Forums » General Philately

Cuban Stamps Banned

  • tedlawrence
    • 911 posts
    March 28, 2013 6:33 AM EDT

    As of April 9 , 2013 Ebay will no longer allow listing of Cuban stamps. It is due to some new Federal import law. I guess they were legal to import for quite a few years after being originally banned after Castro took over. I do not have all of the details, but it may be wise to look into the situation, before you list any cuban items on here or on there. Ted.

  • michael78651
    • 14123 posts
    March 28, 2013 8:09 AM EDT

    Ted, can you provide a link to that announcement? I haven't heard of any changes to the laws. Might be some upstart employee there who suddenly ran across the old law, or "heard" something.

  • tedlawrence
    • 911 posts
    March 28, 2013 9:48 AM EDT

    Michael: Seen it on the "stamps" board on ebay. The poster gave this link:http:// www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sancti ... /cuba.aspx. Also: http:pages.ebay.com/help/policies/embargo.html. Ted.

  • rrraphy
    • 435 posts
    March 28, 2013 10:01 AM EDT

    When was this change in policy instituted? Do we have a formal interpretation? What does it impact?
    Does it mean that Scott will again remove all Cuban stamp prices, post Castro?
    rrr..... :hmm:

  • ourdadsstamps of ourdadsstamps
    • 118 posts
    March 28, 2013 11:18 AM EDT

    Is this real???
    Sorry to sound so shocked but living in Spain and having been brought up in England such a thing would never have occured to me.
    Are you really telling me I cannot sell my Cuban stamps on here or ebay? or is it that I cannot sell them to the US. I don't have many admittedly but I do have a old envelopes sent from cuba to Jamaica in the 60's that I had thought about listing.
    Are there any other restrictions that I should know about? I do remember having some stamps from Communist China removed from ebay and I could never fathom out why especially as they were OK when I relisted them.

  • philatarium of Philatarium
    • 1319 posts
    March 28, 2013 11:59 AM EDT

    Here is the posting on the stamps message board on eBay:

    http://forums.ebay.com/db2/topic/Stamp- ... 5200144218

    As of this writing, it's only the original post -- no follow up yet.

    I Googled around a bit, and it doesn't look like this is a recent change in US policy, from what I could tell, although maybe more info will show up in a day or two in the search engine.

    eBay did this one time before, maybe 5+ years ago, where they banned all currency and stamp listings of Cuba. This lasted for a few weeks, until they received some clarification.

    I'm no authority on this, so consider the source, but it's been my understanding for some time that any Cuba items, mint or used, issued before the revolution are perfectly fine, and that any used stamps since that time are acceptable as well, but that you can't buy any of these items directly from a seller in Cuba. The idea was not to enrich the government of Cuba either directly or indirectly.

    Here's what the original poster on the eBay thread said that eBay said:

    [quote:3cojvtwe]eBay’s policy prohibits the sale of most items that originate from Cuba due to sanctions enforced by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Therefore, as of April 9, 2013 we will no longer allow listings for stamps, coins or paper money from Cuba.

    The "from Cuba" part is ambiguous. It could be, like the poster said, that any Cuban stamps are prohibited, and since eBay usually implements a one-size-fits-all policy, without nuance, that might well be eBay's intention.

    But, I also know that eBay has had (at least in the past) sellers based in Cuba selling stamps. I know this because I bought some about 10 years ago, when I couldn't find them (for a topic) anywhere else. That's another way to read "we will no longer allow listings ... from Cuba." No sellers based in Cuba.

    eBay may well have gotten slapped for continuing to "harbor" these sellers.

    But we'll have to see how this unfolds.

    -- Dave

  • jerbear722 of Jer's Stamps
    • 1231 posts
    March 28, 2013 11:59 AM EDT

    Attention Sellers:

    eBay’s policy prohibits the sale of most items that originate from Cuba due to sanctions enforced by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Therefore, as of April 9, 2013 we will no longer allow listings for stamps, coins or paper money from Cuba.

    More information on the specific items covered by the sanctions related to Cuba can be found here:

    http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center ... /cuba.aspx

    eBay’s policy on Embargoed Goods and Prohibited Countries can be found here:

    http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/embargo.html


    This is the announcement that I believe Ted is talking about.

  • michael78651
    • 14123 posts
    March 28, 2013 12:09 PM EDT

    I did not find anything to change the regulation regarding the importation of postage stamps from Cuba. Of course, it's a pain in the butt to try to search for anything on US government web sites.

    When last this happened, someone at eBay, who doesn't know how to read federal regulations came to the wrong conclusion. I don't know who posted it this time, but someone probably read it wrong again. As Jeri said, eBay's statement is a "catch-all" at best regarding the sale of merchandise from Cuba, much of which is prohibited by federal law.

  • tedlawrence
    • 911 posts
    March 28, 2013 12:24 PM EDT

    Well, I'm not sure what is going on, but I thought I would bring this up, just in case it is important. You never know what is going on in Washington nor at Ebay :?

