Customs and Duties
Customs uses a random inspection system that requires you to push a button at the inspection bay—if a green light appears, you walk through; if a red light appears, your bags are X-rayed (and very occasionally opened). Officially, foreign tourists are allowed to bring up to 2 liters of alcoholic beverages, 400 cigarettes, and 50 cigars into the country duty-free. You are also allowed another $300 worth of purchases from the duty-free shops, which most of Argentina's international airports have, after you land. In practice, however, most officials wave foreigners through customs controls and are rarely interested in alcohol or tobacco. Personal clothing and effects are admitted duty-free, provided they have been used, as are personal jewelry and professional equipment. Fishing gear and skis present no problems.
If you enter the country by bus from Bolivia, Brazil, or Paraguay, you, your bags, and the vehicle may be subject to lengthy searches by officials looking for drugs and smuggled goods.
Argentina has strict regulations designed to prevent the illicit trafficking of antiques, fossils, and other items of cultural and historical importance. For more information, contact the Dirección Nacional de Patrimonio y Museos (National Heritage and Museums Board).
Information in Argentina
Dirección Nacional de Patrimonio y Museos. 11/4381–6656; www.cultura.gov.ar.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection. www.cbp.gov.