US removes limit on Cuban cigars and drinks
The Obama administration has announced that it is eliminating a $100 limit on the value of Cuban rum and cigars that American travellers can bring back from the island. It is also lifting limits on cargo ship travel between the US and Cuba and easing US and Cuban researchers’ ability to conduct joint medical research. The measures are contained in a new round of regulatory changes meant to ease US trade with Cuba. The Obama administration has now made six sets of changes loosening the US trade embargo on Cuba in hopes that the normalisation of relations with the island will not be reversed by a future administration. Cuban rum and cigars will now be subject to the same duties as alcohol and tobacco from other countries, meaning most travellers will be able to bring back as many as 100 cigars. Because high-end Cuban cigars can sell for more than $100 apiece outside Cuba, US travellers can now legally bring back many thousands of dollars of Cuban products, potentially generating hundreds of millions of dollars in new annual revenue for the Cuban state.