Taking Vitamins etc to Cuba – Cuba – Debbie's Carribean Reviews Forums

sandsunsurf 2014-11-09 14:26:50 UTC #1

I am going to Cuba on Thursday. I am friends with a Cuban family in Cardenas. They have asked if I could bring vitamins, cod liver oil tablets, Tylenol etc. I purchased them at Costco so they are in large quantities. At first I thought this was what to buy. Now I am a little afraid that I may get in trouble at Customs in Cuba. Has any one else had any trouble bringing these into Cuba or should I just leave them at home?

canuks 2014-11-09 15:54:02 UTC #3

as ken has said – if it is for personal use seldom an issue. …… depending on how many e.t.c. you have on your list . Pack in separate bags as pills can look dense and if all together in one bag by the ‘look’ alone you might be called over as all bags are x-rayed as they come into the country at the airport, before you see them.

sandsunsurf 2014-11-09 20:47:46 UTC #4

Can I say 500 vitamin C and 400 acetaminophen tablets and childrens vitamins really be for my personal use in 7 days ?

Admin 2014-11-09 20:57:04 UTC #5

I personaly never had issues with bringing vitamins and medication and we would buy same packages as you in Costco. Personal use and up to 10kg as Ken said otherwise they have to change rules I wish you nice trip and its so nice of you to bring vitamins to your friends in Cuba as our family as well always ask for vitamins.

flygt 2014-11-10 23:29:59 UTC #6

Can I say 500 vitamin C and 400 acetaminophen tablets and childrens vitamins really be for my personal use in 7 days ?

Totally valid question Sandsunsurf, sorry I thought you might be using some of those products as exfoliates, bathing additives and for skin and scalp treatments.

If the question ever came up the main thing Cuban Customs wants to know is that these items have been brought in for non–trade purpose personal use by you and your extended family and not for financing your trip to the island. The difference between the two classifications of imported goods is explained in this Aduana Customs section;

Trade and Non–Trade Purposes

Import of items and goods with trade purposes is under very specific regulations and can only be made by companies previously authorized by the State.

Items that are part of the passengers’ baggage shall always have Non-trade purposes, that is to say, import and export of items, equipment and other goods with non–trade purposes; on condition that the amount, quality, variety and value of the items imply they are for personal use of the passengers and their families.

sandsunsurf 2014-11-11 05:38:35 UTC #7

Thanks flygt
Of course I always have an acetaminophen bath. They are wonderfully relaxing after a hard day at the beach and too many mojitos. )


flygt 2014-11-11 21:40:35 UTC #8

Have an excellent trip to Varadero Sandsunsurf, -15C here today and wishing we were going there too.

Spunky 2014-11-11 22:07:56 UTC #9

There are many natural medicines that Cubans use but aren’t always available locally.A while back I was reminded by a long time member that Saw Palmetto was not readily available for men with prostate problems. We have a friend on Cayo Largo who’s mom benefits from Milk Thistle for her liver problems and we have friends who take some for her. See here:


If you are going to Cayo Largo, let me send you a bottle of Shoppers Drug Mart Milk Thistle, to drop off.

sandsunsurf 2014-11-12 19:14:08 UTC #10

Sorry Spunky. We are only going to Varadero with a few side trips. I would have been glad to do your errand. Maybe next time

sandsunsurf 2014-12-03 02:28:33 UTC #11

We arrived home on Friday after an awesome trip to Cuba. Beautiful weather the first 3 days and then overcast and some rain but we were on a few tours so it didn’t really matter.

Just an update on the vitamins, etc. that I was worried about taking. I had no problem. In Cuba customs they did ask about the Cod Liver Oil tablets that were in my carry-on….not the "quantity" but they were concerned about the "cod" as in meat. I said they were vitamins and then I had no problem. Our friends were very glad to get the vitamins and Tylenol, etc.
Another great week spent in Cuba

radar 2014-12-04 17:33:25 UTC #12

It’s always great to get the follow up report. Glad to hear all went well.

flygt 2014-12-05 23:42:53 UTC #13

Hi Sand, welcome back. Happy to hear that all went well with Cuban Customs inspection.

zendudette 2014-12-11 21:22:36 UTC #14

Just back from Varadero and took half a suitcase of school supplies, meds and clothes for friends in Matanzas, Cardenas and Pedro Betancourt. No problems at customs. I just packed the items in several plastic bags in smaller containers (used med bottles and film roll containers) for easier divy-up once at the hotel. I brought Advil, Tylenol, kids’ liquid Tempra and vitamins, Tums and milk thistle (never leave home without MT!), small dollar store first-aid kits, bandaids, polysporin samples, latex gloves and tampons. The rest was moolah. :

ald1 2014-12-21 13:35:08 UTC #15

We never had issues with bringing vitamins and medication to our friends in Santiago de cuba, Holguin and Cayo Coco. all large quantities from Costco.

Hey we even brought them that huge container of Nutella from Costco in November 2014…. as if that would be for personal use for 7 days LOL!

eeeefarm 2014-12-21 18:22:38 UTC #16

Hey we even brought them that huge container of Nutella from Costco in November 2014…. as if that would be for personal use for 7 days LOL!

For some people that would be about right!

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