Recommended Posts

LCDH, and most stores you can use a non-US based credit card or buy an MLC card ($5) and load it with any currency from their list. Cuba is basically cashless so the locals don't have an opportunity to make any money on your money. Bodegas, Paladares, taxi drivers, casa particular, farmers market will be in Cuban Pesos (physical cash). But they will try to sway you into paying with other currencies as they can flip it easily. In the Duty Free Shops on the way out is the only place I heard you can use Canadian $, Euro in physical cash. Funny thing is, you can use your US based credit card to pay for the CPR test before you leave. John 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, JohnnyO said:

Hello all, hope all is well with everyone and their families. Most of us are aware of the most recent changes in the popular currency to be used in Cuba, the Euro. However, what was not certain is the exchange rates and what does MLC mean in real dollars? You will all remember the 20% fee charged for the CUC about 10-15 years ago. There was a way around that as there was always a local willing to give you a better rate. Now the new MLC cards/system is the ultimate Jedi-mind-trick. Whatever currency you deposit into your MLC card you will have a MLC "value" that is somewhat parallel to the USD. At this point Cuba scores their first commission. In LCDH's or any other store prices are posted with a USD Dollar ($) sign. This misleads the buyer into believing that the price posted is in MLC's, when its actually in Euros. For example, a buddy who is down there just purchased some Punch La Isla with a pricetag of $145. Upon checking his balance, the purchase was for $181. He consulted the Cuban bank and they told him the difference was due to the banks they deal with are in Euros. So, the Euros that were devalued and converted into MLC's are now discounted another 25%. Mind you, the Punch Islas were 110 CUC in January. Similar currency manipulations have been made on other basic food products for the locals. I would think that Euro credit card holders would not be hit as hard, providing that they are aware that prices are in Euros and not MLC. John


Would the best option be to load USD in the first transaction, then, or are they not accepting USD?

What a scam! 🇨🇺 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, La_Tigre said:

Would the best option be to load USD in the first transaction, then, or are they not accepting USD?

If I read John right yes, you can load your MLC card with any currency but posted prices in MLC have a $, not a €, so it appears to the naive tourist that the MLC is similar to the old USD-pegged CUC, but in reality it's effectively pegged to Euro which is revealed when you get your transaction record and the "adjustments" are made by the MLC czar.

I guess it really doesn't matter since you'd have to exchange your USD for EUR anyway at 1.19:1. It's just that the posted MLC prices are deceptive. We just need to keep in mind that MLC prices are in EUR despite the $ sign. 

7 hours ago, JohnnyO said:

or buy an MLC card ($5) and load it with any currency

John, I'm assuming you can't buy an MLC card with CUP? So there really is no exchange rate between CUP and MLC? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

If I read John right yes, you can load your MLC card with any currency but posted prices in MLC have a $, not a €, so it appears to the naive tourist that the MLC is similar to the old USD-pegged CUC, but in reality it's effectively pegged to Euro which is revealed when you get your transaction record and the "adjustments" are made by the MLC czar.

I guess it really doesn't matter since you'd have to exchange your USD for EUR anyway at 1.19:1. It's just that the posted MLC prices are deceptive. We just need to keep in mind that MLC prices are in EUR despite the $ sign. 

John, I'm assuming you can't buy an MLC card with CUP? So there really is no exchange rate between CUP and MLC? 

I guess what we’re getting at…are they bracing you for conversion from € to $MLC in the card then conversion back from $MLC to pay in €? Does the 100€ actually load as $118MLC?

It seems they are definitely up charging the conversion on the actual sale if 145€ ends up being $185.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, La_Tigre said:

I guess what we’re getting at…are they bracing you for conversion from € to $MLC in the card then conversion back from $MLC to pay in €? Does the 100€ actually load as $118MLC?

It seems they are definitely up charging the conversion on the actual sale if 145€ ends up being $185.

Yes, as I read it your 100 € would load as ~119 MLC. But then you buy something with a price tag of "$100", and were led to believe the MLC is pegged to USD, but the debit comes in at 119 MLC. 

