Global demand for Cuban cigars continues to grow hand in hand with the thriving counterfeit cigar market. Cigar Aficionado magazine estimates that 80 to 90 percent of Cuban Cigars sold in the United States are counterfeit cigars. Many vendors may be unaware they may infact be selling counterfeit Cuban cigars.
There are many ways to ensure that the cigars purchased are infact authentic. So how does one detect a counterfeit cigar ?
One of the most important things to remember when buying Cuban cigar is this one basic rule: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is !”
One of the easiest ways to spot a fake Cuban cigar is to inspect the band. The bands should have a solid colour and be consistently the same.
The cigar wrapper shouldn't have large veins as all veins should be very fine. The cigars should also be the same size and within 1/16th of an inch of each other. This is also one of the easiest ways to spot a counterfeit.
Cuban cigars are now legal in the United States when it comes to traveling abroad and bringing them back into the country for personal use. However, if U.S. citizens attempt to sell Cuban cigars within the United States, they may be subject to fines and other penalties.
The new guidelines for Cuban cigars mandate that the cigars you bring back from your trip have to be for personal consumption and not for any type of reselling purposes. The monetary value cap on goods allowed in from Cuba has been lifted, with some caveats. The returning U.S. resident, who's 21 years old or older, can bring back up to 50 cigars, the law says.
The cap on purchased items without having to pay a customs duty is $800 in value. After that cap, there is a fee for travelers to pay to import the goods. Previously, Americans could bring back not more than $100 worth of alcohol and tobacco products combined and $400 of purchased items.
Cigar smokers who want to try a Cuban cigar may do so in Cuba and in additional countries while traveling. For example, Canada and Mexico are not very far from many American cities, and those who are planning a Caribbean cruise will find Cuban cigars for sale on many of the islands. There is, however, a problem with counterfeit Cuban cigars being sold to American tourists. To improve the chances of getting the real thing, make your purchase from a reputable cigar store and not one of the many street vendors that you will see near the port.