I'm visiting Cuba soon and have just read an excellent answer about the Cuban CUC and CUP bank notes.

I have a retired friend who collects bank notes and I usually bring him back some low-value bills from interesting places - but I see it's forbidden to "export" CUCs.

My question is, if I wanted to bring 1 or 2 of low-denomination CUC and/or CUP notes out with me, am I going to be searched & in big trouble if discovered or are they only worried about taking big bundles of cash out?

  • Forbidden by whom? I successfully took both CUCs and CUPs out of Cuba without any glitch :)
    – Suncatcher
    Oct 26, 2017 at 11:35
  • Forbidden by the authorities apparently - if you read the linked post about currency and/or Rough Guide etc. they have tourist / exchangeable currency and local / non-exchangeable currency.
    – John U
    Oct 26, 2017 at 12:54
  • Life is short, break the rules :) I don't think is it observed strictly.
    – Suncatcher
    Oct 26, 2017 at 13:56
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    Life is also too short to be detained by the authorities 1000 miles from home in a communist country whose language you don't speak... hence my question! If they don't take it too seriously I'm happy to accidentally leave a couple of bills in my backpack, but I don't really want to miss my flight home over it!
    – John U
    Oct 26, 2017 at 16:26
  • 1
    The law that imposed these restrictions was passed in 2012, as far as I know it is still in place. Take a look at this blog post for a related incident: bravotv.com/blogs/…
    – yms
    Oct 28, 2017 at 4:32

1 Answer 1


Well I made it home safe despite accidentally leaving a couple of un-spent CUC notes in my wallet so I guess that's a sort-of answer.

  • 4
    Just about as much as an answer as if you believe that shop-lifting is legal because you tried it once and didn't get caught. Nov 20, 2017 at 22:46
  • Not really - despite the warnings no-one was searched, no-one was asked about notes, etc. so I'm reporting that it wasn't enforced and therefore is (or was) low-risk.
    – John U
    Dec 9, 2018 at 15:59
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    You are right. I also know a lot of people, who have been driving cars their entire life without ever having their driver's licence checked by the police. If the risk is so low being caught, why not just fuck any laws or regulations and do whatever we want? Dec 9, 2018 at 16:04
  • I think you're taking this a tad too seriously - the original question makes it obvious that it is not allowed to take notes out, the whole question is about being a little bit naughty to please a friend. It's not like I was asking about the best way to dispose of a body or smuggle a few kilos of heroin.
    – John U
    Dec 10, 2018 at 11:35
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    Currency smuggling can be serious enough. The question is not about being a little bit naughty, but about visiting a country as a tourist and blatantly ignoring the local laws. Dec 10, 2018 at 13:03

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