So even if you bring EUR and load EUR onto the MLC card they're still going to ding you for the "conversion" from MLC back to EUR even though you gave them EUR in the first place. Because once you load the MLC they don't know whether you loaded it with USD, EUR or AUD, and therefore the assumption that it needs to be converted back into EUR. And yes, even if you gave them EUR they will apparently charge you 20% to convert your EUR to...EUR? Wow.

First, why would it cost the government 20% to convert any currency to EUR? So the amount of the fee itself is outrageous. Second, they should just raise prices up front instead of adding a back door fee in the transaction after the fact. In other words, just make the price of the Punch La Isla $181 (MLC) instead of $145 with a $36 back door fee. 

Taking a reasonable cut like 3% or gouging up front is one thing but charging people more than a posted price after the fact is flat-out theft. It's about as dirty as it gets and it's low, even for this criminal regime. 

So basically, Cuba is in such bad shape that they need to tax every transaction 25%. And it appears based on John's report of the current price of the Punch La Isla that they've raised prices already by 40%. If that's true cigars in Cuba won't be much if any less than the worldwide price. Cigars like Monte 2 were already around $220/box. 40% increase is $300? Rob's got them cheaper. 

Cuba is now trying to screw the tourists--the people they desperately need. With higher prices and hidden fees why would anyone outside of cigar people ever visit? As if there aren't dozens of alternatives in the Caribbean. 

Hate to say it but it looks like Diaz-Canel is far worse than the Castros ever were outside of the early 60s. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, NSXCIGAR said:

Yes, as I read it your 100 € would load as ~119 MLC. But then you buy something with a price tag of "$100", and were led to believe the MLC is pegged to USD, but the debit comes in at 119 MLC. 

So even if you bring EUR and load EUR onto the MLC card they're still going to ding you for the "conversion" from MLC back to EUR even though you gave them EUR in the first place. Because once you load the MLC they don't know whether you loaded it with USD, EUR or AUD, and therefore the assumption that it needs to be converted back into EUR. And yes, even if you gave them EUR they will apparently charge you 20% to convert your EUR to...EUR? Wow.

First, why would it cost the government 20% to convert any currency to EUR? So the amount of the fee itself is outrageous. Second, they should just raise prices up front instead of adding a back door fee in the transaction after the fact. In other words, just make the price of the Punch La Isla $181 (MLC) instead of $145 with a $36 back door fee. 

Taking a reasonable cut like 3% or gouging up front is one thing but charging people more than a posted price after the fact is flat-out theft. It's about as dirty as it gets and it's low, even for this criminal regime. 

So basically, Cuba is in such bad shape that they need to tax every transaction 25%. And it appears based on John's report of the current price of the Punch La Isla that they've raised prices already by 40%. If that's true cigars in Cuba won't be much if any less than the worldwide price. Cigars like Monte 2 were already around $220/box. 40% increase is $300? Rob's got them cheaper. 

Cuba is now trying to screw the tourists--the people they desperately need. With higher prices and hidden fees why would anyone outside of cigar people ever visit? As if there aren't dozens of alternatives in the Caribbean. 

Hate to say it but it looks like Diaz-Canel is far worse than the Castros ever were outside of the early 60s. 

Agreed. Ain't nobody trying to defend the currency price discrepancy nonsense or any of the MLC nonsense. A cashless society is a controlled society....🤔

Attempting to talk around the best method for your buck so that everyone knows what dance to dance when the time comes for a visit. Avoiding the exchange in both directions is the major goal. Load what will not be converted and exchanged for a percentage on the front and spend all of what you load.

Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, La_Tigre said:

Attempting to talk around the best method for your buck so that everyone knows what dance to dance when the time comes for a visit. Avoiding the exchange in both directions is the major goal.

The question I wasn't clear on from John's post was if foreign credit cards are even still accepted or if all money spent must be in MLC.

If your own cards can still be accepted than I would think the Cuban bank MLC conversion charge could be avoided. 

And I'd like to know if MLC can be purchased with CUP. If not, then the Cubans can't even use their own currency. How does that work? 

And is there still a demand for USD on the island and can you get a better deal on buying MLC on the black market?

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, La_Tigre said:


Would the best option be to load USD in the first transaction, then, or are they not accepting USD?

