Argentine Customs Officers Want You to Declare Your Mobile Phone Upon Arrival

Now that I’ve been to Argentina (Buenos Aires, specifically) two times in the past three months, I’ve had to fill out the customs landing form twice. One strange question is that Argentine Customs officials want to know is what type of phone you have. I’ve traveled to over 30 countries and I have never been asked this question.

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For some reason Argentine customs officers want you to declare your mobile phone upon arrival. No, you won’t have to pay any duty. Twice, I’ve declared my mobile phone as a White iPhone 5S.


What if you have two phones, one a BlackBerry and the other an iPhone? I’m not sure what to do in that situation. Argentina has been plagued with corrupt government officials and the sprawling black market currency exchange houses. Just recently, Argentina imposed an imported goods law where if you buy anything online, the package must be inspected and taxes would be collected. This makes it really hard for Argentines to buy electronics and other goods abroad.

One easy method to go around that is to have someone from the United States purchase everything for you, stuff it in a suitcase, and fly it to Argentina.

For what it’s worth, Argentine customs officers don’t care what kind of phone you have or if you have not declared it. During my last trip, I actually went through customs without giving the form to the lady (walked right by her). The lady could have cared less and she was busy playing on her phone. I had to backtrack since I accidentally forgot to give it to her. She didn’t even glance at it and just stacked it messily with the other papers.


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5 Comments on "Argentine Customs Officers Want You to Declare Your Mobile Phone Upon Arrival"

  1. wow… you didn’t have a case or a charging cord with you?

  2. I think brand is Apple, model is Iphone, Series is 5S. I don’t think they care what color

  3. Hello, I talked with a customs guy and he told me this is only for brand new cellphones (in the box). And this is almost only for Argentinians. But I need to say this declaration section is too funny.

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