Cubans hit with tough new import taxes

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Cubans hit with tough new import taxes

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Cuba is introducing tough new import taxes that could dramatically impact on the thousands who rely on informal shipments from overseas.

Starting in September, Cubans who come and go out of the country more than once a year will have to pay around 10 US dollars a kilo for imports – a small fortune in a nation where the average monthly salary is just 20 US dollars.

Until now Cubans would only have to pay 50 cents a kilo in import duties.

The new measure is expected to affect a quarter of a million people who have started new businesses under the free market reforms launched by President Raul Castro.