Cuban CigarReutersFernando Fernandez, Cuban Master of cigar sommeliers, puffing a Montecristo in Havana in 2012.

With the US announcing major policy changes in its relationship with Cuba, it’s going to get easier to find the country’s renowned cigars in America.

Senior Obama administration officials detailed the main elements of the policy shift, which were summed up as the beginning of normalized relations between the two countries, in a press conference call with reporters on Wednesday.

An official said the change will include a “number of steps to significantly increase travel, commerce, and the flow of information to and from Cuba.” The easing of these travel and commercial restrictions may result in more Cuban cigars in American humidors.

A reporter specifically asked whether Americans would be able to buy Cuban cigars on the White House conference call. An official said the changes to commercial restrictions would mostly “open up certain kinds of products that will be mainly used by the private sector within Cuba.”

They said it would largely focus on construction goods and agricultural equipment for Cuban businesses “such as restaurants, barber shops, and small business operators.”

However, the official said the relaxed commercial restrictions “may facilitate the ability to do exports” by making it a more “general” process “rather than having to apply for specific licences each time.”

Officials on the White House call also noted the eased travel restrictions would allow more Americans who qualify under the current licence program to visit Cuba.

An official said these visitors would be able to purchase “$US400 of general goods and up to $US100 of alcohol and tobacco products that can include cigars” while in Cuba.

While these travellers can bring cigars back to the US, the officials noted they are only allowed to do so “for personal consumption” and not for resale. 

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