  • cocollectibles
    • 6769 posts
    March 28, 2013 1:08 PM EDT

    I did not find anything to change the regulation regarding the importation of postage stamps from Cuba. Of course, it's a pain in the butt to try to search for anything on US government web sites.

    When last this happened, someone at eBay, who doesn't know how to read federal regulations came to the wrong conclusion. I don't know who posted it this time, but someone probably read it wrong again. As Jeri said, eBay's statement is a "catch-all" at best regarding the sale of merchandise from Cuba, much of which is prohibited by federal law.


    Remember when there was a lot of confusion at Google about stamps of some kind too? What was that about? I forgot but it was another case, as Michael mentioned, of someone reading a regulation and over-interpreting it. Mark got involved as it had an impact on Google Checkout at that time from bidStart.

    My nephew just returned from a vacation in Cuba (he's Canadian) and said he has "a bunch" of mint Cuban stamps for me that he bought from the post office. Does this mean I can't put the lot up for sale here or anywhere? Archaic regulation, IMHO.

    • 2685 posts
    March 28, 2013 1:59 PM EDT

    I think it was something about stamps being cultural artifacts that belonged to their countries, and which we had no right to sell, much like if we had dug up the crown of some 12th century Hungarian king, or something like that. It was really styoooopid.

    :beer:

    Tedski

  • bluparrot
    • 134 posts
    March 28, 2013 3:31 PM EDT

    Peter, I think this is the case you are referring to http://www.bidstart.com/bidStart-Seller-s-Google-Checkout-Account-Suspended-1970-UNESCO_QQtitleQQunesco :thumbup:

    Quite amusing. :lol: :lol:

    :beer:
    Les

  • cocollectibles
    • 6769 posts
    March 28, 2013 3:44 PM EDT

    Yes, that's it! Brings back memories. Perhaps this Cuba thing will be a likewise overzealous reaction.

  • mcdonnell4166
    • 136 posts
    March 28, 2013 7:50 PM EDT

    Oh-oh. I just recently successfully sold a Cuban postcard on eBay (about March 27) to an American buyer although he has yet to pay for it. It is NOT an old pre-Castro card either. This card was mailed from Varadero Beach, Cuba to a Canadian address in 1987 and has a beautiful big 1984 Mother's Day commemorative stamp on it.

    I did not hide what it was in the listing title either. Both "Cuba" and "1987" appeared in the description title. Ebay never blocked the listing, did not do any pop-up warnings during the listing and did not pull the listing after it was issued. Of course it was listed under the postcard category and the comments further up in this thread stated eBay specifically intends to prohibit Cuban stamps and Cuban money. Perhaps they did and will continue to tolerate postally used postcards from there? I was planning to list another Cuban postcard on eBay immediately after the current buyer settles payment. I hope he hurries up so I can beat the April 9th deadline.

    Ironically, when I listed the postcard on eBay I did not expect any interest from any American buyers but rather anticipated bidding from Europe (I already have a lot of Europeans buying from me on eBay) or from Canada where there are many Canadians who have positive memories of Cuban vacations during the middle of the inhospitable Canadian winter.

    I agree with others in this thread that it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  • mcdonnell4166
    • 136 posts
    March 28, 2013 8:03 PM EDT

    [
    My nephew just returned from a vacation in Cuba (he's Canadian) and said he has "a bunch" of mint Cuban stamps for me that he bought from the post office. Does this mean I can't put the lot up for sale here or anywhere? Archaic regulation, IMHO.


    Many years ago I ran into a stamp dealer in Montreal, Canada who claimed to be the official selling agent for Cuban stamps in Eastern Canada. He showed me a large inventory in his home he claimed to be receiving on an ongoing basis from the Cuban post office. He was selling them at face value as he claimed to be receiving a commission from the Cuban post office on sales he made. I bought a selection at that time from him and invested in a stamp catalogue from Spain that had a volume on Cuban stamps, as Scott was not showing values at that time. I was quite pleasantly surprised to notice the catalogue values, even for the more recent issues, were significantly higher than face value.

    At that time (years before I got into online selling) I had a small approvals by mail service. I sent all the newly bought Cuban stamps to only my Canadian customers on approval, settling on selling prices midway between the face and catalogue values and was quite pleased to find that every single stamp sold quickly after only 1 try.

    If you do list those stamps from your nephew you may find strong interest from Canadian and/or European buyers, especially now that Stanley Gibbons appears to be attracting more and more international buyers to bidStart.

    Jon

  • cocollectibles
    • 6769 posts
    March 29, 2013 1:55 AM EDT

    Thanks Jon. Good to know, if Cuban stamp selling will be allowed in the US. Will keep monitoring this thread too.

  • noernberg of Noernberg Stamps
    • 4775 posts
    March 30, 2013 9:34 AM EDT

    ehhh.. just keep us from buying reprints and forgeries, 'cuz that's almost all that's out there anyways! :roll:

  • tedlawrence
    • 911 posts
    March 30, 2013 9:57 AM EDT

    Like my Grandfather used to say: if ya can't eat 'em then what good are they? Ted.