Searches at airport?

Edmund Pickett

I'll be returning to BA in a few weeks and I'd like to get current news on what's happening at the airport. Lots of rumors going around, but I'd like to hear from US citizens who have entered Ezezia from the US recently. What are the customs people up to? How are they searching and what for? I have the usual presents, books, etc. but have been gone for 8 months and I've heard it's all changed. What shouldn't I bring?
Also, my wife will be with me and she is Argentine. What can she expect?


Returning to Ezeiza in August I had no problems. They show a video as you wait in line for the immigration official. Video talks about how open and friendly Argentina is to immigrants. I had the friendliest official ever - seriously. Bags went through x-ray machine, laptop (old) inside. Nothing said. I did see one man with a new computer beng interviewed. With everything changing so fast, your experience could be different. I did recently update my DNI to the new plastic card as I'd had an unfriendly official on a previous trip examine my DNI carefully, finally asking if I were a permanent resident (clearly says so on the DNI). I was afraid she would detain me but she let me pass. I think it's usually a matter of the personality of the official. As for carrying cash out of the country, they do a pat down search so they definitely detect it. An argentne friend was carrying USD $9,900 out of the country. The security official detected the money and said "You're carrying money, aren't you"? He said "yes" and the official let him go.


Friend of mine arrived on Monday.

Customs was painfully slow and inefficient, but did not pay too much attention to luggage.
They asked if the total amount of stuff brought in was over U$D 300. Stupid looks were enough to get waved through.

ETA downtown was one hour later than expected.

Us argies get the full gestapo treatment.

Hope this helps.


What about "old" passport issues at EZE? My mother traveled to Mexico a couple of months ago and was heavily hassled by immigrations for not having the new passport with the chip, so much so she got a new one right away. I haven't entered Arg since March of this year so I was wondering if this is something new that immigration people are starting to become strict about. Has anyone mentioned this to anyone?


Tip for the X-ray:

My husband was travelling to Neuquen on biz and had some equipment, sensors etc. When he got there the guys at security were really interested in how it all worked etc, so he pulled it out, was showing them all different types of tech the crew had with them, chatted with them for ages, the security guys were laughing having a great time with them, so husband took opportunity to ask them a few questions about the X-ray -- one which he asked is -- is it true that if you put one laptop right on top of the other when it goes through the kray, it can't pick up that there are two in there. Answer, 100% yes -- if you lay a backpack or bag down flat on thebelt with one device over the other, the x-ray will just read it as one machine. Now of course there is a chance that they'll still ask you to open the bag, of course. However on the way back from Canada I had a brand new ipad and laptop in my backpack, and had no intention of paying duties -- so did the trick, hid one under the other, passed it through, no problem. Next trip that my husband went on he "nationalised" our ipad -- ie he put it on his electronics declaration form before leaving the country, so even if they asked him about it on the way back it would look as if it had been purchased here.

My easiest way to get through customs without any stops though really is my child -- a woman travelling alone with a baby, looking haggared, baby hopefully crying and they just don't even bother. One time i put my bags through and had loads and loads of stuff, way over 300 USD coming in, i saw the xray guy raise his hand, he was about to stop me, and then saw the crying baby etc and just waved me through. If you're coming through as a family maybe best to make the woman go through with the kids AND the majority of the suitcases on her own, and the man go through separately a few minutes later. Unlike in the USA where they relly do nothing to make it easier ona woman travelling alone with kids, here they really do extend quite a bit of courtesy (skipping lines at immigrations on your way out for instance).


Through EZE last week. Long lines but no problems for this US Citizen. Luggage contained about 120# of food stuff plus the usual electronics and some off the wall stuff: pots and pans. Custom's agent asked what country I was from and then waved through. For the Argentines', it is another story.
Arrived via Air France this week, no issues at all. Slightly ponderous immigration queue , customs checked nothing and happily stamped my wife's passport as a returning citizen. We were braced for hassle but it was relatively painless. Neither of us are from the US if that changes anything.


arrived air canada this week with no issues. I always hold my canadian passport in my hand so they can see it, even though i'm an argentine resident. always get waved through...

if that doesn't work, perhaps Syngirl's screaming baby can be loaned out for the next trip. :p
  • Like
Reactions: tez


I flew in from Newark this morning. Lines were long at customs but my line moved quickly. I had some electronics in my bags and put them through the x-ray. The official didn't even look at my customs declaration form, he just stuck in a pile with about a hundred others, and nobody said a word to me the entire time.


arrived air canada this week with no issues. I always hold my canadian passport in my hand so they can see it, even though i'm an argentine resident. always get waved through...

if that doesn't work, perhaps Syngirl's screaming baby can be loaned out for the next trip. :p
Question for holders of foreign passport + DNI: how often, if ever, did having a DNI come to the attention of the customs officer?
(by the X-ray machine, not at immigration of course)