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Christian Janus
New member
Username: Christianjanus

Post Number: 2
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 1:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Does anyone have experience with trying to get into BsAs with a desktop setup and also laptops? I've been told not to ship electronics to BsAs because I may never see them again.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 665
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 1:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Christian, if you mean traveling with multiple laptops as part of your luggage I think there is no problem, but you have to demonstrate they belong to you and will take them back to origin. I always enter BA with mine and a few times I am asked whether it is for work or new or something like that. Never had any problem and I think will never have, even if entering with 2 laptops which I may have to in my next trip.

If they are new and you don't plan on taking them back, then you may have to fill out some paperwork and pay import duty fees.
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Riyad Anabtawi
Member
Username: Riyada

Post Number: 73
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 1:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Definitely try not to ship anything electronic in its original packing direct from the seller, first because the seller is not allowed to ship direct to you in arg anything electronic, second if you do ship in its original packing customs will hold it and you will never see it again. ... For sure will go to the hands of the customs chief, who will have it for his own enjoyment!!!
My advice is try to unpack as much as possible and send in a smaller package, and keep your fingers crossed..
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Deby Novitz
New member
Username: Tangospam

Post Number: 10
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 1:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have traveled constantly with my notebook computer and never had a problem. The time I brought a flat panel display and a bunch of routers they made me open up my bag. They had me boot the computer and when they saw it was "used" they asked what the other stuff was for. I told them I was writing a book. No problems.

At times I have heard that you will need to register your things. They give you a paper so you can bring everything into the country and then you check out with it. Essentially they do not want people bring in electronics and then selling them, therefore avoiding taxes.

One thing to know about shipping anything electronic. Don't do it unless it is coming with a shipment of your personal effects. It will be stopped at customs and you will pay pay pay. There is a new law that charges for anything that does not have the electrical approval of Argentina.

Hence, a friend of mine who had a laptop sent FedEx was told she would have to pay $700 to retrieve it. That was the cost of the approval certificate and the taxes.

This law went into effect last year. It is to protect what exactly gets plugged in here so to speak. So that you know, the U.S. has the same laws. It is always best to handcarry things like this.
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Deby Novitz
New member
Username: Tangospam

Post Number: 11
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 3:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Unless you have absolute first hand knowledge of someone stealing from you in customs I think these kinds of things are best left unsaid.

One of my friends is a customs chief in a bonded warehouse. He said with the new computer systems it is almost impossible to bribe or steal shipments like in the old days. In order to do so it has to be done before anything is entered into the computer on the other side (Before it is shipped) and it has to be at the highest level. The days of slipping some guy a 100 pesos is gone.

Of course nothing is impossible and even the best systems can be beat. Bribery and theft goes on in every country. I really dislike when people constantly make Argentina out to be this hotbed of bribes and thievery. Especially when most of what they say is hearsay and not first hand experience.

If a box is shipped Federal Express to Argentina it is in the computer system of Federal Express as well as the customs system used world wide. If the box is stolen, it never makes it to Argentina, then Federal Express puts the tracer on it, and assumes responsibility. If the box is received in customs and is never picked up by the customer, Federal Express, as well as the customs system will have this information. While the customer may not get their package, again, it is covered by the shipper. This is true regardless of what carrier you use to ship your items.

My friend had her laptop shipped to her in the original carton from Hewlett Packard and it was received into customs. Her problem was the payment of taxes. So that you know what you are saying, all items shipped of a certain value are received into a locked warehouse where they cannot be released without volumes of paperwork. This system was put into place to eliminate the problems of disappearing shipments. It is an international standard used for shipping.

The issue with shipping anything electronic is the laws passed here last year. There were too many problems with appliances being made in China. Argentina put into effect a standard for anything electric to meet a certain standard. To bring anything into this country electronic it must be certified. This is like the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) in the USA.

Essentially what happens is that most people have no idea of what the taxes will be like when they have things shipped to them. The customs laws here are VERY clear as to what can be shipped into the country duty free. (Books, CDs, used clothes are among the things that can be shipped duty free) Things that are taxed are taxed at 50% of the value. There is a storage fee, and then if the item is electronic, a fee to certify it.

Customs is not stupid. You cannot create an invoice for $300 on a $1500 notebook computer. Doing that gets you taxed at the full retail value of the item. The tax my dear friends is 50% of the value. So on a $1500 notebook the tax is $750 + $120 to certify and probably another $50 to storage and fees. Plus your trip to the airport to get it. By that time you have rebought your computer.

