Entering the country
All visitors of the country are required to present a valid passport and a tourist card, which is available from the airline’s office at the airport. For those who are planning to do business, work or study in Cuba, a visa is required. Application is at the Consulate General of Cuba.
There are 15 airports in Cuba including 10 international airports that service more than 85 airlines from 73 countries. The 5 local airports offer domestic charters and air taxis.
List of Ports that process international travelers in their own vessel:
• Hemingway Marina, Havana
• Darsena, Chapelin and Gaviota Marinas, Varadero
• Cayo Coco-Cayo Guillermo Marina, Jardines del Rey Archipelago
• Gaviota Bahía de Naranjo Marina, Holguín Province
Procedure for arriving by sea:
• María La Gorda International Scuba-Diving Center, Pinar del Río Province
• Cayo Largo del Sur Marina and Punta Gorda Marina, Santiago de Cuba Province
Any sea vessel coming in by sea must communicate with Cuban port authorities before entering jurisdictional waters of Cuba which begins at:
• 12 nautical miles from the insular shelf – over one of these channels
• HF channel (SSB) 2760 National Coastal Network
• HF channel (SSB) 2790 Tourist Network
• VHF channel 68 National Coastal Network
• VHF channel 16 Tourist Network
VCR and DVD players are allowed into Cuba
The following information are to be correctly provided to Port authorities:
• Name of yacht
• Port of registry
• Last port of call
• Port of arrival
• Estimated time of arrival (ETA)
• Type of craft
• Color of craft
• Number of persons on board.
Walkie-talkies are allowed into Cuba
Instructions will be given by port authorities. They are to be strictly followed. All passengers are to remain on board until all legal procedures are done.
For those flying in to Cuba on a private plane, an operational request for flight plan approval must be sent to:
Régimen de Vuelos de Aeronáutica Civil de Cuba, La Habana
Telex: 51727 ACVCU
The following specifics are required:
• Ownership status: privately owned or otherwise
• Type of aircraft
• Registration number and class
• starting point
• Pilot’s name
• Expected date, place and time of arrival
• Objective of the trip.
Getting through customs when entering and leaving Cuba should not much of a trouble as long as visitors have the necessary requirements and have followed protocols.
Key information to remember:
The importation of narcotic drugs, pornographic materials, firearms, and live animals are prohibited by Cuban custom laws. Firearms may be authorized by the organization in charge of this tourist activity as it relates to sport hunting. Possession, consumption and trafficking of narcotic drugs and other illicit substances are to be dealt in accordance with Cuban laws, except for drugs for personal use as prescribed and attested by a physician.
Travelers to Cuba are allowed to bring in all manner of personal effects, including video and still cameras, personal electronic devices, jewelry, and sports equipment. Also allowed are duty free items, a carton of cigarettes, and two bottles of liquor and up to 10kg of medicine as long as there are in their original packaging.
Narcotics (illegal drugs) and firearms, except for those authorized hunting weapons, are prohibited from entering the country. There is no restriction on the amount of money a visitor can bring into Cuba but any amount over $5,000 must be declared.
On May 1, 2007, Cuban customs has lifted the ban on the importation of DVD and VCR players. Visitors may now import personal laptops, MP3 players, flash sticks, cellular phones, smart phones, film cameras, sports equipment, satellite equipment, and GPS mechanisms.
Personal effects such as electric shaver, hair dryer, binoculars, tape recorder, a portable radio receiver, one portable music instruments as well as new or use articles needed for the duration of stay in Cuba, are allowed.
It is now legal to import up to CUC$1,000 worth of any product. A 100% duty on all but the first CUC$50 worth of merchandise is applicable. Generally, most visitors can bring in reasonable quantities of basic goods, like dried foods, vitamins, pharmaceuticals, and household supplies, without them being confiscated or taxed.
Since December 20, 2007, walkie-talkies can be brought in by travelers as long as they are registered at the customs when entering Cuba. Travelers must bring them back with them upon leaving the country.
Prohibited items include narcotics, explosives, pornography and all items (literature included) intended to be used against national security, plants and animals under the regulation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, household cordless phone that operate in bands other than 40-49 MHz and 2,4 and 5 GHz and household appliances such as: air-conditioners, freezers, electric kitchens and furnaces, electric showers, electric ovens, electric fryers, electric water heaters, irons, toaster and all other spare electrical parts of items mentioned.
For more information and complete list of the prohibited articles, go to: www.aduana.co.cu
Departure tax at the airport for exiting travelers is CUC$25. Visitors are allowed to take out 1.14 liters of liquor (or two 750 ml bottles) and 23 cigars. Other export items such as antiques and art works must have permit from the National Registry of Cultural Objects. Legitimate vendors of such items have such permits and will be able to officially stamp receipts.
Based on the Convention on International Trading in Endangered Species (CITES) it is prohibited to take out indigenous flora and fauna; preserved or live specimens; and any other article made from part of endangered species. In the case of articles made from species approved by CITES Administration Authority in Cuba, visitors may take them out of Cuba.