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Old 2 Nov 2005
Fritz's Avatar
Contributing Member
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 220
Clearing bike at Buenos Aires Airport

Lengthy but hope following helps those following. Customs would prefer use of Carnet - but it doesn´t exist and is not necessary, no need for agents either.

Clearing a bike at Buenos Aires Airport

We arrived about 11am, the Air France (bike flew with) office opened at 9, but customs not ´til 10 so not so late, with hindsight should have started an hour earlier I guess, but what the hell. Firstly at Air France Office we took our freight papers from England to the counter and then were issued with the airport equivalent of a ´bill of landing´and a whole stack of copies of passports and bike reg (3). If you have a good professional outfit like Mike´s at Advance Forwarding the copies will already be attached to both your, and the plane Co´s copies meaning you don’t need further copies. There is one thing more you need though – a copy of your passport page with the entry visa from your arrival – best to copy that, though one was done at airport for free, just saves walking office to office. Don’t worry though – you will walk from office to office to office in an incredibly confusing manner, a real paper trail. You wait you time, and I mean wait, and lots of folk seem to come straight in ahead of you while you wait – you’ll find out soon enough that they aren’t ´pushing in´, but returning (for umpteenth time).

First you go to ´Particularis´, or similar named off to enter your details.

So you get to the customs office after some considerable time and they say, Carnet de Passage ? to which you say, not needed, temporary import (in best Spanish of course), and the whole circle of fun begins. After much consternation the magical name ´Rita´appears and you go over to the building set aside from the Cargo Hall – were you have been for probably an hour.

Rita understands and takes you upstairs for a form that you will carry for approximately an hour or so wondering if it has any purpose, she is great and very helpful and the person that got things underway for us, and not only is she typically very attractive, but also very friendly. Now this IS what you need to help negotiate the blokes in next stages.

Anyway, I don’t know what transpired but that got us – via a few run arounds and other visits to close-by offices to the customs that frankly I don’t understand the purpose of – to Luis in customs who started the filling in of the temporary import form. He was a bit stand-offish at start, but very helpful later and speaks good English. Obviously you get a lot further using some Spanish, even if basic.

I´ll struggle to get all this right, but, you appear to have to have a section filled in one at a time, do something, or go next door – after waiting – before returning to fill another section in. It looks a very simple form, but I must miss-understand. The only thing we needed to show was my driving license, the original bike log book (V5), and the entry visa – which needs copying as above, you could get in advance, otherwise they’ll send you to get a copy, but hey, it’s free which is good.

At some point obviously they need (but not as much as you !) to see the cargo. The cargo hall is quite large but the new arrivals are near by. You don’t have to pay for the opening of the crate separately – it’s in your price. They will open it for you – thank god, as a screwdriver is not the way to do it, power drivers are required unless you want to spend all day – and the cargo handlers are also great and even better once they realise what is inside. They won’t rive things apart unless you ask, they will listen to your advice – and a good company will have marked the crate for you so you know what screws to remove, and were to start etc etc. (Thanks Mike, and thanks ´L4arge one´). Once you are in, Luis needs to confirm the chassis and engine number, and will then return and leave you to assemble the bike or whatever.

You will need to connect the battery also, and if you have planned ahead you will have a fuel can – thanks Javier – to collect enough fuel to get you out, see below for more.

You return to office, and fill out more of the form. You pop next door (I really can’t explain why), then back to Luis then to first office with girls in who are cashiers. I don’t think we were charged for the fact we collected the bike about18 hrs after it arrived (said we couldn’t the afternoon of arrival, then said we could when it was too late) and don’t think we incurred any charges anyone else would escape, but the final bill was US$ 123.50. They would have been happy with Peso’s, but we didn’t have that many Peso’s on us, so as we’d allocated $ we used them.

The temporary import is for 3 months, if you want to stay longer you MUST get either an extension, or if I’m right, a new temporary import on re-entering the country from an adjoining one. This paper with the entry details is very important.

Now you need petrol. Bev walked over to the pumps about 500m away and returned with full can, and we had enough juice to at least get the bike underway.

I forgot one other deatil, you get a peice of paper, it´s red and white - leave it handy, it´s your passport off the airport cargo area, you need to pass it over and get a receipt as you leave the area.

That’s it, you are now free to leave. I don’t know if you would be charged for leaving the crate or not as we are re-using ours, you can get transport for it from airport easily, Luis arranged for us.

The Carne de Passage is NOT a thing you need to enter a vehicle here, though they are quite committed to asking for one. You DO NOT need an agent, it would only cost a probable considerable amount to get the same things done, maybe faster, but maybe not

The above are our practical experiences, but without the help of Sandra and Javier obviously we wouldn’t be able to do any of this, credit most certainly due to them for there continued fantastic support of motorcycle travelers. Take a bow (sp) you two ;-)

All this being said most of the staff came out to watch us set off so they can’t exactly be unsympathetic to self importation of Motos, it’s just that it’s out of the ordinary for the general business.

hope this helps, cheers, FyB

(PS took from 11am ´til 4pm)

[This message has been edited by Fritz (edited 02 November 2005).]

[This message has been edited by Fritz (edited 03 November 2005).]
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Old 2 Nov 2005
Grant Johnson's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 1997
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Posts: 4,541
Excellent info Fritz!

Now to complete the info, would you also please put it all + the air shipping info - into the "Shipments by Travellers" database - link on left. (NOTE different sign in from the HUBB - you need to register first)


Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


One world, Two wheels.
Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
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Old 3 Nov 2005
Fritz's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 220
Cheers Grant, as I´m using Sandra & Javiers computer and time, and don´t want to use too much could you possibly post for me ? If not I´ll do it further down the line when we get some internet computer time. No problem. Updated two thing I forgot.
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