Getting household goods/car into country


Jul 19, 2007
Any way to get our household goods and a vehicle into the country without being held up at customs?

Short Answer: No. Long Answer: Probably not. What's your immigration status? If you are immigrating as a permanent resident, or one of the members of your party is an Argentinean who can prove they have lived outside Argentina for more than a year and they file the appropriate paperwork with the Argentina Embassy in the country they were living, then you can get it all in duty free. That still doesn't mean it won't be hassle free. The only way to get it through hassle free would be to have some good friends who are high up in the Government, or a wife who is pregnant or has a very young baby and she goes all by herself (not kidding, search BANewcomers list for a story on that; I suspect it would work most of the time). I've read one or two people who got a car through, and they both said they were sorry they did it, and it took over a year to get the car through, and I believe, if memory serves, it was for a permanent resident. Apparently it takes that long because you have to file a bunch of paperwork to get the car registered in Argentina...
When I came down, I didn't bring anything. Since then, I've read 5 or 6 stories of people who did it, and except for the pregnant Argentinean, the rest were all very negative about the experience. So, I feel vindicated :)
Thanks jasonphos for saving us the headache. We thought we could avoid buying stuff like electronics and an auto due to the high cost in country but if its that much trouble we will pass.

Take care!

Paul and Debbie
Each person (resident or tourist) CAN bring a "reasonable" amount of
"used items" duty free with you when you arrive by plane. The obvious
choice is a laptop (in a carry on bag...not in the box). It should be
six months old, but I doubt anyone will check. Download all of your CDs
and back them up on a USB drive. Throw in the digital camera of your
choice, your favorite video game and you'll have the basics covered.
Flat screen TVs are still relatively expensive here, but have come down
about 50% in price in the past two years. DVDs here are region 4, so
you need a mulit-region player from the US or buy one here (relatively
more expensiv, but certainly not a high ticket item). You could bring
a large flat screen TV with you, pay the extra $100UDS to the airline,
and 50% duty here...and save some money, but remember you will need to
transport everything from the airport in a Buenos Aires taxi...or call for a filete (usually quite reasonably priced).
my opinion the two best cars available at reasonable prices here are
the Honda Fit and the Civic. They do not come with the high import
tariff, but do come with Honda quality. You may wait several months for
delivery if you buy new. I have lived without a car here for two
years...and I love it.
I agree with Steve, what you can bring in with your luggage on the plane is OK. If you can leave things here and have to make several journeys it is best to bring a few things each time.
As for a car (bit big for hold luggage) you may find you can get on quite well without one. You have to be crazy to drive in the city, and your pride and joy will soon become a wreck. You can cross the city much quicker by subte or very often by foot. Itis tiring at first,but a great way to learn the streets, and burn off all those nice steaks.
Btw, I agree with SteveinBS - Bring small electronics with you on the plane, like digital cameras, camcorders, a laptop. Also, when I said "I didn't bring anything", I meant the big stuff. My wife and I brought 8 suitcases with us on the plane, and we also shipped about 10 boxes weighing 40 pounds each through USPS. I understand that the shipping category we use may have been eliminated by USPS, and the max pounds may be less these days, I'm not sure. Since I was a permanent resident, getting the suitcases and the boxes was duty free, and it was pretty hassle free. For the suitcases, there was no hassle at all (except lugging them through the airport). For the boxes, we had to go to the central location to get them, but when I told them I was a permanent resident inmigrating, there was no more questions.
Thanks for all of your help. We appreciate your suggestions.