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We nearly are on the road, wrapping up things in Buenos Aires before properly hitting the road in a few days. Planning the road a bit, probably stopping for some hiking at the Parque Provincial Ernesto Tornquist and Sierra de la Ventana. We will have to learn now where to park safely, this is still a concern. Viedma is on the way, looking forward to meeting you all!
So we finally got the car out yesterday. We entered the deposit area of the terminal, and took her out ourselves from the container. It was very interesting to be inside the terminal and have a close look at the thousands of containers, the trucks, cranes and other large equipment maneuvering there, making clearer the numerous operations and people involved in the process of handling, desconsolidating, ect. After nearly a week, and this is perhaps because we like to take our time and chat with people and understand exactly what we are paying for, we were delighted to find Cruz (she's a landcruiser) without a scratch, starting at the first attempt after reconnecting the batteries. She is now parked safely, thanks to Vorteks. We found that the whole process was fair although it did require patience, humour and money of course.
In terms of insurance, we are covered by La Holando, thanks to suggestions of Mailking. Reasonable price for a good coverage, they have offices in several locations and seem to be a large serious cie with many kinds of insurance. Third-party (responsabilidad civil) 6-months insurance for Mercosur - Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brasil for $1000 (pesos).
Good luck to all those who will be awaiting their cargo at the port of Buenos Aires and happy travels.
Can you give us the final details of all your costs in the port of Buenos Aires? It will certainly be of use for the next travellers arriving and confronted to a bill they dont understand and are asked to pay without detailed explanations.
Did you company demand a cash deposit to allow you to process the papers on your own?
Last time i watched thru the window, your left stearing wheeled elephant was sleeping quietly in the Japanese Garden, preparing for a long race.
In reply to Vorteks, here are the total costs when shipping a vehicle to Buenos Aires (with personal effects secured inside), in a 20' container, without using a freight forwarder/broker agent.
Not advisable to do it yourself if you do not speak Spanish or have limited time.
Step 1: The shipping cie in BA (also called receiving agent)
In our case this was Mediterranean MSC - cies may charge different fees.
River plate toll: $90
THC destino: $140
Logistics fees: $25
Delivery order: $73
* Handling: $35
* Carta de garantia/Escribano: $20 (paid 60 pesos) - can only be done through a public notary, an escribano. There are several in BA and they are used to this.
TOTAL: US $383
Step 2. Port charges at TRP Terminal
Cargo seguridad: $10
Devolucion importacion: $24
Cargo manipuleo: $110
Tasas a las cargas (per tonage, in our case $22
Barrido de contenedor (for those using MSC): $20
Lavado de contenedor (for those using MSC): $24
Desconsolidado (recently increased) is broken down into 2:
Desconsolidado de contenedor: $182
Servicios adicionales al consolido/desconsolido (incl. verificacion): $182
Note 1. Please bear in mind the process is different when shipping a vehicle container/RORO, FCL/part, and even more so for a motorcycle who may be part of a container load (sharing the container), or own crate.
Please note that we do not know the specifics for motorcycles, there seems to be a warehouse issue as well. We had no dealings with a warehouse as we took out the car within the time allocated and directly from the port.
(Note: the weekend days are counted in the allocated time)
Note 2. Agents are the ones who deal with customs (EMBA), liaising with the shipping line and the terminal (TRP).
The vocabulary in the shipping world seems to be wide, and this is why it is useful to keep asking questions during the process as to what prices mean and include, and who does what. There are many operations involved, reflected in different items and prices.
Note 3. Items listed in the fees section with (*): * Those items are new (from Oct 09) and/or applied because we specifically used MSC who had special requirements. Different shipping cies/receiving agents may not charge these or have different ones.
Note 4. Impuestos, or taxes, 21% in this case, are automatically added to bills here (and do not appear separately on bills). As foreigners and tourists in transit, you do not pay the extra taxes the locals do for permanent imports, but you do indeed pay the 21% tx - which you need to make sure is included in initial quotes/estimates given to you. (In particular with TRP).
Note 5. You will need several copies of your passport and Bill of Lading.You will end up with a large pile of paperwork, to be done in correct order, without which you cannot proceed from one department to another, and then from one office to another. If you do this on your own, you will mainly deal with your shipping cie/receiving agent, the terminal TRP and customs EMBA - several times each.
Note 5. Bills are set by same day transfers (to MSC and to TRP separately) to their account in a specific bank, usually on Florida St (far from the offices of course). - bear in mind the time to go there.
Note 6. To be on the safe side, we copied and scanned all paperwork at different steps in the process to make sure nothing would get lost.
Note 7. Get car insurance before you leave the port.
1- Shipping cie / receiving agent
In our case, we were sent a letter to the apartment we were renting from our shipping cie MSC, advising an ETA of the ship and therefore the container arrival. We went 2 days before to MSC to pay outstanding fees, get an escribano to validate the carte de garantia. Original BL to be handed over to MSC, copy passport, bring the original too. Go to the bank for same day deposit. Once done, MSC provided us with a delivery order.
