When my drone got confiscated in Cuba

When my drone got confiscated in Cuba

This is for all my fellow photographers and filmers out there:

I did a lot of research in advance concerning this topic. When we visited Cuba, we where on a major trip (followed by the Bahamas, California, Stockholm..), so I reaally wanted to bring my drone for the rest of the trip. During my research I read a lot of articles about drones getting confiscated at the airport and never got back to their owner. I also read about a guy getting into jail. But ok, he flew his drone over major military buildings in the center of Havana.
But still, I was super worried about bringing it. So I contacted to embassy of Austria in Havana and the customs office of Cuba, if there is a possibility to leave my drone at the airport during my stay and definitely get it back when departuring, because I had absolutely no intuition of flying it in Cuba. It took me 3 weeks, to get answers, and to finaly get a written proof that it’s possible.

So when arriving, they confiscated it. It was scary. Ten officers of customs didn’t know what to do. Nobody spoke English. I signed about 5 documents in Spanish, before my drone got into a jute sack with a little tag on it. They took a little note in a notebook, probably saying that there is a drone confiscated.
That’s it. One sheet of proof, handwritten, which I should take with me when departuring. They told me to come 2 hours earlier.

When departuring I knew why. Again, nobody knew what to do or how to handle the situation. I had to go through three security controls, provide them my passport, before they took me to an office somewhere back in the airport. I again had to sign some documents in Spanish. And after some questions, why I brought my drone, they finally gave it back to me 🙂

If you found my post because you where researching the same topic, as I did before bringing it, don’t hesitate to drop me a line, about more details.

Read here, what else you need to know before visiting Cuba!