Argentine airport customs (!!)


Sep 3, 2008
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.
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.
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.