Customs/Laptop

Old Oct 22, 15, 11:30 am
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Customs/Laptop

Hi all,

I hope to get some clarification on customs, as I am a bit confused...

I was recently in Buenos Aires (EZE) , from Amsterdam through Rio de Janeiro and upon arrival I went through border control, picked up my luggage, and went through the X-ray machines before the exit. At no point did anyone ask me to fill out any customs form or wanted to see one. Neither when I left.

Now I'm not sure if I did something wrong?
I'll be flying again soon, and this time with my (work) laptop, a tablet, and two phones. All my personal stuff. Do I have to fill out a form? Or pay any duties (these $300 confuse me especially, as my phone alone is above that)...

Any light shedding is appreciated
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Old Oct 22, 15, 6:11 pm
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Welcome to FT. Customs controls at EZE are variable.... and they are mostly geared towards Argentines. As a visitor, I would not worry too much about Customs unless you are into serious contraband or other illicit dealings.

Safe Travels,
Gaucho100K
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Old Oct 22, 15, 6:30 pm
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As Gaucho 100K says you have nothing to worry about if they're for personal use. In the main, as far as electronic items are concerned, they're looking for locals who arrive with bundles of new gear with intentions of selling it on.
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Old Oct 22, 15, 7:10 pm
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While you are supposed to fill out a customs form (and I'm surprised the airline didn't give you one onboard), I don't know if mine have been collected more then 2 or 3 times total. In fact, on one trip where I had something I needed to declare and have it documented, they first refused the form until I insisted and then they brought me into the office.

Anything for personal use (already used) is generally fine. I wouldn't want to enter with a few new iPhones in original packaging unless I planned a visit to the local airport taxman.
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Old Oct 23, 15, 12:54 am
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
While you are supposed to fill out a customs form (and I'm surprised the airline didn't give you one onboard), I don't know if mine have been collected more then 2 or 3 times total. In fact, on one trip where I had something I needed to declare and have it documented, they first refused the form until I insisted and then they brought me into the office.

Anything for personal use (already used) is generally fine. I wouldn't want to enter with a few new iPhones in original packaging unless I planned a visit to the local airport taxman.
Thanks for the opinions Maybe I'm stressing this too much as a rule-loving German and should take the Volkswagen-approach to it...

The last leg was with Aerolineas Argentinas, who generally seemed to be taking a more relaxed approach to the whole flying experience...
Next time it's with KLM all the way to EZE, so maybe they hand out such a form.
I assume then not to declare any personal items? And what's with that special line about "mobile phones" in that form? That strikes me as weird. What if I have two phones (private/work) or for different technologies (CDMA/GSM)...
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Old Oct 23, 15, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by ambuehts View Post
I assume then not to declare any personal items? And what's with that special line about "mobile phones" in that form? That strikes me as weird. What if I have two phones (private/work) or for different technologies (CDMA/GSM)...
While I wouldn't tell anyone what to do or what not to do, I would not be surprised if someone with two phones put one in the right pants pocket, and the other in the left pants pocket.
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Old Oct 23, 15, 9:52 am
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Originally Posted by ambuehts View Post
Thanks for the opinions Maybe I'm stressing this too much as a rule-loving German and should take the Volkswagen-approach to it...

The last leg was with Aerolineas Argentinas, who generally seemed to be taking a more relaxed approach to the whole flying experience...
Next time it's with KLM all the way to EZE, so maybe they hand out such a form.
I assume then not to declare any personal items? And what's with that special line about "mobile phones" in that form? That strikes me as weird. What if I have two phones (private/work) or for different technologies (CDMA/GSM)...
I honestly don't remember being given a customs declaration form when arriving on Iberia in June although it was the usual on previous flights.
As Eastbay1K says, not that it makes one jot of difference as they never collect them anyway. You can declare your items if you want if it makes you feel better however I don't see the point.
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Old Oct 24, 15, 12:08 pm
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If you are a non-resident in Argentina and are not planning to sell any of the items you're bringing into the country, then there's no need to worry about filling in the customs declaration.
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Old Nov 30, 15, 2:22 am
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Let's say I'm traveling to EZE with more than 1 laptop and more than 2 phones, new and in original package, to be given as gifts, am I going to have to fill in the form and explain that to them?
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Old Nov 30, 15, 7:27 am
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Originally Posted by IceTrojan View Post
Let's say I'm traveling to EZE with more than 1 laptop and more than 2 phones, new and in original package, to be given as gifts, am I going to have to fill in the form and explain that to them?
That depends on how many ''more than'' is?

