Explanations of customs laws...


Mar 18, 2009
I am a bit confused as to the customs laws here, and was wondering if anyone here would shed some light on the issue for me. My understanding is that all individuals, extranjeros and natives, are allowed to recieve packages up to $25 in value. Once over this amount, you have to pay 50% of the value. I also thought that customs officials have to respect what is declared on the form, if someone does not put a value then they have the right to assign a value. The other day, the customs official did not believe what was declared even though the contents were declared as used and wanted me to pay $100 usd. I asked for an explanation of how that value was calculated and he provided nothing except saying that is the value here in Argentina. That rule (if you can call it that) seems highly subjective. Is there regulations explaining how value is assigned? Does the $25 limit apply to all forms of shipment (Fed EX, DHL, correo)? Do they have the right to challenge the declared value? Are their any exceptions as to the limit? I read on the AFIP rules, Articulo 555: Salvo disposición especial en contrario, los enviós postales que carecieren de finalidad comercial no estan sujetos a las prohibiciones de carácter económico

In general, I am confused as to if used items are taxed, items for personal use only, if there are exceptions to this $25 rule, and how value is assigned? Any help?

I think I heard a customs official reply, "RULES? WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' RULES!"
Good one Steve..
I think it depends on how much money the custom official wants to make that day.
What was it you had delivered?

Unfortunately it seems they have the power to do whatever they want, and its a bit irrelevant whether or not they have the authority to do so.
If the items are small, I would suggest sending them (from the USA) using USPS:


This stuff gets here in ~5 days and isn't opened by customs.

"Priority Mail International" has taken up to 17 days, needs to be picked up in Retiro, and is opened.
Look , take the approach I took . In plain spanish , tell them you want to speak to their supervisor and that at that very instant you want to file a police complaint.
That ought to get their attention.
I have a horrible tale of woe. Dont participate in bribes. dont allow yourself to be victim of extorsion
Yes, the only way to get things here and NOT pay duty is Express Mail International via the U.S. Post Office....just be sure they claim the items inside as "personal items" and if that doesn't work, some P.O.'s want more info, just mark it pants, socks, shirts...keep the value low...and the most important thing is to make sure they mark the paper work as "gifts" otherwise you will pay duty on the claimed value...happend to me. The postal guy that delivered it told us to have them mark it gifts..

It is expensive to ship... I keep the boxes 5 to 8 pounds and runs at least 45 to 50 dollars but as far as I know the only way to get your goods..unopened and delivered to your home and you don't have to deal with the P.O. from hell!!

**oh these boxes have all been shipped from N.Y., and have taken 4 to 7 days.