If you pack stuff in your suitcase (I wrapped my flat panel display in mounds of plastic bubble wrap and clothes) and carry it on, you will more than likely sail through customs. This is the case for visitors.

If you are a citizen or resident and they catch you, you pay the tax.
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Riyad Anabtawi
Member
Username: Riyada

Post Number: 74
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 4:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ah comon .. Dont bore me Deby.
"standard for anything electric to meet a certain standard" nothing is standard here.
"hotbed of bribes and thievery" absolutely! I know several customs chiefs with BMW's and big villas in a hi class area here in Mendoza. How can they do it on salaries as low as they earn.
I was talking about stuff sent via US mail, not fedex, cos its way too expensive to send via fedex.
I had sent some spices from CA and they kept it cos they had to have it inspected by the health stuff.. rediculous.. I realised after that they wanted to keep it for themselves!
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Riyad Anabtawi
Member
Username: Riyada

Post Number: 75
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 5:45 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I forgot to mention that once I flew in a shipment of one electric scooter for personal use. Customs wont let me have it since I needed to be an importer to be able to receive it, even if I paid all duty fees. So I decided to return to sender, no go either, since to be able to resend I had to be an importer to do that too..
Go figure!
They wont even let me have my personal stuff (Pictures, and paperwork etc..)
Rediculous..
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Tom Woodson
Intermediate Member
Username: Diverdown48

Post Number: 127
Registered: 6-2006


Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 6:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

When I first moved to Ar. I brought my table top with me. I carried the monitor, a falt screen, with me as carry on luggage. The tower, printer, key board, mouse I put in my luggage. It made the flight ok and when I went throuh the airport check points I told them it was mine and they let me go on through.

Fedex. Oh yes. My sister sent me a package by Fedex. It cost $125 US to send. I did not know she was paying that much or I would have told her to not to bother.
In the package were a couple of pairs of Levis jeans and some prescription medication.
The package made it to Buenos Aires. We got a letter from customs.
We were told that we could get if we paid some outrageous customs tax, I do not remember how much, provide a prescription number for the medication even though each bottle had it typed on the lable, and pay the delivery person $100 US to bring it to us.
I contacted Fedex and tried to get them to help, they were no help.
At the time I was new to Ar and did not know how to say kiss my derriere. I got the medications at the local pharmacy and someone is wearing my Levi's.
I am thinking most things are abandoned in customs. So what happens to it.
In the US they would by law be sold at auction or to a contractor for resale with the government getting the money, not some worker or official of customs.

I do not want to hurt anyone's feelings, but
I am inclined to believe there is a large amount of corruption in Argentine customs.

Just one man's opinion with no offense intended.
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Tom Woodson
Intermediate Member
Username: Diverdown48

Post Number: 128
Registered: 6-2006


Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 6:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Fedex will only pay a set amount, I think $25 for lost packages unless you buy the insurance.
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Tom Woodson
Intermediate Member
Username: Diverdown48

Post Number: 131
Registered: 6-2006


Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 6:34 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have never had any problem carrying my laptop in and out of the country.
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Christian Janus
New member
Username: Christianjanus

Post Number: 3
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - 2:10 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you all for your informative posts.

Chris
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Tom Woodson
Intermediate Member
Username: Diverdown48

Post Number: 144
Registered: 6-2006


Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 - 1:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The pleasure is ours.

I hope you will share your experiences in Argenitna with us.

Good luck
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MIchael Calero
Member
Username: Michael795

Post Number: 81
Registered: 4-2007
Posted on Sunday, October 05, 2008 - 10:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi,

I had followed the advice someone stated in this forum. I arrived in B'A's with two laptops, at customs my bag was screened by the xray machine and was immediately pulled aside. The Custom agent then stated to me Sir, you have two computers. I responded, yes one for business and one is personal, he just waved me off, he didn't go any further. Just for your information.
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Living in Patagonia
Junior Member
Username: Soulskier

Post Number: 27
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Monday, October 06, 2008 - 7:51 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Excellent to know, thanks!
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Arial
Advanced Member
Username: Arial

Post Number: 272
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, October 06, 2008 - 8:37 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

This is excellent info for me since I am getting ready to move four computers to AR. Because of this info, I will have someone else carry some instead of trying to ship.

