laptop ´TAX´ at ezeiza?! BEWARE

diosaarenosa

Registered
so here´s the thing. i got passed passport control and then i was asked to put my hand luggage through the x-ray machine (i didn´t think one had to do that at the other end but in argie anything´s possible). when they saw i had a macbook the guy asked me if he could look at it.

he pulled it out, opened it on top of his counter and proceeded to ask me questions about it and about my circumstances and reasons for entering the country (i don´t look english per se but travel with an english passport). i told him the laptop had been a gift from my father and that it was invaluable as i was about to start a course. he asked me how old it was and how much it had cost in pounds. i told him that the market price was 849, to which he replied ´we´ll call it 800´. he then punched some numbers into a calculator and calculated the equivalent in pesos. he told me that he was obliged to charge me duty on the machine, mentioning 40% of it´s market value. he said i was to pay $300 US dollars. i thought this preposterous, and told him so in no uncertain terms. why should i have to be out of pocket for something that had clearly been used and was not in its original packaging?

as i am anglo-argentine and speak porteno spanish fluently, i was able to stand my ground during this. i told him i was coming in ´con mi plata contada´ as an argentine rather than a rich european with loads of savings in pounds. he said "surely you have money? you can always pay on a credit card". i said i didn´t have one. i insisted that the laptop was essential for my studies and he stood pondering and said he wondered how we could get around it. then he suggested 150 dollars, and i continued to insist that i didn´t see why i should pay anything and that i was broke. "not even 50 pounds? you must have that surely?" he insisted.

when it became evident that i wasn´t going to budge on my position, it was obvious he was tiring of me because he just skulked back to where the other staff were sat and i took the liberty of taking my bags and carried on through to the airport hall.

if this tax was legitimate, it would surely have been a fixed sum and he would have proposed some kind of official form or document for me to fill in. the fact that he asked for three different sums of varying amounts and then let me go i think is testament to the fact that he was trying to make a fast buck out of me. i was angry that this might happen to a less informed and perhaps more naive tourist, with little or no command of spanish who would duly comply and be 300 or more dollars out of pocket. there is NO REASON WHATSOEVER why one should have to pay duty on a used computer, IMO.

i would be interested to know what the law stipulates on this issue, if indeed there is one.
 

ricardo9000

Registered
diosaarenosa said:
so here´s the thing. i got passed passport control and then i was asked to put my hand luggage through the x-ray machine (i didn´t think one had to do that at the other end but in argie anything´s possible). when they saw i had a macbook the guy asked me if he could look at it.

he pulled it out, opened it on top of his counter and proceeded to ask me questions about it and about my circumstances and reasons for entering the country (i don´t look english per se but travel with an english passport). i told him the laptop had been a gift from my father and that it was invaluable as i was about to start a course. he asked me how old it was and how much it had cost in pounds. i told him that the market price was 849, to which he replied ´we´ll call it 800´. he then punched some numbers into a calculator and calculated the equivalent in pesos. he told me that he was obliged to charge me duty on the machine, mentioning 40% of it´s market value. he said i was to pay $300 US dollars. i thought this preposterous, and told him so in no uncertain terms. why should i have to be out of pocket for something that had clearly been used and was not in its original packaging?

as i am anglo-argentine and speak porteno spanish fluently, i was able to stand my ground during this. i told him i was coming in ´con mi plata contada´ as an argentine rather than a rich european with loads of savings in pounds. he said "surely you have money? you can always pay on a credit card". i said i didn´t have one. i insisted that the laptop was essential for my studies and he stood pondering and said he wondered how we could get around it. then he suggested 150 dollars, and i continued to insist that i didn´t see why i should pay anything and that i was broke. "not even 50 pounds? you must have that surely?" he insisted.

when it became evident that i wasn´t going to budge on my position, it was obvious he was tiring of me because he just skulked back to where the other staff were sat and i took the liberty of taking my bags and carried on through to the airport hall.

if this tax was legitimate, it would surely have been a fixed sum and he would have proposed some kind of official form or document for me to fill in. the fact that he asked for three different sums of varying amounts and then let me go i think is testament to the fact that he was trying to make a fast buck out of me. i was angry that this might happen to a less informed and perhaps more naive tourist, with little or no command of spanish who would duly comply and be 300 or more dollars out of pocket. there is NO REASON WHATSOEVER why one should have to pay duty on a used computer, IMO.

i would be interested to know what the law stipulates on this issue, if indeed there is one.

