Citizens of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and South Africa require a passport to enter the country. No visa is required for citizens of these countries for tourist stays of up to 90 days. For more information concerning longer stays, employment, or other types of visas, contact the embassies or consulates in your home country. Usually, a hop by boat into neighboring Uruguay or crossing into Brazil during an Iguazú Falls excursion will initiate a new 90-day tourist period. With the increasing number of Americans and other foreigners living in Argentina, this has become one of the preferred quick-fix methods of bypassing visa extension bureaucracy. If you are planning to buy property, retire, or establish a business in Argentina, it is highly advisable to take care of the proper paperwork for your stay.
In the U.S. -- Contact the Consular Section of the Argentine Embassy, 1811 Q St. NW, Washington, DC 20009 (tel. 202/238-6400). Consulates are also located in Los Angeles (tel. 323/954-9155 or -9156), Miami (tel. 305/580-0530), Atlanta (tel. 404/880-0805), Chicago (tel. 312/819-2610), New York City (tel. 212/603-0400), and Houston (tel. 713/871-8935). For more information, try www.embassyofargentina.us, with links to various consulates in the U.S.
In Canada -- Contact the Embassy of the Argentine Republic, Ste. 910, Royal Bank Center, 90 Sparks St., Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5B4 (tel. 613/236-2351; fax 613/235-2659; firstname.lastname@example.org).
In the U.K. -- Contact the Embassy of the Argentine Republic, 65 Brooke St., London W1Y 4AH (tel. 020/7318-1300; fax 020/7318-1301; www.argentine-embassy-uk.org).
In New Zealand -- Contact the Embassy of the Argentine Republic, Prime Finance Tower, Level 14, 142 Lambton Quay, P.O. Box 5430, Wellington (tel. 04/472-8330; fax 04/472-8331; www.arg.org.nz).
In Australia -- Contact the Embassy of the Argentine Republic, John McEwen House, Level 2, 7 National Circuit, Barton, ACT 2600 (tel. 02/6273 9111; fax 02/6273 0500; www.argentina.org.au).
What You Can Take into Argentina -- Travelers entering Argentina can bring personal effects -- including clothes, jewelry, and professional equipment such as cameras and computers -- without paying duty. In addition, they can bring in 21 liters of alcohol, 400 cigarettes, and 50 cigars duty-free.
What You Can Take Home from Argentina --
Returning U.S. citizens who have been away for at least 48 hours are allowed to bring back, once every 30 days, $800 worth of merchandise duty-free. You'll be charged a flat rate of duty on the next $1,000 worth of purchases. Any dollar amount beyond that is dutiable at whatever rates apply. On mailed gifts, the duty-free limit is $200. Have your receipts handy to expedite the declaration process. Note: If you owe duty, you are required to pay on your arrival in the United States, either by cash, personal check, government or traveler's check, or money order, and in some locations, a Visa or MasterCard.
In Argentina, this is rarely an issue unless you have a lot of electronics. To avoid having to pay duty on foreign-made personal items you owned before you left on your trip, bring along a bill of sale, insurance policy, jeweler's appraisal, or receipts of purchase. Or you can register items that can be readily identified by a permanently affixed serial number or marking -- think laptop computers, cameras, and CD players -- with Customs before you leave. Take the items to the nearest Customs office or register them with Customs at the airport from which you're departing. You'll receive, at no cost, a Certificate of Registration, which allows duty-free entry for the life of the item.
You cannot bring fresh fruits and vegetables into the United States, with some exceptions. For specifics on what you can bring back, download the invaluable free pamphlet, Know Before You Go, online at www.cbp.gov. (Click on "Travel," and then on "Know Before You Go! Online Brochure.") Or contact the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20229 (tel. 877/287-8667), and request the pamphlet.
For Canadian rules, write for the booklet I Declare, issued by the Canada Border Services Agency (tel. 800/461-9999 in Canada or 204/983-3500; www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca). Canada allows its citizens a C$750 exemption, and you're allowed to bring back duty-free one carton of cigarettes, one can of tobacco, 40 imperial ounces of liquor, and 50 cigars. In addition, you're allowed to mail gifts to Canada valued at less than C$60 a day, provided they're unsolicited and don't contain alcohol or tobacco (write on the package "Unsolicited gift, under $60 value"). Declare all valuables on the Y-38 form before departure from Canada, including serial numbers of valuables you already own, such as expensive foreign cameras. Note: The C$750 exemption can only be used once a year and only after an absence of 7 days.
Citizens of the U.K. who are returning from a non-E.U. country have a Customs allowance of 200 cigarettes; 50 cigars; 250 grams of smoking tobacco; 2 liters of still table wine; 1 liter of spirits or strong liqueurs (over 22% volume); 2 liters of fortified wine, sparkling wine, or other liqueurs; 60 cubic centimeters (mL) of perfume; 250 cubic centimeters (mL) of toilet water; and £145 worth of all other goods, including gifts and souvenirs. People 16 and under cannot have the tobacco or alcohol allowance. For more information, contact HM Customs & Excise at tel. 0845/010-9000 (from outside the U.K., 020/8929-0152), or consult their website at www.hmce.gov.uk.
The duty-free allowance in Australia is A$400 or, for those 17 and under, A$200. Citizens can bring in 250 cigarettes or 250 grams of loose tobacco, and 1,125 milliliters of alcohol. If you're returning with valuables you already own, such as foreign-made cameras, you should file form B263. A helpful brochure available from Australian consulates or Customs offices is Know Before You Go. For more information, call the Australian Customs Service (tel. 1300/363-263; www.customs.gov.au).
The duty-free allowance for New Zealand is NZ$700. Citizens 18 and over can bring in 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, or 250 grams of tobacco (or a mixture of all three if their combined weight doesn't exceed 250g); plus 4.5 liters of wine and beer, or 1.125 liters of liquor. New Zealand currency does not carry import or export restrictions. Fill out a certificate of export, listing the valuables you are taking out of the country; that way, you can bring them back without paying duty. Most questions are answered in a free pamphlet available at New Zealand consulates and Customs offices: New Zealand Customs Guide for Travellers, Notice no. 4. For more information, contact New Zealand Customs, The Customhouse, 17-21 Whitmore St., Box 2218, Wellington (tel. 04/473-6099 or 0800/428-786; www.customs.govt.nz).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.