English Market Selection (EMS)

English Market Selection, EMS, is the traditional guarantee of quality for Habanos (Havanas) which have been selected for sale in the United Kingdom)


The EMS stamp's colour changed annually for three reasons. First as an additional safety measure against counterfeiters, second. to help you identify the age of the box, and thirdly as an aid against the black market

If you see a box of Havanas on sale in the UK WITHOUT an ems sticker, then beware, they are fakes or black/grey market

EMS Stickers
  Boxes cleared from customs since June 1992 have the following stamps
  June 1992 and October 1997 Green
  November 1997 and September 1998 Pink
  October 1998 and September 1999 Blue
  October 1999 and September 2000 Yellow
  October 2000 and December 2001 Green
  January 2002 and December 2002 Pink
  January 2003 and December 2003 Purple

What is EMS?

English Market Selection starts in Cuba. The cigar factories send their export production to Habanos SA who do a check on every batch they receive. Those batches that do not meet the EMS standards are not sent to the UK.

On arrival into the United Kingdom, every box of cigars are opened by the sole importers, Hunters & Frankau, and inspected. Those that do not come up to the EMS standard, are rejected and sent back to Cuba