What a scam! 🇨🇺 

You have to buy the MLC card in the airport for $5, but that would be 5 Euros I think. You can buy the card in the city in the CADECAS (exchange houses) but those would be limited hours and would have longer lines. Then you can load the card in amounts of $200, $500 or $1000, once again they are misleading with the $ sign as it is really Euros. It expires in 2 years. If you re-load it you extend the expiration date. You must load it in Euro, Canadian $, Pounds Sterling (GB), Japase Yen, Mexican Peso, and Crowns from Norway, Sweden, Denmark. There may be other currencies, just cant remember. The amount you have in your account is now MLC, which is really Euros. They make a commission converting your Euros/Can$ etc to their MLC as their MLC is worth more than your currency. No USD can be loaded to the card, USD is not really desired in Cuba but there is a market for it. John

 

20 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

If I read John right yes, you can load your MLC card with any currency but posted prices in MLC have a $, not a €, so it appears to the naive tourist that the MLC is similar to the old USD-pegged CUC, but in reality it's effectively pegged to Euro which is revealed when you get your transaction record and the "adjustments" are made by the MLC czar.

I guess it really doesn't matter since you'd have to exchange your USD for EUR anyway at 1.19:1. It's just that the posted MLC prices are deceptive. We just need to keep in mind that MLC prices are in EUR despite the $ sign. 

John, I'm assuming you can't buy an MLC card with CUP? So there really is no exchange rate between CUP and MLC? 

 

CUP cant be converted into MLC. MLC values can only be achieved by foreign currencies of true value except the USD. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/10/2021 at 1:06 PM, JohnnyO said:

But they will try to sway you into paying with other currencies as they can flip it easily.

This is the most important sentence in the thread, to me.

If the locals still want hard currency, and no exchange (theft) from the government is required to give them hard currency, than what's the problem? Cuba has been stealing tourist's money with fee's like this for years. So I've avoided the Cuban banking system entirely. 

Have the foreign currencies actually been devalued in the real (black) market? I know that was the goal of this most recent round of "financial engineering" but it seems like the demand for foreign, hard, currency has only increased. Both from the Government and the Citizens. 

On 10/10/2021 at 10:24 AM, JohnnyO said:

Mind you, the Punch Islas were 110 CUC in January.

Yup, that was the price since launch, I thought the original price hike was designed to make up for the "new" exchange rates. But it looks like they're now catching a piece of the action on both the exchange and the purchase. Wow. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, La_Tigre said:

I guess what we’re getting at…are they bracing you for conversion from € to $MLC in the card then conversion back from $MLC to pay in €? Does the 100€ actually load as $118MLC?

It seems they are definitely up charging the conversion on the actual sale if 145€ ends up being $185.

The other issue is their Euro is at 1.25

 

15 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

Yes, as I read it your 100 € would load as ~119 MLC. But then you buy something with a price tag of "$100", and were led to believe the MLC is pegged to USD, but the debit comes in at 119 MLC. 

So even if you bring EUR and load EUR onto the MLC card they're still going to ding you for the "conversion" from MLC back to EUR even though you gave them EUR in the first place. Because once you load the MLC they don't know whether you loaded it with USD, EUR or AUD, and therefore the assumption that it needs to be converted back into EUR. And yes, even if you gave them EUR they will apparently charge you 20% to convert your EUR to...EUR? Wow.

First, why would it cost the government 20% to convert any currency to EUR? So the amount of the fee itself is outrageous. Second, they should just raise prices up front instead of adding a back door fee in the transaction after the fact. In other words, just make the price of the Punch La Isla $181 (MLC) instead of $145 with a $36 back door fee. 

Taking a reasonable cut like 3% or gouging up front is one thing but charging people more than a posted price after the fact is flat-out theft. It's about as dirty as it gets and it's low, even for this criminal regime. 

So basically, Cuba is in such bad shape that they need to tax every transaction 25%. And it appears based on John's report of the current price of the Punch La Isla that they've raised prices already by 40%. If that's true cigars in Cuba won't be much if any less than the worldwide price. Cigars like Monte 2 were already around $220/box. 40% increase is $300? Rob's got them cheaper. 

Cuba is now trying to screw the tourists--the people they desperately need. With higher prices and hidden fees why would anyone outside of cigar people ever visit? As if there aren't dozens of alternatives in the Caribbean. 

