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Nicaraguan Cigars, Cuban Tobacco, and U.S. Customs? Legality?

Can I bring cigars bought in Nicaragua back to the U.S., if they are cuban? What if it is cuban tobacco but the cigar is rolled in Nicaragua, is that legal? Also, how many can I bring back? I think its something like 100 cigars, 200 cigarettes. My question is, can I bring back both 100 cigars and 200 cigarettes, or is it one or the other?

Yes, it's legal to bring cigars that use Cuban fillers, binders, and wrappers, as long as they're made (rolled/assembled) in a different country. Many companies use Cuban tobacco in their cigar making process, and they import to the U.S. for legal sale. (some are even made in the U.S.)
For example, Capricho Cubano's use Cuban-seed long fillers & binders and a U.S. Connecticut wrapper.
It's a loop-hole in the law. You can't buy cigars from Cuba, but cigar makers in other countries can legally use their tobacco and sell to the United States.
Here's an example of the loop-hole from the maker of Havana Honeys: http://www.njbiz.com/article.asp?aID=31155548.9956018.853983.9288861.5962575.629&aID2=65682
And Armando Ramos's Pinar line: http://www.deweyavesmokeshop.com/cigars%20cuban.htm

I'll have to get back to you on the quantity you're allowed. My father was a U.S. Customs Director for 30+ years. I'll ask him for you.

I traveled to Canada a lot, and the rule, back in the 80's, was no more than 3 cartons of cigs per person. (I never brought cigars across, sorry) If you'll be traveling with other people, have the others declare some at customs to split the amount so you can bring more over. (you didn't hear that from me) *wink* *wink*
__________________

EDIT:
I just heard back from my father. Here's the current laws on the subject...

"You can get the Pamphlet (know before you go) on-line. A US resident can bring back $800 each, not to include more then 200 cigarettes and 100 cigars. Of course they can not be made in Cuba. But, as you say, can be assembled in other countries."

You can download the PDF pamphlet here: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/kbyg/

Enjoy your cigars! (and cigs)
-vertigo

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