Bringing a cell phone into Argentina as a gift

Sojourner

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An Argentine friend has asked that I bring in a new or used cell phone the next time I come to BA. I (not Argentine) could take in a personal phone, use it with a MoviStar sim or whatever and leave the phone for her to load her sim when I depart.

Two questions I guess – would this work and just how illegal might it be to do?

I have a vague memory of a law passed a while back related to government-registered IMEI codes and pirated blocked phones.
 

jblaze5779

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Just take it out of the box before you leave and carry it in your pocket when you go through security. I regularly travel with 2 phones and I never have an issue. Security never checks your pockets anyways.
 

semigoodlookin

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Your allowed to bring a device back now, no? Either way, do as above and you will be fine.
 

Ceviche

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Just take it out of the box before you leave and carry it in your pocket when you go through security. I regularly travel with 2 phones and I never have an issue. Security never checks your pockets anyways.
2 open phones are legally allowed.
 

Sojourner

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Just take it out of the box before you leave and carry it in your pocket when you go through security. I regularly travel with 2 phones and I never have an issue. Security never checks your pockets anyways.
Actually my concern isn't with getting a phone into or out of Argentina (I routinely take two with me for different purposes), but whether the phone I gift can be used by my friend. As I say, there was a fuss a while back about a new law aimed at phone thieves to keep stolen phones from being allowed access to in-country service. Somehow it involved registration of IMEI codes.

It was never clear to me whether this would prevent service to a phone brought "unregistered" into Argentina. I routinely obtain SIM cards for temporary use without problems but I'm not sure this is quite the same thing as a resident Argentine using the phone with their usual provider.

If anyone has had experience gifting or has knowledge of the law, it would be interesting to know (& thanks).
 

jblaze5779

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I bought a Samsung phone in Amsterdam. Brought it back into argentina and popped my Claro prepaid sim in without issue. No problems.
 

Sojourner

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Actually my concern isn't with getting a phone into or out of Argentina (I routinely take two with me for different purposes), but whether the phone I gift can be used by my friend. As I say, there was a fuss a while back about a new law aimed at phone thieves to keep stolen phones from being allowed access to in-country service. Somehow it involved registration of IMEI codes.

It was never clear to me whether this would prevent service to a phone brought "unregistered" into Argentina. I routinely obtain SIM cards for temporary use without problems but I'm not sure this is quite the same thing as a resident Argentine using the phone with their usual provider.

If anyone has had experience gifting or has knowledge of the law, it would be interesting to know (& thanks).
Well, a little googling and I may have answered my own question (yes, all lines must be registered):

¿Todas las líneas telefónicas de celulares tienen que registrarse?
Sí. Todas las líneas telefónicas de celulares tienen que registrarse. Se incluyen las líneas que tienen contratación prepaga, pospaga y mixta que pertenezcan a personas, empresas u organismos. Resolución 8507-E/2016, Anexo, Art. 1. Ente Nacional de Telecomunicaciones. https://www.argentina.gob.ar/justiciacerca/registrolineacelular

Four methods of registering, online/in person, are provided. If I am understanding correctly, if an Argentine user obtains a different phone, all that is needed is to advise his or her service provider of the new IMEI: Si la línea de telefonía móvil cambia de titular, hay que informarle a la empresa de telefonía móvil para que haga el cambio de registración. In my specific case I presume it would be needful only to have previously registered the phone as a result of obtaining a temporary SIM card (DNI holder) in order to facilitate my friend's "cambio."

Or maybe it is not needful to provide my friend with a pre-registered phone. I may be overthinking this. In either event I appear to be covered.
 
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