At almost every special store in the Netherlands, the cigars from Habanos are not available. Many tobacconist stores outside the Netherlands have the same problems to get the brands in stock..
Most Cuban machine made Cohiba, MonteCristo or Partagas cigarillo's are hard to find in local store and more difficult to import cross border, for already long time.
Cuba is a communist poor country and since the US embargo in 1962 not much has changed in the streets and it has hardly been able to develop. Although still very popular with enthusiasts, there is hardly any stock of the famous Habanos left in the EU. The tobacco plantations in the Republic of Cuba are still maintained completely manually, in contrast to the mechanical processing which we see here as "normal". There is also less supply of good quality raw tobacco leaves for various reasons.
Today, Cohiba is considered one of the most prestigious cigar brands. Previously made as a private label for the president, Cohiba was later made in small quantities for the Diplomatic Corps and friendly heads of state only. The exclusive name of Cohiba does not mean that there are no good alternatives, but no packaging was as popular as the black and yellow lacquered box in which the Cohiba was packed. Due to the high and regular increase in excise duty, the price is no longer affordable for the common man. The shops are also very poorly stocked and once stock is available, it goes to a select group of enthusiasts. Some exaggerated the price compared to the US version. Cohiba (Red Dot) is made for the American market and has a very different price tag than the European Cohiba.
Buying cigars in Cuba - tips - customs regulations - certificate
Be careful with buying cigars on the street, because often the quality of the original product is not good and the taste also leaves something to be desired. Better buy them, for example, at one of the many tobacco plantations, or along the road at the eateries. However, keep in mind that despite these coming from the country of origin, there are strict rules for taking them home. It will undoubtedly be successful for some, however, both the export and the import at home are subject to strict regulations. a certificate of purchase is a good idea to have with you if requested. Most tobacco growers supply and sell the tobacco to the state, but there are even smaller growers. Feel free to visit a plantation. See the difference between the way of growing in the EU with machines and the centuries-old traditions of Cuba, with the horse.