes some territories. As far as duty-free allowances, there’s little difference, from 25 to 100 cigars but no country in North America has a zero tolerance.
And then there is the difference between cigars and cigarillos. Some countries specify that on their duty-free regulations. Small cigars that weigh less than 3 grams each are considered cigarillos.
Now note: all these numbers are the allowance when you bring in cigars personally. The rules and regulations on postal shipments are different.
Anguilla is a British territory and has the same allowance as the U.K. 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos.
Antigua & Barbuda
Antigua & Barbuda have a duty free limit of 50 cigars.
The tropical Dutch territory Aruba, where Aruhiba cigars are made, has a lower duty-free limit than The Netherlands. Only 25 cigars or 50 cigarillos are allowed to be brought in duty-free.
The duty-free allowance of the Bahamas is 50 cigars.
Barbados has no duty free limit as long as the cigars are for personal use
Bermuda has a duty free allowance of 50 cigars.
Belize has a duty free allowance of 50 cigars.
The Dutch Caribbean island has an allowance of 25 cigars or 50 cigarillos.
British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands has a duty free allowance of 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos.
Canada has a duty free allowance of 50 cigars.
The Cayman Islands have a duty free allowance of 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos just like the motherland of the United Kingdom.
The fifth premium cigar producer of the world has a duty free allowance of 50 cigars.
Cuba is ground zero for cigars. This is where it all began, and according to some, it’s still the best place to grow tobacco and make cigars. To others, it’s nothing but old glory faded away. You can bring 50 cigars into Cuba, duty-free.
Part of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. It allows 50 cigars duty-free or 100 cigarillos
Not to be mistaken for the Dominican Republic. Dominicana allows 50 cigars duty-free.
One box of cigars can be brought to the Dominican Republic duty-free. The customs regulations don’t mention if there is a maximum size to the box.
You can bring in 25 cigars into El Salvador before you have to pay tax.
The Danish territory allows 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos duty-free.
The duty-free allowance for Grenada is 25 cigars.
Guadeloupe is a French territory and has the same duty free allowance as France. 50 cigars of 100 cigarillos. The EU members allowance does not apply.
You can bring in 500 grams of cigars or cigarillos duty-free into Guatemala
Haiti has a 50 cigar allowance duty-free. Anything over has to be declared.
One of the top five premium cigar producing countries in the world has a duty free allowance of 100 cigars.
Jamaica used to be a player in the cigar industry but that a thing of the past. Jamaica has a duty free allowance of 50 cigars.
The French territory Martinique has a duty free allowance of 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos.
Mexico allows 50 cigars to be brought in duty-free.
This British territory follows the British rules of 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos. No exceptions for flights coming in from EU members.
In numbers most likely to be the #1 premium cigar producing country in the world. It has an allowance of 500 grams of tobacco. And you might ask, why bring cigars into Nicaragua? Well, in our experience there aren’t many cigar shops around. Not even in the cigar capital of the world Esteli. Cigars are a luxury item, not affordable for most of the Nicaraguan people.
We could not find any information about duty-free allowance of cigars in Panama. We reached out to the authorities and we are awaiting an answer.
Puerto Rico has the same duty free allowance as the USA, 100 cigars.
One of the Dutch overseas islands. It has a smaller allowance than The Netherlands, half of it exactly. 25 cigars or 50 cigarillos.
Saint Barthelemy is a French territory and has the same duty free allowance as France. 50 cigars of 100 cigarillos. The EU members allowance does not apply.
Saint Kitts & Nevis
Saint Kitts & Nevis has a duty free allowance of 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos
Saint Lucia has an allowance of 25 cigars or 50 cigarillos.
Saint Martin is a French territory and has the same duty free allowance as France. 50 cigars of 100 cigarillos. The EU members allowance does not apply.
Saint Pierre & Miquelon
Saint Pierre & Miquelon has a duty free allowance of 75 cigars and 150 cigarillos.
Saint Vincent & The Grenadines
Saint Vincent & The Grenadines have a duty free allowance of 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos.
Another Dutch overseas territory, it allows 25 cigars or 50 cigarillos.
Sint Maarten is a Dutch territory. Part of the island is French territory and named Saint Martin. The duty-free allowance is 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos. Since the allowance is the same for the French part, it doesn’t matter where you land on the island.
Trinidad & Tobago
Trinidad & Tobago allows 50 cigars duty-free or 100 cigarillos.
Turks & Caicos Islands
A British territory. It allows 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos.
United States of America
Visitors can bring in 100 cigars duty-free up to a value of 800 US Dollar. Even Cuban cigars can be brought in nowadays, but only for personal consumption.
U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands have the same duty free allowance as the U.S.A.
Next week we explore the final continent: South America