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Introduction

Welcome to this special Stogie Geeks Shorts. We call this the Pre Post Cuban Embargo. In this segment we tell you where things stand in terms of the easing and lifting of the Cuban Embargo, give you a look at the roadmap area, and discuss some of the reaction of the cigar community.

Timeline

  • 1962 Embargo
  • Back in December 2014, initial steps were made to restore diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. As a part of that those initial steps, U.S. citizens visiting the island nation were allowed to bring back $400.00 of goods, for which $100.00 could be used for cigars and alcohol. Those steps marked the first time since the Cuban embargo was enacted in 1962 where U.S. citizens could bring back any amount of those types of goods. Now the restrictions are being further eased as the monetary limits have been removed.
  • Effective October 17 2016, you can now bring back products

Understanding the Cuban Cigar Industry

  • There is a company called Cubatabaco that owns the production of Cuban Cigars. In 1994, the Habanos SA was formed.
  • Habanos SA as the distribution arm of Cubatabaco products and it handles distribution both in Cuba and internationally.
  • Fifty percent of Habanos SA is owned by Cuban government owned Cubatabaco and fifty percent is owned by the Spanish based Imperial Tobacco (Altadis).
  • Habanos SA exports to one company in each country to prevent counterfeiting and it owns the trademarks in each of the countries
  • The Steps

    • Distribution must be established
    • Products must now satisfy FDA Regulatory Requirements

    Retailer Reaction

  • Boutique versus non Boutique
  • Retailers Fine
  • Post Embargo Woes: Internet