Cuba has implemented new rules that will restrict the personal importation of foreign goods into the country, except where locally made items are expensive and scarce.
The government says the restrictions are meant to curb abuses that have turned air travel, in particular, into a way for professional “mules” to illegally import supplies for both black-market businesses and legal private enterprises that are supposed to buy supplies from the state.
With the new guide lines in place, a list detailing the number of imported items that can be imported has been published.
According to the list, for example, 22 pounds (ten kilogrammes) of detergent will be allowed instead of 44; one set of hand tools instead of two; and 24 bras instead of 48.
The rules also state four car tyres are still permitted as are two pieces of baby furniture and two flat-screen televisions.
Cuban customs also bars passengers from bringing in items worth more than US$1,000.
Instead of examining receipts, customs agents are given a long
list assigning pre-set
values to certain goods.
The new rules simi-
larly increase the duties paid on goods shipped from abroad, another major source of foreign merchandise for the island. —CMC