Getting Stuff Into Argentina Tax Free
I received a comment today from a reader asking more about the import tax situation, so I want to respond to that for today's issue. The questions are below:
Do you know what the rules are on import duties for people who bring personal property into Argentina with them? Say a family moves there, intending to stay several years, but only brings what they can take on the plane with them. Would they have to pay the 50% tax on electronics & other goods brought in?
Importing Personal Goods At The Airport
When you arrive in Ezeiza International Aiport, you clear immigrations first and then go to customs to pick-up your bags. As you depart the airport, customs will x-ray your bags. It seems to me that the best way to approach this would be to act like you're a tourist and just try to clear customs without payment of any tax. If they know you're a resident, things are going to get a lot more complicated. They're going to try and tax you -- and then you're stuck arguing with a customs officer in Spanish about the value of your goods. Not fun.
Importing Personal Goods By Container
If you have a lot of stuff to bring into the country, you can send it in a shipping container. The good news is that if you have a temporary residency visa, you will be able to bring in personal goods tax free. The bad news is that you will need to purchase an bond from an insurance company which costs about 10% of the goods' declared value. But, this will let you ship in a whole lot of stuff via a container. Worse, is that you have to pay this 10% bond each year that you live in Argentina until you get your permanent residency visa.
What I Decided
Since I'm not shipping my whole house, I decided not to go the container route. I'm going through the airport and I'm bringing a ton of electronics into the country in my suitcases, but its all stuff that is reasonable for a traveller to bring. Here's some of the stuff I'm going to try and get away with bringing in tax & bond free:
- Camera, Camcorder, Accessories
- Laptop Computer, Accessories
- Digital Projector (since I can't bring a TV, I'll use a projector to get my big screen)
- Video Converter For Projector (allows it to work on Argentina TV signals)
- MP3 Player, Portable DVD Player, 200+ DVDs/CDs in a CD Binder
Labels: Transition Phase