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Old 16 Nov 2005
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 72
Clearing bike into Buenos Aires by ship


This is really a companion for Fritz's post about airshipping your bike into Argentina, but I'll also post it into the shipping feedback section for all to see.

As Fritz mentioned we both used Advance Forward Shipping to pack the bikes and send to Buenos Aires. This has worked out better than I could have expected (see my blog for details) and the bike was in perfect condition when we opened the crate at the warehouse.

Anyway the details go like this:

Having paid for the bike to be shipped, crated and paperwork completed for it's trip to Buenos Aires by sea it cost me £780. This cost included packing most of my gear in with the bike including a set of spare tires (the cost will differ for each person, but I can only speak for myself).

The ship was due to take 18 days to sail from the UK to Argentina, but as it turns out it was 2 days late, not bad when you consider others have waited a lot longer. I arrived about 8 days before I could actually get the bike, as it arrived and was unloaded on a thursday. You get 7 days free storage costs for your shippment but this includes the weekend, so it's really only 5 working days, after that you pay for every day - don't have the costs.

When I arrived the bike was still at sea, but it turns out this is the ideal situation as I needed to get the paperwork sorted in BA before the bike landed. Once the bike leaves the shippers in the UK thats their part done, and it turns to the recieving shipping company at the destination to unload the crate and transport it to the customs warehouse where it then needs to be cleared.

The best situation is to be a few days ahead of the bike, and get the Bill of Lading paid. You should then have the receipt and paperwork given to you by the shipper to pass to the handling agent who can then get the bike through customs for you.

I paid £180 for the bike to be unloaded and transported at this end - this cost is fixed. Fotunately I managed to stay right in the centre of Buenos Aires in a hostel called Milhouse. Its only a 5 minuet walk from there to the shippers offices in the Plaza de la Mayo.

The only problem I had (only because it cost me more) is that I didn't organise a customs handler before I left the UK. I managed to find an agent through the shipper, but like I say I had no choice and I had to pay the costs to clear the bike.

I think anyone who can speak really good Spanish and knows the system for clearing goods would be able to clear their own bike, but as I don't had someone do it for me, which after it was completed I was grateful for. The total cost for this came to £200, this included the cost for a notary who you need to get a document from to prove to customs you are who you are!

You also have another cost. This is for the warehousing, although you do get free storage this only covers the cost for the shipper and not the warehousing. The cost here was £140, plus a £20 bride to the customs agent to ride the bike out of the compound!

As you'll see already the costs for shipping by sea at the destination are a lot more than shipping by air, but the overal costs are much lower, in fact it would have cost me around £500 more to send by air.

The fact it cost me more than 3 times what I had though it would cost me show's it pays to do your homework. The only cost I think can be reduced would be the handling agent fee, so if your planning on coming by sea try and arrange the cost before you send the bike.

I hope this helps!


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