Movers/Freight Company


Feb 22, 2009

I am planning on moving to Bs.As. next year in February. I am wanting to send some stuff ahead now which my father can pick up for me and store.

Can anyone recommend any good and affordable freight (by boat preferably) companies?

My dad isn't much help to me there in Bs.As. and my google search only came up with companies that do the full on move for you (pack, pick up, load and ship).

I'm in Los Angeles too and most I am finding out of Miami. If anyone can share any thoughts?
Hi Talia, I think the only options for international moves are the full-service companies. If they don't do the full move (pack, pickup, etc.), they won't take responsibility for delivery in good condition, and they can't deal with customs, etc. on the arrival side of the move.

Worse, if you're shipping more than you would send through, for example, the US mail, I think you're stuck with hiring a complete container.

A potential complication is Argentine Customs. They will charge duty on whatever you ship if you don't have a resident's visa in force when your goods arrive. If you do have a valid resident's visa, you have a 6-month period during which you can bring in whatever used personal goods you want (even including a car!) But you'll have to post a customs duty guarantee for the value of the personal goods, as set by customs here, and pay annual premiums until either you move your stuff out of the country or become a permanent resident.

If you want to explore this more, tell us your status and plans, in terms of residency and how long you intend to stay. And how much and what kinds of stuff you intend to bring. There are lots of folks on the forum who have gone through this and can give you advice.
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It is advisable to use a specialised company, because they "know" the right people at the Argentine customs. This is very important here in Argentina. We used such a company, we packed everything ourselves, they came, closed the boxes (otherwise they did not insure), put them in a container (all less then 2 hours work) and shipped them. Here they will just drop things off in our garage (they haven't arrived yet) and we will bring them upstairs and unpack.
I have been working with Alejandra at based in Canada...she is the BA branch. She has been very helpful, speaks English, and this company has the lowest prices...from the 4 or 5 quotes I have gotten it's almost half as much.

You will need to ask lots of questions and sometimes over and over to get a direct answer...but it can be done and you will get your answers. Just be very specific and detailed in what you want to know.

Feel free to tell her Deborah gave you her of luck!

[email protected]
jimdepalermo said:
But you'll have to post a customs duty guarantee for the value of the personal goods, as set by customs here, and pay annual premiums until either you move your stuff out of the country or become a permanent resident.

Jim: Can you explain this a bit more in detail? Is this expensive this "guarantee" and annual premium? for how long? And what exactly is it?

We are considering a similar move and had this same question. We are looking to move in March 2010. Our goal is to stay...well...indefinitely, barring disaster. At the very least a year...again...barring disaster or serious is certainly more than "yeah gonna back pack for a few months".
First, you need to know that a resident's visa is required in order to take advantage of the customs waiver for personal effects. This is not available to people arriving with tourist visas, who will need to have their goods inventoried and valued in detail, with current customs rates applied to each specific item.

When your shipment arrives, customs at the port will take a cursory look at your stuff and assess a value. You then need to obtain a "Seguro de Caución," which is a bond guaranteeing payment of 50% of the assessed value of your goods. The seguro is issued by an insurance company, which will typically require you to demonstrate (via a statement from a "Contador Publico" here) real estate or other assets sufficient to cover their risk. The typical premium for the seguro is 10% of the amount guaranteed.

So using, for example, an assessed value of USD 10.000, the aduana will require you to guarantee USD 5.000 against future customs duties, and the insurance company will charge you USD 500 per year for the privilege of doing so.

You'll need to update your customs guarantee and renew the seguro annually until such time as either you move your goods out of the country or obtain permanent residence status.

The local agent for your shipping company will help you obtain the Seguro de Caución, which they'll need in order to clear the shipment for delivery to you. They'll also deal with renewing your customs guarantee each year.

Finally a word of caution about air shipments. The aduana at Ezeiza is not accustomed to dealing with personal goods, and you're likely to encounter delays and avoidable expenses if you ship anything by air (other than the luggage you carry with you). We had a terrible ordeal trying to clear a small shipment of things we wanted to have before the boat arrived 3 months later. In fact, the air shipment finally cleared only a few days before the boat arrived, and the clearance cost us considerable money and aggravation. I've heard similar stories from others. Trust me - air shipments to Argentina are not worth the cost and hassle!
That's very interesting. I shipped some boxes from the UK just to the port in BA, where I did the clearing customs thing myself. I had a permanent visa, and I currently don't pay any customs guarantee on my stuff - on the other hand I didn't ship anything very expensive at all and so maybe there is a minimum amount before you start getting charged.
I think your permanent visa avoided this hassle, lwfh. The problem is with the 1-year temporary visas most of us acquire on our way to getting permanent status. As explained to me, the requirement for the guarantee stops when the importer's visa becomes permanent. I'm awaiting my permanent visa now, and I'll let you know what actually happens.
your best bet is to hire someone in BA not in the States...

I read that in an ex-pat book I bought on

You may want to read it.

google in "retiring in Argentina", it should take you to the book.
In 2006 we moved a full 40’ container from the U.S. to Argentina. Since my wife was an Argentine citizen who had lived out of Argentina for more than one year, we had a “one time opportunity” to bring in “used household goods” duty free. As was mentioned in a previous post, I believe (for security reasons) that to do this you must use a full service moving company that packs, loads and ships (Door to Door). You should investigate experienced, legitimate, well respected international moving companies based in the U.S. We used Wheaton International Movers who of course work through local movers in your place of origin and local movers at your destination. I forget who they used in the U.S. (one of the big companies though) and they used KRP Moving here in BA. The local U.S. company spent about 3 days packing and one day loading. I must say that the whole experience was a bit stressful; watching the container leave our house in the U.S. (with nearly everything we owned) was quite a sight. The container arrived by ship on schedule (about 6 weeks later, a few days after we signed a lease on a house), was delivered to our house and the KRP crew took 2 days to unload, unpack, assemble beds, tables, etc. AND haul away all of the paper and cardboard. Of course there are some very important details and documents (inventory lists, insurance, etc.) to have in place to make things go smooth. We had no problems at all in Customs

When all was said and done, we found one wooden giraffe had a small piece of his ear broken. Needless to say, we were very relieved and extremely satisfied with the service, particularly with Mr. Lucas Kent of KRP Moving in BA. The pricing formula is based somewhat on weight but more on volume, in other words when Wheaton determined that we would probably need a 40’ container, a fixed price was quoted based on the “average” weight of a filled container. The container and contents was of course weighed, but the actual weight did not affect the price. So this meant that if there was room in the container for example for garden tools, or that box of toys you are not sure if your kid will use again, sure through them in, because it had no effect on the final shipping cost! Bottom line, as usual, do your homework!