Saying they're gifts won't get you off the hook....they've heard it all before.
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Old Dec 1, 15, 2:22 am
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
That depends on how many ''more than'' is?

Saying they're gifts won't get you off the hook....they've heard it all before.
Really, just 2 laptops and 3-4 phones... not hauling in the warehouse.
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Old Dec 1, 15, 5:37 am
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Originally Posted by IceTrojan View Post
Really, just 2 laptops and 3-4 phones... not hauling in the warehouse.
No but you will still be over the limit. When we buy new electronic items in the UK we set them up and use them while over there. We then discard the packaging before coming home.
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Old Dec 1, 15, 7:05 am
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Originally Posted by IceTrojan View Post
Really, just 2 laptops and 3-4 phones... not hauling in the warehouse.
The duty-free limit is US$300 on new items ... Since all bags are X-rayed, if they ask you to open them and they find new electronic items in their original packaging, you will be charged duty over the $300 limit (and that's if you have the receipt for the purchase). If you not have a receipt, customs will estimate the value of the item new in Argentina (and that will be a LOT higher than for what you purchased the item).

It's not as if they separate returning Argentine nationals from foreigners being screened - everyone has to go through the same screening of their bags. The agents don't know to whom the bags belong (this year they seemed to have returned to allowing multiple passengers to line up at the entrance to each screening station, as opposed to the previous situation when only individuals/families were allowed to approach).

Depending on the agent who screens your bags, you might breeze through, but if an agent asks you to open you bag(s), and they find dutiable items that you haven't declared be prepared to pay.

You can see the customs form in the link - so you don't have to rely on getting the form on the plane and filling it out there.

http://www.afip.gob.ar/genericos/for...OM-2087-G3.pdf

Despite what a FT posted in another link, bags have always been subject to X-ray upon international arrival (at least since 2002 when I started to coming to Argentina regularly). In over 100 arrivals, I have only twice been able to skip screening - once during the H1N1 epidemic when all arriving passengers were thermally screened before being allowed to enter, and airport employees were gowned and masked - and I only had carry-on bags, and another time, when for a short while, there was a green/red random button for allowing some passengers to skip the X-ray when the screening stations were overloaded. But even then I was asked verbally about any prohibited items (and it's obviously I'm not Argentine from my accent).

On numerous occasions I've been asked to open my bags - usually because I have a lot of commercial foodstuffs that the aduanero cannot identify from the video screen. That's never been a problem when they see the item - but once they've gone to the trouble of opening your bags they will have a look. Once I was carrying a (used) replacement TV remote which prompted a thorough inspection of all my bags. I've been sent to secondary only once - not something that I would want to happen again - my bags were taken from me and searched outside my presence (and they didn't return my passport).

Only once have I been pressured for a bribe - I was carrying a 3-year old (obviously used) Macbook and a cheap cell flip-phone ... an agent became verbally abusive until I switched from English to castellano in a loud voice ...

Argentine customs law is what it is ... you know in advance what's permitted duty-free ... Es lo que hay ...

Last edited by SoFlyOn; Dec 1, 15 at 7:18 am
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Old Dec 1, 15, 10:07 am
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SoFlyOn seems to have had a much harder time at EZE customs than I have.

Although it hasn't happened for a while I do remember being waved through several times without having to put my bags through the scanners. I personally have never had my bags searched and the wife has had it happen only once after a bag of daffodil bulbs were spotted and even then it was just one case not them all.

I think a lot depends on what time of day you arrive and on which flight. European arrivals don't seem to attract as much attention as US arrivals although I have no proof of that.
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Old Dec 1, 15, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
SoFlyOn seems to have had a much harder time at EZE customs than I have.
That is because your nuts are in your pants. His are in bags from Costco.
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