The year before he was assassinated on November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed the Cuban Trade Embargo, which is still in effect today. On the day before he signed the embargo into law, JFK instructed his press secretary to procure all the Cuban Petit Upmann cigars that he could find. To read more about this historic JFK cigar moment, check out our previous website at cigars.about.com.
Effective October 17, 2016, U.S. citizens who travel abroad to any country (not just Cuba) can now bring back all the Cuban cigars and rum they want to (no more $100 limit). However, the cigars and rum must be for personal use only, and cannot be resold. The same duty and tax rules will apply as for cigars and alcohol brought back from other countries (up to 100 cigars and one liter of alcohol are duty free within an $800 exemption). Cuban cigars still cannot be purchased nor sold in the United States, whether in stores, online or via mail order.
On December 17, 2014, diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba were reestablished. However, the trade embargo still remains in effect, so Cuban cigars will not be sold in the U.S. anytime soon. But guess what, there is a new provision for those who travel to Cuba. It will be legal to return to the U.S. with up to $100 worth of Cuban cigars. Yes, this means that Cuban cigars are now legal in the United States!