Argentine airport customs (!!)

#1
This was my own experience going through Argentine customs at EZE Airport on 30 July 2008.

Please take note if you are going to bring a laptop / electronic equipment through the customs - if they appear new but was bought last year, please bring along the receipt as proof that the equipment is not recent purchase.

Back in my own country (Singapore), I had to buy a new Apple computer recently as the hard disk in my old G4 machine died (plus it was the 2nd hard disk replacement, so time to get a new laptop). Argentine customs charged me almost SGD 300 (USD 200) as tax for bringing in a new laptop into the country. Even though it was for my personal use and I will bring it out of the country, the customs officials refused to budge.

Later my Argentine frens all told me the correct response was to offer the officials a bribe. Any amount starting from USD 50 onwards could have worked. Of course, as a citizen from one of the least corrupt countries in the world, I have no idea where to start offering bribes.

I don't want to alarm anybody but this is just a cautionary tale to warn against the possible pitfalls of crossing Argentine airport customs.
 
#2
nnuatang,Was your computer still in original box? I had quite a different experience with customs lately at the airport. I tried to put my bags on a conveyor belt to go through screening. They looked at my foreign passport and said that I don't have to do it. Later when I was about to leave officer asked me whether I have "clock" or "watch". Apparently it was a test for travelling Rolex salesman. I showed him my 20 dollars wristwatch and he said "You are OK to go".That's it. No problems at all.
 
#3
I fly a lot btwn Buenos Aires & the US and I have never had a problem with my laptop. In fact frequently I travel with 2 (personal & work) and again, no questions & no problems.