Hate to say it but it looks like Diaz-Canel is far worse than the Castros ever were outside of the early 60s. 

MC #2 is already in the $300's in the LCDH. But when you convert Euro to MLC back to Euro that box would be closer to $400 US

 

13 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

The question I wasn't clear on from John's post was if foreign credit cards are even still accepted or if all money spent must be in MLC.

If your own cards can still be accepted than I would think the Cuban bank MLC conversion charge could be avoided. 

And I'd like to know if MLC can be purchased with CUP. If not, then the Cubans can't even use their own currency. How does that work? 

And is there still a demand for USD on the island and can you get a better deal on buying MLC on the black market?

Foreign credit cards are still accepted in Cuba, they charge you a conversion fee of what they feel your Euro is worth. MLC is not a physical cash, only electronic. John

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, JohnnyO said:

MC #2 is already in the $300's in the LCDH. But when you convert Euro to MLC back to Euro that box would be closer to $400 US

Wow. So now cigars in Cuba are higher than the worldwide price. And I'm assuming all prices for goods and services tourists buy are just as high now.

They've just made the one place most desperate for tourists the least desirable tourist destination. 

27 minutes ago, Corylax18 said:

Yup, that was the price since launch, I thought the original price hike was designed to make up for the "new" exchange rates. But it looks like they're now catching a piece of the action on both the exchange and the purchase. Wow. 

Yes, those 2020 price hikes were intended to make up for the devalued CUC. CUC was trading at 1.5 to the dollar and everyone knew it, so priced in USD, EUR actually remained about the same. But they kept the higher price but pegged the price to EUR making prices too high. 

This must be an oversight on their part. There's no way anyone is going to buy anything, particularly cigars, at those prices. They're going to have to adjust them and they'll find out quickly in November when people start coming back. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, NSXCIGAR said:

This must be an oversight on their part.

Hahaha. If I had dollar for every time someone said that about the Cuban government..............

I would be surprised if they ever went back down, officially. As we've seen over the last 18 months, demand has outstripped supply at nearly any price level. Warehouses are empty, I'm guessing LCDH's aren't overflowing either. I dont know why anyone thinks this world wide inflation is going away any time soon, I would get used to it. Dont forget, the US Dollar was devalued roughly 40% last year too. I dont think we're going to see any meaningful reduction in pricing until the whole thing implodes. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Hahaha. If I had dollar for every time someone said that about the Cuban government..............
I would be surprised if they ever went back down, officially. As we've seen over the last 18 months, demand has outstripped supply at nearly any price level. Warehouses are empty, I'm guessing LCDH's aren't overflowing either. I dont know why anyone thinks this world wide inflation is going away any time soon, I would get used to it. Dont forget, the US Dollar was devalued roughly 40% last year too. I dont think we're going to see any meaningful reduction in pricing until the whole thing implodes. 

This is absolutely crazy. Who knows, they may quickly see and supply and demand levels out that at those prices, who would buy them at more expensive prices on the island. The switch to NCs is on the way.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Corylax18 said:

Hahaha. If I had dollar for every time someone said that about the Cuban government..............

I would be surprised if they ever went back down, officially. As we've seen over the last 18 months, demand has outstripped supply at nearly any price level. Warehouses are empty, I'm guessing LCDH's aren't overflowing either. I dont know why anyone thinks this world wide inflation is going away any time soon, I would get used to it. Dont forget, the US Dollar was devalued roughly 40% last year too. I dont think we're going to see any meaningful reduction in pricing until the whole thing implodes. 

Well, since these prices would be above worldwide prices we know that supply and/or inflation isn't the issue. And it wasn't the dollar that was devalued--it was the CUC that had been overvalued. They had to raise prices in late 2020 because anyone could get 1.6 CUC for $1. 

And I wouldn't be surprised if the LCDHs were overflowing. No one's been there to buy anything and unless they're clearing out LCDHs to send that stock overseas there should be plenty there. And the issue was supply just as much as it was transportation off the island so I don't think clearing out the LCDHs would have changed much.