I am preparing to ship and, like everything else in AR, dependable information is hard to come by. Deby wrote above that customs is very specific about what constitutes household goods. Does anyone know what that specific list is? What is perfectly safe and reliably classified as household goods?
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WTMendoza.com
Advanced Member
Username: Welcometomendoza

Post Number: 289
Registered: 7-2007


Posted on Monday, October 06, 2008 - 9:22 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Guys please be very careful on this topic. Bringing stuff in on a residential visa is totally different than gambling at customs if you arrive here on a tourist visa.

TOURIST VISA:
There are clear laws on the books about the limited amount of stuff ya ca bring with you. But it also appears that well over 50% of the time, people breeze right through, without getting checked. Then there are situations like the "one computer is for business, and one is for pleasure. If Michael was on a tourist visa, then the cutoms agents simplty did not enforce what he could have easily enforced, which was to charge duties. But this "waiving through" does happen alot. Especially these days when travelers have so many electronics to keep them plugged into the world.

RESIDENTIAL VISA:
You have 6 months from the date you are "moving here" to enter a whole slew of your personal goods, duty free. The categories are all on file at AFIP, and a good customs broker knows them or knows how to look them up will handle your shipment properly to make sure you pay no taxes, but of course you will pay the customs broker here a reasonable fee to handle all this..most people bring thier stuff by boat.

I have had several clients bring 20 foot and 40 foot containers by ocean, and using their residential visa, they have paid no taxes. And these containers have eveything from their TV's to computers to sound systems to exercise equipment, to furniture, etc....all the stuff from their old home aborad, but just moving it here. A few of them brougt brand new TV's and flat screens also.

AFIP's greatest fear is that you are making profits by abusing this system and selling off the goods and "disturbing" the local marketplace.

Expect to pay a refundable bond or have an Argentine sign off and "guarantee" your shipment if your visa is still a temporary residential isa. Then when it goes permanenet, if you get to that stage a few years later, AFIP doesn't worry anymore about you selling your stuff into the local marketlpace.
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Ana
New member
Username: Elvislover

Post Number: 5
Registered: 5-2008
Posted on Monday, October 06, 2008 - 4:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My son's godfather's brother told me when I was visiting Argentina that as a US citizen I could bring in as many electronic items as I wanted. A friend of mine, an older woman visits her husband in Argentina about 3 times a year and she always takes some type of electronic gadget. Last time she took a 32 (or 37) inch LCD Flat-screen tv. She didn't pay anything. So what are the exact regulations? Where do I find them? Thanks!
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Arial
Advanced Member
Username: Arial

Post Number: 273
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, October 06, 2008 - 8:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

WTM, it sounds like you know more than the shipping company that I talked to (though language might be a factor). He said that I could only ship within six months after I renew next time (which is March). Is this true? As a legal(temporary) resident, it seems to me I should be able to move whenever I want to--but after all, it IS Argentina! It doesn't have to make sense.

I think, Mendoza, you recommended an English-speaking customs broker in Mendoza. I probably will bring my shipment in to Buenos Aires. Anyone know a good customs broker there?
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WTMendoza.com
Advanced Member
Username: Welcometomendoza

Post Number: 290
Registered: 7-2007


Posted on Tuesday, October 07, 2008 - 5:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

http://www.comexarshippingsa.com.ar
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WTMendoza.com
Advanced Member
Username: Welcometomendoza

Post Number: 291
Registered: 7-2007


Posted on Tuesday, October 07, 2008 - 6:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ana and Arial, when push comes to shove, it is the local tax authorities here in Argentina that make these decisions. The website is www.afip.gov.ar and over the last few months much more of it has gone English. The stories you hear about this guy or that gal making it through customs with stuff that are tecnically over the limits, are simply cases where no discovery or what is more typical, no enforcement took place. But never count on getting through customs with no issues as a tourist laden with electronics, becuase the minute you count on it 100%, wham! good luck!
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Arial
Advanced Member
Username: Arial

Post Number: 274
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 07, 2008 - 6:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Okay, and many thanks for the links. However, I'm not a tourist, I'm a resident. Don't know if that makes a difference. In any event, I really appreciate the information. I have my ticket and will be heading south soon. Yayyyyyyy! Can't wait to touch down again in Buenos Aires!

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