14ymedio, Havana, 6 September 2022 — Despair over the lack of electricity has provoked the first amendment to the package of measures “to save the Cuban economy” that, in reality, simply made the import of some non-commercial items to Cuba more flexible. The provisions of the General Customs of the Republic went into effect on August 15, allowing up to two electric generators with a maximum power of up to 15,000 watts to be brought to the island, upon payment of the 30% tax.
But the document provided for market prices very different from the real ones, so the Government has issued a new rule that rectifies the previous one, according to which units of up to 900 watts for 200 dollars, from 900 to 1,500 watts for 500 dollars and greater than 1,500 watts for 950 dollars were allowed.
“When assessing the effects on the residential sector that still persist, as a result of the energy deficit caused by the breakdowns in the national electro-energy system, it’s necessary to authorize, on a temporary basis, the import of generators with a power greater than 900 watts, whose reference value in Customs exceeds the maximum value of two hundred (200) US dollars allowed to be imported by air, sea, post and non-commercial couriers,” says the new resolution, published this Monday in the Official Gazette.
The situation requires the government “to authorize, exceptionally, the non-commercial import, above the established value for air, sea, postal and courier shipments, of generators with a power greater than 900 watts, which are presented to the office of the General Customs of the Republic until December 31, 2022.”
In addition, a 30% fee will be applied for the payment of customs tax on the excess of the load to be taxed.
Currently, there are few offers under 500 dollars for generators that exceed 900 watts, neither in the markets of the United States nor in those of Panama, some of the most popular destinations for Cuban ’mules’ and travelers who go abroad to look for electronic or technological products that are absent on the Island.
The measure reflects the urgency of the Government to try to tackle the blackouts and power outages that are bringing so much discomfort and protest to the population. However, the “patch” has limitations.
The largest consumers of this type of device, with such high power, will not be so much households as small businesses that need to stay afloat in the midst of the growing crisis, but the shortage of fuel portends difficulties in supplying the equipment. There are many services that currently keep the sale of gasoline in containers limited, although it’s also not difficult to find workers who break the norm and provide the liquid in exchange for compensation, as long as it’s available. In addition, its storage is considered potentially dangerous and can cause fires if done incorrectly.
Furthermore, the high cost of the generators reduces the possibilities of buying and importing them. Even so, those who manage to do so will see their homes light up in front of those who lack any ability to do the same for themselves.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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