This is simply the regime trying to bleed tourists dry. To them, I say good luck with that. But I have a feeling the government might not realize what's about to happen. If you think LCDHs are low on stock wait a few months when they aren't selling a darn thing except to Canadians and British. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

An interesting related article on eliminating cash money in Cuba :

 

Lucy: the computer application that aims to revitalize totalitarianism in Cuba

The day when the government eliminates paper money may seem far off, but it is not; Castroism has been taking steps in his direction for years, touting its economic benefits, which prevents us from seeing the political threat it poses.

https://diariodecuba.com/economia/1633974362_34732.html

 

Rafaela Cruz
La Habana 11 Oct 2021 - 19:46 CEST

'Payment by transfer accepted' scrawled at an undersupplied Cuban agricultural market.
'Payment by transfer accepted' scrawled at an undersupplied Cuban agricultural market. Diario de Cuba

Officially, Lucy has been presented as the "first application developed in Cuba to track personal and business finances, allowing users to manage expenses and income from the national context" ... After its appearance, we would like to sound the alarm again about a threat that is overlooked because it is considered distant and very difficult to implement.

In recent articles —prompted by other government announcements about the advancement of computerization in Cuba— we warned readers that Castroism is prioritizing electronic commerce and the digital recording of all financial transactions in a progressive shift towards the elimination of paper money, in order to do eradicate the anonymity that the use of cash gives citizens.

With the institutionalized snitching of CDRs practically having disappeared, and as it is increasingly useless to spy on one's neighbor through windows left ajar, the Government needs to revamp its totalitarian control mechanisms in a society that is progressing towards digitization, and there is no better way to do this than knowing what every Cuban buys and sells. This is where Lucy comes in.

Some believe that there will be no progress in this regard because the elimination of paper money would affect foreign investment, the influx of tourism, and lead to leakages of national capital, but there is no solid basis for this prediction: foreign investments are already electronically documented, tourists regularly use plastic, and national capital is simply too scarce for its "leakage" to matter.

In fact, once the Government controls the Cuban black market —thanks to the traceability of bank-based economic transactions— it will be able to offer its foreign partners a group of captive consumers. The competition that "mules" pose to state hybrid retail stores could be regulated according to the interests of the State.

Others believe that Cubans' "inventiveness" is greater than the Government's, that the people will always remain one step ahead, despite persecution and repression. In any case, however, any "invention" in this regard will be trivial: some bartering, some kind of debt clearinghouse, perhaps a commodity will evolve and become a commonly accepted means of payment ... all of this is very difficult and would constitute stopgap solutions.

The only important alternative would be cryptocurrency, which recent Central Bank Resolution 215/2021 aims to control. And, in the end, as the Government is the only Internet provider, it may end up banning it. Recently, we witnessed how Castroism defends its financial monopoly, even going so far as not to admit cash deposits in dollars.

Some believe that the black market's beneficial impact on Castroism, functioning as an escape valve and a system to provide a certain distributive order (according to supply and demand), mitigating the chaos generated by centralized planning, could deter the Government from eliminating paper money.

But there is no reason to assume that the black market will disappear; Castroism would manage to tolerate and even exploit these illicit transactions, which would then be registered on ETECSA's servers, constituting one more weapon of political repression, not only against active dissidents, but also everyday citizens, who could be dissuaded from challenging the government when it has their complete personal financial histories —including any minor illegalities, lies and concealments, even at the family level— on file.

And the cost of such a system? I agree that the cost is high, and right now Castroism is bankrupt. In fact, it probably has not eliminated paper money yet because it cannot afford the infrastructure to replace it. But, mindful that Castroism's greatest desire and need is to stay in power, it will only be a matter of time before it musters the resources necessary. Bear in mind that computer technologies are constantly getting cheaper, and its Chinese partners are very advanced in this technology.

It is also necessary to understand that establishing universal electronic financial transactions in society is, in itself, an extraordinarily profitable business; not only does it reduce costs entailed by the issuance, transport and safeguarding of cash, but it also reduces transaction costs, speeds up exchanges, improves reliability and minimizes conflicts. Economically, eliminating cash justifies and pays for itself; the social control that it gives a totalitarian government is the icing on the cake.

