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Trip to Mendoza - flying into Santiago. OK to bring Argentine wine back to Chile?

Trip to Mendoza - flying into Santiago. OK to bring Argentine wine back to Chile?

Old Aug 12, 15, 9:34 pm
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Trip to Mendoza - flying into Santiago. OK to bring Argentine wine back to Chile?

I found a great airfare to Santiago in Oct and plan to take the scenic bus over the Andes to Mendoza.

I will either bus or fly back to Santiago, whichever makes sense.

I'd like to buy a couple of cases of wine in Mendoza. Will I have issues returning to Chile for my return flight? Problems, taxes, etc.

Does returning via bus vs. car make a difference?

Thanks.
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Old Aug 19, 15, 2:18 pm
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Yes, you could have trouble with a "couple of cases." Chilean law allows a maximum of 2,500 cubic centimeters of alcohol to be brought into the country tax-free (I presume that's per person). I've never made the land crossing, but by air ALL luggage, cargo, etc. will go through the big x-rays and they will definitely see that you've got a large quantity.

Link is in Spanish, sorry: https://www.gochile.cl/guias/guia-ch...y-aduanas.html
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Old Aug 19, 15, 2:29 pm
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I don't mind paying a bit of tax. How much will it slow me down?
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Old Aug 19, 15, 2:31 pm
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Originally Posted by BostonGuy View Post
I don't mind paying a bit of tax. How much will it slow me down?
That I can't find, unfortunately. Chile is notorious for not publishing penalties/fees, etc. The closest I could come was for wine import businesses, which of course you're not.

The SAG (www.sag.cl) would be the place to look, but it's not easy and all en español.

Sorry I can't help more.
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Old Aug 26, 15, 7:21 am
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In my experience, Chilean customs officials are more than reasonable, especially with non-Chileans. Last year, as a foreigner resident in Chile, I flew from Toronto to Santiago with a bulky photo printer in a colossal box. Going through the X-ray check, a customs official flagged it and asked me how much it was worth. I informed him (correctly) that it cost approximately US$800, and that it was for a friend in Lima. He asked me when the unit was going to be shipped to Peru and I told him (again, correctly) that my friend was going to be traveling in two weeks' time and would take it with him. The official let me go, with no more than that verbal assurance.

My bet is that if you explain that the wine is going back with you to the US and show the official a return ticket, he/she will probably let you go. It will certainly help if you speak Spanish since most of the officials speak little or no English.

Of course, there are no guarantees! But Chileans generally are pretty relaxed about this sort of thing.

Still, I don't know why you wouldn't just take Chilean wine back with you. Santiago shops like Vinoteca and Mundo del Vino are adept at packing wine for shipping, and the Chilean plonk is as good or better (IMHO) than the stuff you buy in Mendoza.

By the way, you're aware that the bus ride to Mendoza is an eight hour affair with a potentially long wait at the border, and that in October the Los Libertadores pass can be closed temporarily on short notice, due to late winter snow storms?
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Old Aug 26, 15, 7:41 am
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Thank you Siempre Vlajando, for that info.

I knew the bus ride was long, but thought it was more like 5-6. Your point is a good one. I may need to fly, as much as I would enjoy the view.

I write a blog about Argentine wines, so at this point, I'm keeping my focus there!

Last edited by BostonGuy; Aug 26, 15 at 7:41 am Reason: typo
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Old Jul 18, 16, 4:45 pm
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So what was the outcome of this? I'm scheduled to fly MDZ-SCL-LAX, but on two separate PNR's due to lack of award availability. I was planning on having roughly one case of wine going home, but could be up to two depending on how the trip goes (1st visit!). If there are two people on the PNR, should I plan on any issues, or is this not a big deal?

I've heard LAN will not through-check baggage on separate tickets, even though both of my flight segments are on LAN... hence my concern.

Thx,
-CLG
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