Are Cuban Cigars Legal in Canada? Yes, but don’t smoke in public!


Cuban cigars use authentic Cuban-grown tobacco, which is what makes them so sought-after. Perhaps you have a collection of Cuban cigars you want to import to Canada, or maybe you want to buy or sell the cigars across the border. Are Cuban cigars legal in Canada?

Cuban cigars are legal to purchase in Canada, but due to the exchange rate between Canada and Cuba as well as the taxes, the cost of purchase is quite expensive! You cannot smoke cigars in public either.

If you have questions about Cuban cigars, this article has the answers. Keep reading for plenty of information so you can be on the right side of the law if handling Cuban cigars in Canada!

Cigar-shop-Canada

Can You Bring Cuban Cigars to Canada?

Let’s say that you purchased Cuban cigars directly from Cuba (or in another part of the world where it’s legal to do so) and you want to travel with the cigars to Canada. Are you going to run into a customs nightmare if you try to import Cuban cigars?

According to the Canadian government’s webpage, you can bring tobacco products into Canada with certain restrictions, of course.

First, you must be over 18 years old, and yes, you will be expected to prove it.

Should you meet the criteria, you can take the following items into Canada without any taxes or duty paid on them, as they’re personal exemption items: 200 tobacco sticks, seven ounces or 200 grams of manufactured tobacco, 50 cigars, or 200 cigarettes.

The website doesn’t specify between Cuban cigars or any other types of cigars, so we assume that Cuban cigars should be allowed.

The page also notes that “If you include cigarettes, tobacco sticks or manufactured tobacco in your personal exemption, you may receive only a partial exemption.”

This means that unless a product says Duty Paid Canada Droit Acquitte, you’d be required to cough up for special duty.

Can You Buy Cuban Cigars in Canada?

Perhaps you came into Canada without any Cuban cigars. Since you’ve heard the cigars are legal in this country, you figure you can just stock up when you arrive.

Indeed, you can.

Something you’ll see readily throughout Canada that you’ll never spot on the streets of the United States is Cuban cigar shops. It seems like almost everywhere you look, there’s a shop.

Since many countries still ban Cuban cigars, including Canada’s neighbor the United States, of course, Canada would sell the cigars if it’s legal. It’s big business!

This may be your first time purchasing Cuban cigars, so you should be aware that they’re not priced anything close to non-Cuban cigars or cigarettes.

Cuban cigars are expensive enough on their own. Then you add Canada’s exchange rate and taxes to the matter and you’re going to pay a pretty penny to buy Cuban cigarettes in Canada.

Let’s say that a Cuban cigarette cost $11CAD. Then you have the exchange rate, which we’ll say is 25 percent for the sake of this example.

Now the price of the Cuban cigar is $13.75CAD.

Don’t forget those taxes! In Canada, cigars are taxed at a rate of at least 55 percent in addition to the retail price and can be as high as 56.6 percent according to the Ontario Ministry of Finance.

Using the Ontario Ministry of Finance tax rate of 56.6 percent, your $13.75CAD Cuban cigar with that tax added would now cost you $21.53CAD.

If the tax markup was 100 percent, the price would be at least $40CAD for one Cuban cigar.

You could easily spend $500CAD for an entire box of Cuban cigars, so be sure you have room in the budget for this tobacco product!

Can You Shop for Cuban Cigars Online in Canada?  

It only takes a quick Google search to reveal that Canada has more than the lion’s share of online Cuban cigar shops as well.

Online shopping is quick and convenient, and you can compare prices more easily than visiting a bunch of stores in person.

However, knowing what you do about how Cuban cigars aren’t legal everywhere, you can’t help but wonder if you can buy them online through a Canadian retailer.

You can, especially if you’re getting the cigars shipped to a Canadian address. Purchasing Cuban cigars online is no different than buying them in a store in Canada, and both are legal.

However, don’t assume that you can ship Cuban cigars to the United States or another part of the world where these cigars are illegal just because you’re shopping online. That’s not a good idea at all.

Can You Sell Cuban Cigars in Canada?

Let’s say that after spending a fortune on Cuban cigars in Canada, you want to turn a profit. You figure you’ll sell the cigars for a markup of what you paid so you can bring in some bank. Is this legal?

Sure! You can use sites such as eBay or Craigslist to sell your Cuban cigars if you’re truly willing to part with them.

Be sure to take high-quality photos of the box and describe the cigarettes in the listing so people know what they’re getting. You should also price your products fairly or no one is going to want to purchase them.

Of course, the biggest risk when selling Cuban cigars online is that you can’t always be sure that the buyer is in a country where the cigars are legal.

If you shipped someone Cuban cigars illegally, you could get some in serious hot water, so think twice if it’s the best way to make a couple of extra bucks.

Can You Smoke Cuban Cigars in Canada?

Perhaps you want to keep your Cuban cigars all to yourself. That’s perfectly okay!

You’d like to take them home and smoke them or maybe go for an idyllic walk around your favorite part of Canada and smoke them there.

Not so fast. Canada has very strict laws about where you can and cannot smoke Cuban cigars. That includes nearly every public place in the country.

Even if you’re smoking outdoors in public, it’s still illegal. That goes double for smoking indoors.

It’s not only Cuban cigars that Canada’s stringent smoking laws apply to, by the way. Any form of legal smoking is under the same jurisdiction.

At least you know that when you stroll through Canada, you’re not breathing in tobacco-laden air.

Limit the smoking of your Cuban cigars to inside your home and you should be okay.

Can You Bring Cuban Cigars Back From Canada?

Do you still have a couple of Cuban cigars that you didn’t finish smoking since you’ve taken the time to savor each one? You were only visiting Canada, and now it’s time to head home, and you’re curious if you can bring the Cuban cigars back with you.

That depends on where you’re going. Once again, we must make it clear that you cannot attempt to smuggle Cuban cigars into a country that doesn’t allow it such as the US.

If you get caught, the cigars will be confiscated from you, and you could be charged with a civil fine of up to $55,000.

Plus, if your case is deemed a criminal case, you’d have to undergo criminal prosecution. You could be slapped with even greater fines and/or be faced with jail time. It’s simply not worth it!

Conclusion

Cuban cigars are legal in Canada. You can buy them in this country (at quite the markup, mind you), smoke them (but only in a private place such as your home), and even sell them using the online marketplace.

What you cannot do is try to smuggle Cuban cigars into the United States or any other country that deems the cigars illegal. Enjoy your Cuban cigars in Canada and you’ll be on the right side of the law.

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John Cunningham

John is a writer, classic car and whiskey lover, men's shopping enthusiast and self appointed DIY expert. His greatest passion is repairing in the workshop, making old classics look and run like new again!

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