In fact, we are not talking about the future; under the direct control of Díaz-Canel, and already a self-avowed priority of the Government, in Cuba progress in e-commerce is already being rapidly made. It may seem absurd, but even at Havana's most ramshackle corner stores one can pay with a cell phone, and, as seen in the photo above, even at an almost-empty agricultural market, a sign scrawled in chalk informs customers that they can pay electronically.

The idea transmitted to many by the aforementioned arguments is that the Government might be concerned about the economic consequences of controlling society through the complete electronic tracking of financial transactions. This is errant thinking because, first of all, it is economically viable; and second, because subordinating the economy to its need for control society is inherent to Castroism, whose ultimate goal is not to serve the people, but just the other way around: for the people to serve it.

The day when the Cuban government eliminates paper money may seem far off, but it is not. Aware of the benefits of such a scenario, it has been taking steps in this direction for years, steps that it has made piecemeal, and emphasizing their economic benefits, which does not allow us to see the global plan or political threat they represent.

We should not underestimate heir to Castroism's resolution and desire for power. A failure to understand how Castro gradually demolished civil society gave us 62 years of dictatorship. We should not make the same mistake in the digital age; we need to realize now that "Lucy" comes from "Lucifer."

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nino...your article is not far fetched but the Cuban Peso will need to circulate physically as there are many informal markets that require it. Taxi drivers, paladares, street vendors, farmers markets, barbers, mechanics, etc. will not have the ability to set up in MLC. Plus the influx of foreign currency once normal travel resumes, it would be hard to control the circulation of currencies by the locals. Unless they make it illegal to posses foreign currency in Cuba (like they did up until the 90's) I don't see how they will control it. The image of the empty farmers market asking customers to pay in MLC is a bit misleading. That is a private vendor, not a Cuban Government run stand. The vendor is just looking for payment options. John

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

Well, since these prices would be above worldwide prices

Worldwide prices where? I don't know if I've been to a physical shop where prices were as low as online. I suspect there are still a few tax free places, but many places are more expensive. Cuba had boatloads of Canadian tourists coming in who can bring back two boxes duty free. It's definitely still cheaper in Cuba than in Canada.

I'm not saying the price increase won't have an effect, but it might not be as much as expected.

Edit: @NSXCIGAR you've bought cigars in Mexico no? 😉

Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Bijan said:

Worldwide prices where? I don't know if I've been to a physical shop where prices were as low as online. I suspect there are still a few tax free places, but many places are more expensive. Cuba had boatloads of Canadian tourists coming in who can bring back two boxes duty free. It's definitely still cheaper in Cuba than in Canada.

I'm not saying the price increase won't have an effect, but it might not be as much as expected.

Edit: @NSXCIGAR you've bought cigars in Mexico no? 😉

There aren't many places Monte 2 is $400+ other than Canada is the UK. Mexico, about the same price.

Most western B & Ms are going to be similar to the worldwide price because of no shipping, and of course singles are going to be more but box prices will likely be pretty comparable. Spain, France, Germany, etc. B & Ms are all pretty much all aligned with what I call 'worldwide price" or the average of the top 3 or 5 trusted online vendors.

And there aren't enough Canadians who buy CCs travelling to Cuba to pay to save sales. Can only bring 50 cigars back anyway if I'm not mistaken? Mexico, 25 cigars, UK 50 cigars. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

There aren't many places Monte 2 is $400+ other than Canada is the UK. Mexico, about the same price.

I was in Greece recently, Monte 2 was definitely over that. UAE is over that now too. Really anywhere with less than 50% tax is a real outlier now.

7 hours ago, NSXCIGAR said:

And there aren't enough Canadians who buy CCs travelling to Cuba to pay to save sales. Can only bring 50 cigars back anyway if I'm not mistaken? Mexico, 25 cigars, UK 50 cigars. 

Don't know the stats but Canadians must be half or more of visitors to Cuba due to all the resorts and proximity (and US embargo obviously).

And those limits are pretty similar worldwide (at least I am pretty sure those are the European limits too), though very easy to go over without getting caught.

 

France had 43.6% tax on cigars as of 2018 (plus some small fixed amount).

http://beh.santepubliquefrance.fr/beh/2018/14-15/pdf/2018_14-15_8.pdf

Which means Germany is maybe around 30-40%.

