Cuba Culture

US Customs seizes Cuban cigars at Chicago airport

Posted December 07, 2010 by publisher in Cuba Culture.

US Customs and Border Protection officials have seized 30,000 Cuban cigars shipped from Europe to OHare Airport in Chicago over the past two weeks and are inspecting another 70,000 cigars that are believed to have originated from Cuba.

The Customs office in Chicago usually only seizes about one dozen Cuban cigars a week so a large number like 30,000 is incredible. Customs agents have never seen this level of importation of Cuban cigars. However, the possibility exists that this amount of Cuban cigar regularly made it past customs undetected but since Customs agents are more diligent due to recent explosives found in packages, agents may be inspecting more packages thus finding more Cuban cigars than ever before.

It’s illegal to import any Cuban product, with the exception of Cuban art, into the United States without a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control in the US Treasury Department.

The seized Cuban cigars will be burnt, slowly. (No, just kidding grin The cigars will most likely destroyed.

Cuban cigars are known around the world for their quality leaf and rolling construction.

On Nov. 8, the Department of Homeland Security banned shipment of parcels weighing more than 16 ounces from passenger flights, Bell said. Officials believe that because European shippers could no longer send packages to the United States via these flights, they stockpiled parcels until they could be put on cargo freighters, which fly less frequently.

“We Googled ‘buy Cuban cigars’ and found several (European) sites, the majority of which say they don’t have any trouble sending them to the U.S.,” Bell said. Some had a disclaimer saying vendors couldn’t guarantee cigars wouldn’t get seized by customs officials, he said.

Member Comments

On December 08, 2010, bernie wrote:

Crossing the Ambassador bridge in Detroit, Michigan from Canada to the USA.  Custom agent
asked me do I have anything to declare and I said, yes, a small crate of Spanish oranges, which were
promptly confiscated by the agent.  I was pissed,
parked my car by the custom office, where I could see the custom officer who stole my oranges and watched while he began to eat my oranges….
  So lets not keep spreading the bull that confiscated items are destroyed, somebody in the government will be smoking those cigars for Christmas??????

On December 18, 2010, publisher wrote:

Here’s a good report about the Cuban cigar seizures at in Chicago from The Examiner.

Bob Woods talks about the chatter from recipients and does the US government even really care about Cuban cigars coming into the US?