(Note: If your cargo gets transfered to different boats, make sure that your BL clearly states that there was a change of boat and the final boat. In our case, we had to go back to MSC simply to get the BL stamped with final boat. Would have saved us half a day had we known this.)
2- Terminal paying TRP (1&2)
Once you have the delivery order, check online for boat arrivals, with the cie or TRP. We went to TRP Terminal 1 & 2 a day before to ask for the terminal fees, which they give according to BL and your own circumstances, in our case vehicle inside container fully loaded. Go to the bank for deposit. Make sure you get receipt.
Give the bank receipt (and half delivery order) to the TRP cashiers.
Another guy at TRP with the paper the cashier gives you and other half of delivery order. He signs them. Gives you other paper that will include returned half delivery order and new paper for the handling part of the terminal (you will have in hand the caratula de desconsolidado, the orden de coordinacion and the autorizacion de CFS). He will tell you when your container is available to be opened and will confirm that you have paid.
3- Customs (EMBA)
Once it has been confirmed that the container is ready and that you have paid, the information is in the system and you can go to EMBA arrivals / tramites (terminal 3). In EMBA, you need a number without which you will not be able to see them. Long wait. Paperwork time. Originals. BL, passport, registration docs and all other doc in hand. They give you loads of forms to give back to the other EMBA office (below), incl importacion doc.
4 - Terminal handling TRP
Go to TRP 3. Wait for the guy to do the desconsolidacion. Passport to officers to check you can go inside the port. Get internal bus to your container inside port. Gets opened, taken out, checked. There is air for your tires inside the port.
Back at EMBA T3 handling downstairs for final check and paperwork. Fill in form and get your importacion doc signed.
5 - You can leave! Final check at the cabins when leaving the port. They asked for our insurance papers there.
6 - With a good deal of patience and a good sense of humour
... you're good to go!
Best of luck.
If you're not up for all that running around, which took us a week, just hire an agent for an extra $300 or so (at the time, Nov 09 - remember, prices change very quickly in Argentina).
Ok, i note that, like the other couple with the motorcycle, you paid 850 USD in Buenos Aires to get your vehicule out of the port. It looks to be the same price whatever the content of the container.
I also note that, like the other couple, you were not asked a 5000 USD warranty to process the papers by yourself.
In conclusion, as of today :
Anything quoted above 850 USD total goes in the shipping company pocket without valid argument.
The 5000 USD warranty is a commercial argument meant to force the customer into buying the services of the house agent.
Thanks for that detailed report, Isabelle, this will be of use for many travellers willing to go the same path. They will have now valid arguments to deal with shipping companies and avoid the eventual ripp offs. We paid double the price for not getting such a detailed report before we arrived in Buenos Aires.
Reminder of your first post :
Originally Posted by Cruz
I am shipping from Montreal to Buenos Aires and have been quotes US$1300 of port fees (obligatory) and US$1000 for a local customs broker. Can you confirm whether these are normal fees?
Could this thread possibly be made easily accessible over time to forum readers, like with a sticker or a reference to a place where visitors willing to ship to Buenos Aires or South America usually go?
Imho, it contains enough details to be very usefull for those people and avoid the pitfalls of arbitrary agents quotes out of the country, counting on our naivety to take additional unnecessary margins. Being treated like cash cows is rarely a pleasant feeling and can be avoided with visible information.
Location: somewhere on the road between Ushuaia and Alaska
Got my bike out of customs & the warehouse in Buenos Aires yesterday. Cost: US$285 for the receiving agent (SSL), AR$1020 for the warehouse.
I went to customs at 9am & by 5pm I finished. Then over to the warehouse (Gemez I). Very helpful & friendly people there, including the customs guys. I left by 6:15pm (although they normally close by 6).
Double-checking with SSL (where I had established a very good relationship with a guy called Roberto), they said AR$1000 is a pretty good price for the warehouse.
Total shipping costs Melbourne to Buenos Aires, including EVERYTHING: US$1200
A belgium lady posted on a Buenos Aires expat forum and she claims the full shipping price for her car from Belgium to Buenos Aires, including port taxes, was 400 Euros (600 USD). This is so different from our experiences that i asked a double check and some details. Here is her answer :
It cost us 400 USD in total (shipment and get through costums) to get the car here!
.......... I checked and it was 400 EURO, it was a normal container with just the car in it. not a 'roll on roll off' ship, specialized in car.
......... There is a man in my husbands company whose job is looking for (cheap) containers to ship material from all over the world to the other side of the world. He arranged this. I don't know the details but you must find a 'return container', they are usually cheap. Find for example the company that ships oranges (or other products) from BA to harbour X, then book the container back to BA (or the other way). Sometimes the containers are fully booked in both directions, sometimes (and more often then one thinks) they return (or go) empty.
In this case we worked with Kuhne and Nagel.
I hope this helps.
The information seems still odd to me since even if the shipping was for free, the lowest port fees would have been 850 USD for a car. She might be confused but i thought the information about return containers might be worth to be posted.
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