Bringing Food Items Into Argentina

ptikobj

Registered
My husband and I are moving to Argentina. I take superfood supplements on a daily basis. I would like to bring some with me. My husband's family out there pretty much lives on meat and potatoes. They are items that I don't know if I'll be able to find in Argentina or if I do, they might be very expensive. Specifically: spriulina and chlorella (for those of you who never heard of that, it's just algae, dried and turned into powder), chia seeds, raw cacao powder and cinnamon (my husband told me cinnamon is very expensive out there). Can anyone tell me if I'm going to have any problems bringing that into the country? I don't want to risk ordering and having them shipped from the US. I've heard that customs and customs fees are really bad. Also, I read somewhere else that you cannot bring fresh fruits and vegetables in. Would fresh ginger be a problem?
 

Ries

Registered
its totally random what they confiscate and what they dont. they usually, but not always, will let prepackaged products thru. they have taken hard boiled eggs from us, fruit, but usually not commercial packaged products. You will not be able to order and have them shipped from the US- it just wont work.
I would suggest you learn to eat locally. There are many options besides meat and potatoes, and many farmers markets, health food stores, and organic products available. Spirulina is sold here- perhaps not your familiar brand, but its here.
 

Crema Americana

Registered
From my experience, customs mostly cares about fruits, meats, and dairy products... especially the fresh variety. Not sure about ginger, but I doubt they'd find it. In any case, even if you do get caught, I doubt they give you too hard a time... it's not like the US where you have to pay extravagant fines, but they will probably take it and throw it away.

Supplements and spices should be fine, unless you're bringing in an obscene amount which may suggest reselling.

Bringing it in your suitcase instead of trying to ship would probably be a better bet. You could try having small packages sent every once in a while (keep it under a pound or two)... from what I've heard the mailing situation is getting better, but I wouldn't completely trust it.
 

GMXam

Registered
I agree with the above.

Cinnamon, I've found to be milder in flavor here, but not any more expensive. You could bring one of those large spice bottles of cinnamon and be set for a year or so, though (speaking as a heavy user of this in daily shakes). They have not confiscated spices any time I've brought them in my suitcase. I've also had a suitcase full of Soylent packages and all my other goodies that just spurred curiosity, then concerns for my health as a vegetarian. No big deal, but go with the attitude that you might lose something and you'll be pleasantly celebrating if nothing gets confiscated. Cacao and chia seeds, you can find these in a store called New Garden, found all over Palermo. Chia can also be found in Farmacity in small baggies (a pharmacy easily found). Ginger is easily found at the many vegetable stands (verdulerias). No need to bring. As for Spirulina and chlorella, you may be able to find these but they might be hard to find and expensive (I'm fairly certain I've seen Spirulina, possibly at New Garden). I'd recommend bringing two large containers of each to tide you over while you search for them. If I find them when I go next to do my shopping, I'll post here with an update. Welcome and good luck!
 

MikeB12

Registered
Chia seeds are cheap in Argentina compared to the US. I'd just buy them here. Fresh ginger is plentiful here too.

I'd just bring the algae powder with you.
 

irina

Registered
Chia seeds are cheap here, especially bought in bulk in Linears, the bolivian market.

I just brought spirulina, maca powder, and collagen with me in my suitcase without any problems a week ago, they were in sealed packages.
 

GMXam

Registered
Found Chlorella and Spirulina at New Garden today...IMG_0786.JPG

Cacao powder can be found at New Garden and Casa Munay in Palermo.
 

Ries

Registered
while I do shop at New Garden myself, its a chain health food store, selling a variety of commercial products- and I supplement it with places like Mercado Bonpland, which is a worker run co-op of a half dozen different stalls, selling things like organic mate direct from the grower, along with great produce, dairy, cheeses, juices, and spices, all organic, local, and with no corporate middleman. I doubt they have fancy bodybuilder "power foods", but lots of real stuff.
https://www.yelp.com...nd-buenos-aires\

also I love El Galpon-
https://www.yelp.com.ar/biz/el-galp%C3%B3n-buenos-aires
similar direct from the farmer and cheesemaker products.

and the feria del productor is really great- but only once a month or so.
https://www.facebook.com/Feriadelproductoralconsumidorenlafauba/
 

newtothegroup

Registered
Hello Fellow Expat,
Telling this from my personal experience.(Underlying assumption is that the goods are not for trade and are for personal consumption only)

I moved a year back, from India. I had brought a lot (LOT) of lentils, staples, spices etc.I was expecting my luggage to be screened and myself to be questioned by the authorities. The expectation was duly met.
After 10 odd minutes of me explaining to the customs person at the airport, WE finally established that all of these items are for personal consumption and I am not bringing these for the purpose of the plantation. He even showed me a flier which mentioned the prohibited items and basically, it is only about items related to plantation/vegetation that is not allowed in the country (almost all the countries have this guideline). So the job remained for me to convince that my lentils, cardamoms, Cinnamons and other exotic spices from India were all for consumption and they actually did not have the property to be re-planted. Rice was allowed too.
One of my friend's goods were confiscated but he was not able to explain the above story. I have done this thrice, so this cannot be a coincidence.
Further, you need not bring ginger, There is plenty of it here. Some days, it is even of very good quality. (I consume ginger daily).

P.S. Try that all of these items are not in the original packing and packed by yourself. Helps in explaining that these are not for trade and are for personal consumption only.
 
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