Getting personal items into Argentina... Contact us | Log In | Log Out | Argentina Forums
Travelsur Home | Blog | Admin | Register | Edit Profile | Search

Argentina Travel Advice » Living in Argentina » Getting personal items into Argentina, a proposal « Previous Next »
Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Zander
New member
Username: Xanpatagon

Post Number: 10
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2009 - 11:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello all,

I live in the Bariloche area and sometimes need to get personal items from the USA into Argentina, but don't want to pay the large shipping fee and then the import tax at the Post Office when it gets here. If it is shipped by UPS or DHL, it may get stuck in Buenos Aires, in Customs. And then it can cost a fortune to get released, and I live 1,000 miles from Buenos Aires.

Shipments that go by the post go to the Post Office in Bariloche where the box (each box coming in from outside the country) is opened and inspected by the Customs officers and assessed a duty.

The import duty I believe is 50% of the value of the item, plus 50% of the international shipping costs. Some things have no tax, like books. But things like electronics and clothes are taxed.

For example, I have an old but high quality stereo receiver in the USA. It weighs about 15 pounds and is worth only $40. But shipping it here via the Post Office (so it clears customs when you pick it up), plus the tax, is several times more than the unit is worth.

There is something basic in me that does not want to pay tax on something I already own, and especially don't want to pay tax on the shipping costs!

However, if this was brought in luggage on the airplane when coming into Argentina, it is likely to never be checked, and if it is, there is (I believe) a $300 exclusion to bring things into the country and this would be far less than that.

I was wondering if there was some way to form a barter matching system with people who are traveling from the US to BA, perhaps from this blog, who when coming back into Argentina have extra room in their luggage? Sometimes friends or family visiting might have extra room, and sometimes I have received things this way.

In my example, living outside of BA, I could then pay to have it shipped to me via bus (Via Bariloche), or OCA, or the Correo.

It would be up to the person carrying the (in this case) stereo and the person receiving it (me) to negotiate a price or fee, or some type of exchange for this service.

Well, any ideas? Comments?

And, is is possible to implement it on this blog...perhaps with a new category?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Living in Patagonia
Member
Username: Soulskier

Post Number: 87
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2009 - 11:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hola Vencino, you forgot to mention you have to wait in a long line to get your package, and that is only Mon-Wed-Fri, 9-11am.

I'll let you know if we have friends coming to visit. We have them bring us salad dressings and thai spices.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Zander
New member
Username: Xanpatagon

Post Number: 11
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2009 - 12:27 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

That's right....Customs office is only open, at the Bariloche correo, a few hours a week.

Great idea about the Thai spices....I love the parrillas here but sometimes really want some good Asian food....impossible to find.

Thanks for the offer!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

VGB Donna
New member
Username: Ixchel

Post Number: 2
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2009 - 12:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I hope there will be a new category on this subject. We are moving to Villa General Belgrano later this year and will also need things we miss from home occasionally. We are taking an extra suitcase each this March to bring things down for our casita to use while waiting for the containers to ariive!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Ana
New member
Username: Elvislover

Post Number: 11
Registered: 5-2008
Posted on Sunday, January 11, 2009 - 4:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

This would be great. We've actually done it with 4 people we know in town that travel to Argentina. We've asked them to take items for my husband's family and when they get there they ship them through mail. A couple others go to the same town so items get delivered in person.

The only thing with this is that valuable items have to be carried on. The first time we sent things, out items were stolen from the checked-in luggage. My son's godfather (husband's cousin) flew from Monterrey, Mexico to Mexico City to Santiago/or Buenos Aires ( I can't remember), by the time he got home and opened the luggage, a watch, a digital camera and I believe a car stereo (only some connecting wires were left) and some colognes/perfumes were gone. Only the boxes and cases were left. We are guessing they were taken in Mexico, but who knows. Anyway, after that expensive and small items are taken in a backpack that we keep with us.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

movingtoargentina.typepad.com
Intermediate Member
Username: Sapphos

Post Number: 129
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2009 - 10:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

We have had great success getting a pricey car seat, special baby items, foods, dvds, books, etc through the "friends" system. I think it's just important to remember that people still have their own things to carry so we can't be too over the top, but it definately works!

Laura
Ebook Moving to and Living in Buenos Aires, Argentina
http://movingtoargentina.typepad.com
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Wizo
New member
Username: Wizo

Post Number: 17
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 16, 2009 - 5:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Though it sounds like a nice idea I can't see it working in practice. It's a huge risk carrying things for strangers over international borders - imagine if there were drugs or something planted somewhere in the package...
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

movingtoargentina.typepad.com
Intermediate Member
Username: Sapphos

Post Number: 134
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 16, 2009 - 12:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

For us we never carried anything or had anything carried by strangers. It's always a good thing to make friends with other people where you live anyway both Argentines and people who live outside of Argentina. I guess I was fortuitous because my blog has allowed me to meet so many people and out of their good hearts brought many many things to me - even down to a box of detergent because I was allergic to the fragrances during my pregnancy.

