Shipping Belongings From the US to Argentina


Jan 10, 2007
I am an American Expat living in BA for about a year and a half now. We ended up staying after our Florida house was more or less destroyed by a hurricane in 2005. My wife is Argentine as is my daughter (Dual Citizenship). I'm wondering if anybody had any tips on how I go about shipping my belongings down here without having to pay import taxes. Self storage is getting to be murder on the pocketbook. Thanks!
I think you can forget about not paying import-taxes, because you will and a lot as well.
I think you are better off selling your Florida stuff and buy new stuff in Argentina
Paul, Why do you say I can forget about not paying import taxes? My understanding is after receiving legal residency (DNI) you are allowed to import your belongings.
I never did it but after my experience with Argentine customs I doubt it.
Can you ask your employer to take care of it? They might have better connections then you have
Not everyone has had negative experiences with Customs or with Argentine people as some have suggested here.
If you have residency you will have little problems dealing with customs.
I have a cedar chest and some dishes at my Dads house and just asked him to ship it to me. I hope it won't be a problem. Should I wait until after I get my permanent visa? I'm on an expired tourist visa now but just got married. Anybody know how to renew an expired visa? Mine expired in Feb.
I am pretty sure that you have to pay NO taxes. I lived three years in DC and brought back EVERYTHING, which cost me a fortune because the container was half empty. You do have to pay port fees, which yes are a fortune. So, be sure to know in advance all the fees you will be paying at BA port since when I hired the service in DC they ensured me that all to be paid was what we paid for there, therefore my suprise when the stuff arrived: it was more than 1,000 USD in fees (I still have the papers so I can update you precisely on what account I was paying for them), as I didn't have the money at the time, I just left the container at the port for about 2 or 3 months. What I didn't know was that every day of delay would cost me another fortune, to wrap it up I ended up paying around 3,000/4000 USD (may 2003). I hesitated about leaving the container abandonned to customs but then just the thought of all my belongings passing on to customs officials made me feel nauseating (yes I know that the state is entitled to them but here in Argentina....) so finally I almost pawned my grandmother's jewels:) and got back the items.
You should speak with a despachante de aduana (I don't know the english word for it). Ah just to mention if you bring quite a few luggage through Ezeiza show your US passport, you shouldn't have any problem. When I showed my USA student visa, it was a big relief, they didn't open my luggage and I was bringing with me I don't know how many bags...........I couldn't walk.
BAJay, for answers to your question, here is the official website of
the Argentine Consulate in Miami. The link specifically details the
prerequisites for the importing of household goods by Argentine
citizens and legal permanent residents. For those who qualify, there is
NO import tax. For more details you can e-mail them directly. Sorry,
there is no English version of this part of the website.
hi just got off the phone with the Argentine consulate in Chicago,according to them if you are married to an Argentine you are taxed on nothing. The only thing is you need to ask if you have to apply for resedency and get some type of official document to prove it. Hope this helps, o here is the number for the Chicago branch they answer the phone. hope this helps 312 819 2610
There are lots of variables in this issue, and you really need to ask someone who does this stuff for a living to get accurate and complete information. My understanding is that you can bring in your household goods without customs or import taxes under certain types of residency visas, but generally you have a nine-month window (from three months before you arrive until six months after) to do so. Also, until your visa becomes permanent, you may have to pay a small insurance premium as a guarantee that you don't sell your stuff.
I shipped my entire household down here, and did not pay a dime in customs or import taxes. I did pay USD $750.00 in port fees, but my shipping agent informed me at the very start of the process that this was going to happen, so I had it budgeted and it was not a surprise. And until my residency visa becomes permanent, I have to pay a small quarterly insurance premium to guarantee that I do not sell my household goods.My understanding (which could very well be inaccurate or incomplete) is that if your spouse is an Argentine national and has lived outside of Argentina for some period of time (I believe one year), then he or she can bring back household goods at no charge, either. You should talk to a shipping agent here to get a better picture. Two that seem to hvae good repuatations are Argenmove and Mercovan.