So maybe only Spain actually sub $400 on Monte 2. Since I think their tax on cigars is 16%.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Bijan said:

France had 43.6% tax on cigars as of 2018 (plus some small fixed amount).

http://beh.santepubliquefrance.fr/beh/2018/14-15/pdf/2018_14-15_8.pdf

Which means Germany is maybe around 30-40%.

So maybe only Spain actually sub $400 on Monte 2. Since I think their tax on cigars is 16%.

Keep in mind that I am referring to average price of the top 5 vendors. And is it not the case that pretty much anywhere in Europe can order fairly easily from lower tax areas like Switzerland and Netherlands? And I'm sure tourist hotspots are going to be a bit more but no one's doing any of their major buying at the Athens LCDH. 

If Mexico is at low $400s for Monte 2 and they are for a fact one of the highest taxed countries then $400 is pretty consistent with buying pretty much anywhere in the world except Canada and the UK. No one's going to Cuba to save 5% on a box of cigars. 

7 hours ago, Bijan said:

Don't know the stats but Canadians must be half or more of visitors to Cuba due to all the resorts and proximity (and US embargo obviously).

I believe about 1/3 of all Cuban tourists are Canadian. They say nearly a million a year. That seems like a lot for a country of 38 million. But how many cigars can they possibly buy? And I'm sure you can get away with more than 50 cigars but most won't try. 

Not to mention prices on everything in Cuba are now so high that I would imagine Canadians are starting to consider cheaper Caribbean destinations where I'm sure they can find an LCDH with prices not that much more than Cuba like St Kitts, Jamaica and Costa Rica. There are plenty of places for Canadians to buy cigars on vacation and if these Cuban prices are correct they won't be much more if any more expensive.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@NSXCIGAR

Have to disagree the one European LCDH with an online store has Monte 2 much higher than $400 a box.

Don't think we can discuss how easy it is to evade customs based on the rules of the forum.

But to the point it doens't make sense for most people to go to Cuba just for cigars. Most countries have a 50 cigar limit and airfare from even Europe is probably not worth it.

On the other hand Cuba is the cheapest of the all inclusive Caribbbean destinations from Canada (you can spend a week there for $400 or $500 USD all inclusive, probably just a hair cheaper than the Dominican republic, and a bit cheaper than Jamaica and Mexico). And Canada has ridiculous taxes. Cuba sells what 100 million cigars a year? 1 million Canadians in Cuba. I'd be surprised if they didn't sell close to 10% of their production that way. Perhaps more.

Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Bijan said:

On the other hand Cuba is the cheapest of the all inclusive Caribbbean destinations from Canada (you can spend a week there for $400 or $500 USD all inclusive

I doubt it will be close to that when everything opens up. Like I said, it's not just cigars that have been hiked--everything appears to be 30-50% higher. 

As far as Eurooean prices, regular prices for Monte 2 are about 420 € (prices have risen quickly on me the past 3 months so you have me there) but discounts happen all the time. I would say that prices are probably in line with Cuba all things being equal. Rob certainly has them beat. 

The point is that these new Cuban prices are about as good as sale prices in Europe or at any other LCDH. In other words, way, way too high.

45 minutes ago, Bijan said:

Cuba sells what 100 million cigars a year? 1 million Canadians in Cuba. I'd be surprised if they didn't sell close to 10% of their production that way. Perhaps more.

We don't know how many they sell domestic. Only export. But even if they sell 10% of all Habanos domestic, Canada would make up only 3.33% of the total. And are Canadians more likely to smoke cigars than Russians or Swedes or Germans? Are cigars really that popular in Canada? They may be, I don't know. But 3-4% isn't going to cut it and that was before the price hikes. People with $200 to spend on cigars can no longer buy the Monte 2 25s. Instead they're now looking at 10s or petacas. When prices rise people buy less. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

My thinking is they sell everything they produce these days. Why offer a discount in Cuba? At some point in the past you could find a lot in Cuba. Now people are raiding the stores and you have to hunt to find anything good. They want to maximize profits/margins. Even if sales are half as much if margins are three four times as high or more it's still more profit.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Community Software by Invision Power Services, Inc.