Hi, I was worried about this happening to me too when I returned six weeks ago from Europe, but I was carrying 2 newish laptops that were both under 7months old.
I too was surprised to see an ex-ray machine on the way out! Luckily the only thing that happened was that the official just asked me where I was coming from, they didn't check anything & just let me go through without any delay.

My appearance is of the more typical darker complexion. I was born here but was brought up in Australia. I heard that they may hassle me & tried to be prepared with receipts etc, I'm a data recovery specialist & I was not going to budge on it. It makes me extremely angry to know that they allow these thieves to front our airport. I'm very sensitive about the treatment of 'guests' who come to visit our country, I was ready to email all main tourist advisory/media travel offices around the world (especially tourism media) to let them know of the corruption if they tried it on me, it should NEVER happen. How dumb would it be? to kill the tourism industry cause of dirty corrupt officials on gov pay? Make them pay I say, report it & make lots of noise!

Sorry to hear they tried it on you.
 

ricardo9000

Registered
Meant to clarify that my two laptops did go through the ex-ray, they did see them, but just asked me where I was traveling from & did not try anything. These two laptops look very new, but they did not even ask me to pull them out of the bags.
 

Salsicha

Registered
Whoa, this sounds a bit worrying! I am flying into Ezeiza in a weeks time with my 2 week old macbook. I hope they don't try and pull these shenanigans on me. Does anyone know what the official policy is with bringing in a personal laptop?
 

angieinba

Registered
we've flown into EZE 4 times in the past 10 months from the US and every time we have had sooo much stuff.. 2 laptops, 2 ipods, an iphone, and ton of expensive professional camera equipment. this last time we had 9 pieces of luggage and nothing was even checked. 4 of the pieces were big babies items still in original packaging.

i think it's a matter of luck and being able to really speak the language.
 

tangobob

Registered
I have always carried my laptop as hand baggage, and have never had a problem.
It could of course be that mine looks like it has been through a war:eek:
I have never understood why they xray at arrivals, it would be interesting to find out if anyone knows why.:confused:
 

diosaarenosa

Registered
angieinba said:
i think it's a matter of luck and being able to really speak the language.
but it shouldn't have to be that way! i know because i speak spanish i was able to stand my ground and it helped that i knew straight away he was trying to pull a fast one but the less informed or naive traveller may come a cropper. there should be clear guidelines and universal policies on bringing electrical goods into the country, stipulating whether charges are only applicable to new appliances, and if so what constitutes 'new'.
 

syngirl

Registered
TangoBob -- mine is also well worn -- looks like I need to get one of the hinges replaced actually (showing first signs of going, i better get it fixed before it tears itself apart) -- have you had anyone do any laptop repairs for you? I've used a guy ages ago for a monitor backlight replacement and he was good but can't find his card. Also, I can't be without the laptop for too long, so if you know someone down here that can do quick turn around that would be great!
 

Fishface

Registered
diosaarenosa said:
but it shouldn't have to be that way! i know because i speak spanish i was able to stand my ground and it helped that i knew straight away he was trying to pull a fast one but the less informed or naive traveller may come a cropper. there should be clear guidelines and universal policies on bringing electrical goods into the country, stipulating whether charges are only applicable to new appliances, and if so what constitutes 'new'.
...they may have picked on you as you may look argentine, you may be attractive and the guy wanted to chat to you - nothing suprises me anymore. (the young lady that discovered the 'suitcase' gave up her job at EZE customs and now parades her arse (literally) on TV whenever possible)

I got 'busted' at EZE with a huge bag full of brand new baby stuff - the guy asked me to open the bag - when he saw it was baby stuff - he said 'ah bueno' and waved me on.

I have a theory that the electrical 'luxury' taxes and importation rules are carefully studied with the electrical retailers. You will also find that your global warranty is valid in all countries of the world except ARG unless it has an AFIP sticker of legal importation.

However, the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen was travelling to MIA with Areoleneas - all ARG nationals had to register their electrical goods and *their batteries* - SN numbers etc with customs at EZE before getting on the plane.
 
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