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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » Bringing Havana Club to the US
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Bringing Havana Club to the US
tikifish
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2720
From: Toronto,Canada
Posted: 2004-12-28 9:59 pm   Permalink

I know it's illegal for you cats to buy Cuban rum in the US, but is it illegal for me to bring some down as a gift? I am assuming so, but just checking.

 
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PiPhiRho
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 1004
From: Redondo Beach
Posted: 2004-12-29 12:49 am   Permalink

Yes, it is illegal for you to bring it into the country. Of course, you could try and sneak it though and claim ignorance if you are caught.


 
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virani
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1437
From: Volcanic area of France
Posted: 2004-12-29 02:03 am   Permalink

Last time I came to the states, I brought some cuban cigars, and didn't have any troubles. You could try.

 
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tikibars
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2022
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2004-12-29 10:06 am   Permalink

I brought some Havana Club back from the duty free shop in Chile last month.

But I suppose that having it confiscated IS possible...

But they didn't even ask or look at what I had in my duty-free shop bag.

I could have had ten pounds of coke and an atom bomb in there and it would have been no problem.

Are you flying or driving?

I have driven across thee US/Canada border like 30 times, and have been searched twice. All the other times they just waved me through. IF you are searched, and IF you don't have more than 3 or 4 bottles, I don't think they'll notice or care.
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[ This Message was edited by: tikibars on 2004-12-30 11:14 ]


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Hale Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 19, 2004
Posts: 1798
From: Pittsburgh
Posted: 2004-12-29 12:25 pm   Permalink

Actually, its not illegal to bring cuban cigars into the US for personal use. There is a limit on how many you can bring though, I don't know how many it is. I found this out at 4AM one morning when coming from Niagara Falls back into NY.

 
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Tonnikan Jinn
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 28, 2004
Posts: 143
From: La Conchita
Posted: 2004-12-30 12:06 am   Permalink

I have been dying to get my hands (and liver) on somem good Cuban rum. I live in California, so Mexico is a hop skip and a jump away, but I don't quite trust what I get doen there.

I have seen a couple different outfits that will ship Absinthe to the US (which is also technically illegal, although I haven't tried them yet) but so far I've seen none that will do this with Cuban rum. Does anyone know of any?

-T.J.



 
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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2004-12-30 09:34 am   Permalink

Don't worry about buying Cuban Rum in Mexico. The bottles should be sealed and stamped with Cuba's export sticker. I've never seen it looking dodgy down there. I brought several bottles back from Mexico and one from the UK with no trouble. I also blind taste-tested the UK and Mexico Havana Club 7 yr to double check and they were identical. (Unless the UK stuff was also a forgery, but I HIGHLY doubt that, especially since I bought it at Fortnum & Mason.)

Buying Cuban cigars in Mexico is a whole other story. Lots of fakes out there. Go to a reputable looking store. They're not that cheap, but it's worth it. When I bring Cuban cigars back to the US, I simply remove all the packaging and labels and put them in a ziplock bag, with a mini humidifier. When I was searched at Customs and they found the bag, I just said they were from the Dominican Republic. What the fuck do they know? It's not like they're going to take one out, sniff it, and say, "Ahhh..this comes from the south end of the Vuelta Abajo. You're busted!"


 
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martiki
Official Mixologist

Joined: Mar 29, 2002
Posts: 3058
From: http://www.smugglerscovesf.com
Posted: 2004-12-30 09:36 am   Permalink

Also, you could try pouring the Havana Club into non offensive bottles of other rum, but Customs is wary of opened bottles of booze, so it would have to look sealed.

 
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Digitiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 22, 2004
Posts: 754
From: L.A. baby!
Posted: 2004-12-30 12:54 pm   Permalink

Tonnikan Jinn,
Its not a problem at all. My wife and I go down there all the time and bring back some Havana Club. The bottles are sealed. You have to be careful of prices though. Some liquor stores mark it way up, while others have it at reasonable prices. I highly recommend sprining for the 7-year old dark rum VERY TASTEY!!!


 
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Swanky
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 4965
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2004-12-31 4:53 pm   Permalink

Yes, any Cuban stuff in quantities for personal use is okay. More than a box of cigars might get you in trouble. A few bottles of rum is not a problem.
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tikifish
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2720
From: Toronto,Canada
Posted: 2004-12-31 6:19 pm   Permalink

Ah thats good. I would be flying so I know it would be searched. Driving across is no problem, they have our license on file and we must be flagged as as 'decent folks' cause they just wave us through, but flying is another matter. Thanks for the advice!

 
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Doctor Z
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 01, 2002
Posts: 1608
From: The Hale Moana Lounge, Torrance, CA
Posted: 2004-12-31 7:03 pm   Permalink

I've never had any problem bringing Havana Club back from the UK. Just be sure to pack it well in your checked bag so it doesn't break.
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JTD
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 07, 2003
Posts: 407
From: J'ville
Posted: 2005-01-01 2:53 pm   Permalink

Digitiki,
What's reasonable? $10 U.S.? I'm going to be in Monterrey later this month. I'd hate to come back empty-handed.

JTD


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3769
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2005-01-19 8:05 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2005-01-01 14:53, JTD wrote:
Digitiki,
What's reasonable? $10 U.S.? I'm going to be in Monterrey later this month. I'd hate to come back empty-handed.

JTD




I paid approximately $16.00 for a bottle at the Cancun airport.

Had to go to 4 different duty free stores to find it.


 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3769
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2005-01-19 8:07 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-12-30 12:54, Digitiki wrote:
Tonnikan Jinn,

I highly recommend sprining for the 7-year old dark rum VERY TASTEY!!!




I liked the Silver (Blanca) myself. It tasted smoother.

However, the 7 year is not bad. Somewhat of a carmel-like finish.


 
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