We traveled in with a 26" lcd packed into it's own suitcase, never got stopped in customs nor had it tampered with. But, we had a direct flight from Miami to Buenos Aires so if you have any transfers that's where it definitely adds an additional risk.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Bill Howard
Member
Username: Veritas01

Post Number: 60
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 16, 2009 - 12:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

In probably 20 or more trips to Argentina from New York over the past 9 years I never had my luggage checked once by Argentine customs. A few times in the early years when they had the button system (you pushed a button on the wall...if you got a green light you could go through without being inspected...if you got a red light you had to go into a line for luggage inspection)...I got red a few times but when they realized I was an American tourist they would waive me through. Every Christmas we bring a bunch of gifts with us for my wife's family and friends and so far no problems.

On the other hand I have read about people who are bringing in their personal laptop and they have to go through hoops to get it into the country. I always bring my laptop and again...no problems.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

paul r
New member
Username: Pr1970

Post Number: 4
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2011 - 12:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sorry to bring up this old thread but I`ve just discovered the problems with getting items sent to Argentina from abroad.

My problem is I need some equipment sent here from abroad for work purposes. The value is going to be about 3000 pesos. Am I correct in thinking i`d need to pay half that value in taxes? Thats the impression the post office gave me.

Thanks in advance
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert Gisborn
Intermediate Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 157
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2011 - 12:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Paul, Three things must be determined:
Is the equipment new?
What exactly is the equipment?
From what country is the equipment coming from?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

paul r
New member
Username: Pr1970

Post Number: 5
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2011 - 5:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes the equipment is new, its a playstation 3 development kit and its from the uk.
Thinking of sending it via fedex which would be about £100 sterling/ 1300 peso.

Thanks
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert Gisborn
Intermediate Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 158
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Saturday, June 04, 2011 - 5:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes Paul, you would legally be required to pay tax on this in almost any country. Argentina cannot be expected to allow new items in without requiring the approperiate tax. I'm not saying that someone has not managed to avoid this tax at sometime but by doing so you'd be skating on thin legal ice. I'd stay safe and pay the tax. It could cost you dearly if you don't. Argentina has trade agreements with some countries in South America but until certain totally useless islands in the Atlantic are returned to Argentina there will be no such trade agreements with the UK-nor particular sympathy for someone from the UK. Stay out of jail. Pay the tax.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

paul r
New member
Username: Pr1970

Post Number: 6
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2011 - 7:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks, Didnt say anything about avoiding the tax I just asked if the information I received was correct.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert Gisborn
Intermediate Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 159
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2011 - 3:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Paul, that is difficult to determine because the documentation on taxes and tarifs is massive and requires interpretation. However, most likely it can be downloaded but if you did see it you'd find it difficult to understand. It's not worth the hassle unless you have a low income and plenty of time. It sounds to me that the tax is about right.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2057
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, June 06, 2011 - 1:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It would also make sense that the taxes/tariffs would offset the price differential from origin. A friend recently mentioned that the Ipad2 selling for u$d 699 in the US was at u$d 1600 in Buenos Aires. I would imagine fedexing this item to Argentina will be taxed to the point it makes no sense shipping it from abroad. Do they offer the playstation 3 development kit locally? And for how much?

For sure you will be taxed. This type of item does not "enter" Argentina straight. It first lands in a "customs" warehouse and must be cleared. Sometimes, this is done by the Fedex/UPs person at your front door. They are probably authorized tax-collecting agents by the gov for a range of products.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

paul r
New member
Username: Pr1970

Post Number: 7
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Monday, June 06, 2011 - 6:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

thanks for the replies.

I guess in future will have to consider carefully what I import into the country. In the uk I`ve had to pay import duty/vat on goods for around 25% of the value but wouldnt always be charged, they are much stricter here.
I now undertand why many imported electrical goods are around a 1/3rd more than back home.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert Gisborn
Intermediate Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 160
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Monday, June 06, 2011 - 10:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The rules for taxes and tarifs are more complicated than quantum mechanics. There are ways to avoid the highest rate-but they are tricky. One way is to get the item sent to a country that has full Mercosur membership. Chile is an associate member but for some items they may give an advantage. Paraguay is a good choice. Their tarifs are not as punishing and you'll get a substantial break coming into Argentina from this country. Uruguay may give an advantage and it is close to BA. Anything coming directly from the US or UK will trip a red flag. The US and the UK have no particular love for Mercosur and the feeling is mutual. Uruguay and Paraguay do not produce competing high tech. products as Argentina does and has no reason to tax their imports highly. Given the number of Argentinians who go to Chile to shop my guess is that there may be an advantage there. Of course it's best to unpack the item and claim it as a personal possesion that you travel with and had for some time before crossing into Argentina. They won't believe you but they usually pretend they do-it's less work for them.

Add Your Message Here
Post:
Bold text Italics Underline Create a hyperlink Insert a clipart image



Argentina Directory
(Local resources)

Username: Posting Information:
This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.
Password:
Options: Enable HTML code in message
Action:

Argentina Forum | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | FORUM GUIDELINES/HELP | Directory Submissions | Travel Directory | Argentina Vacation Administration