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I've been hunting around for cheap shipping agents to Argentina and my sister, who works for a 4x4 importer, put me in touch with H. Snelling (Marine) based in Southampton (contact Colin on 023 80 893810, email email@example.com) who imports their Unimogs. Anyway, I gave him a ring and it turns out he's a former Overland Biker himself (used to have an old Tenere as it happens) and he gave me the best quote I've had so far: £200 for up to 2 cubic metres. That's £200 cheaper than the best quote so far (Gibbons Freight) and a staggering £1500 cheaper than Allied Pickfords! Don't get me wrong, I haven't used the company yet and it might all go Pete Tong when my bike ends up in Addis Ababa or whereever. But my sis swears he's o.k. (praise indeed!) and I'm sure she wouldn't let her little brother get ripped off. At least she better not...!
Just thought I'd let you know. Brotherhood of bikers and all that stuff... If you're in Patagonia over New Year I'll be expecting a ;-)!
[This message has been edited by Susan (edited 11 December 2001).]
we will be somewhere in Patagonia for Xmas
My girlfriend and I ride on a Honda XL 600
We leave Belgium the 26/11
We find a shipping for the bike from the harbour of Anvers to Buenos Aires for +/- 400€
Hope see you there and share a
Make sure to ask your agents to SPECIFY costs UPON ARRIVAL. Costs in Buenos Aires can be high. Ask them to specify cost of the following: (1) "Documentacion" (2) "Ingreso al S.I.M" (3) "Movimientos"
And some other stuff I thought I´d share:
If your bikes are arriving by SEA the first thing you will have to do is go do some paperwork at ESTACION MARITIMA BUENOS AIRES (this is the Buenos Aires Port Authority). However you will not be collecting your bike here since it will have been moved to a government warehouse. So, at the Estacion Maritima Buenos Aires contact Mrs. Viviana Palacin (the boss) Tel. (+541) 4311-0692 or 4314-1603. The address is: Terminal 3, Darsena B, streets Ramon Castillo and Avenida Inmigrantes. This is near the Retiro train station, right downtown. The documents you need here are: (1) Passport (2) Vehicle Registration (3) Bill of Lading and (4) S.I.M number: this is an entry number used in international shipping and which will be provided by your agent.
At the port they will give you a piece of paper called "Solicitud de Retiro de Equipaje No Acompanado". You don´t pay anything here. They will than tell you which warehouse your bike has been moved to. So, the next step is to go to the warehouse and pick up the bike. You will have to pay a document fee, storage fee and a bunch of other processing fees. These can be HIGH! So make sure you clear things up with your agent beforehand. You can be looking into 200-300 USD for which you will receive a receipt. VERY IMPORTANT: they (the warehouse) will also ask you for a "Libre Deuda" from your shipper. This is a piece of paper/receipt saying you don´t owe them (your shipping agent) any money. If you do not have this, they will not give you your bike. Finally, some customs agents will verify that frame/engine numbers correspond as on the paperwork. This is called "Verificacion" (and in itself costs 60 USD just for a bunch of assholes to look at some serial numbers!). You will be issued a document called, "Admision Temporaria Vehiculos de Turistas" which is what allows you to drive around the country with a foreign reg. vehicle.
Summing up: freight in itself to Argentina can be cheap. However, you will not get around local Argentine processing costs which you must add to your shipping budget. Some you will pay to your agent, the rest at the government warehouse. Although you will receive specified receipts for all, these costs are nevertheless high. In addition to freight costs, you must expect at least an additional 200 to 300 USD in Buenos Aires once the bike has arrived. You should allow at least one day (prefarably 2) to get your bike out. Total places to visit and I recommend you do it in this order are: (1) YOUR SHIPPING AGENT in Buenos Aires -get S.I.M number and pay local agent fees (2) ESTACION MARITIMA BUENOS AIRES (port) -fill out paperwork, no fees (3) GOVERNMENT WAREHOUSE (privately run) -pay customs and storage, fill out paperwork.
Sounds complicated but within 48 hrs. you´ll be on your way.
I am in the process of shipping my R1100GS from Brisbane to Buenos Aires but the quotes I am getting for the 'On Arrival' costs seem too extreme. The quote includes transport to a dealers (which is not required) but the rest still comes to over USD 800.
The break down, as per the agent's email, is as follows;
We suggest to sell at:
a) Port charges
THC = USD 40,- w/m + vat (21%); minimum USD 80,- + vat
Loaded onto truck = USD 90,- + vat (21%)
b) Our handling = USD 85 + vat (21%) per b/l
c) Custom clearance = USD 450,- (in this regards, traveller must give us an
authorization in order to do this clearance).
On the other hand, pls note that inland trucking from Buenos Aires port upto
Motor Dealer located into Buenos Aires city limits is around = USD 180,- +
Pls note that moto must be duly insured.
Let´s try to make some sense out of all this gibberish (how do you spell this word???)
1) My experience shows that often agents at departure don´t have a clue about costs & procedure upon arrival. I´ve heard all kinds of nonsense
2) I don´t think the procedure I describe above has changed in the past year, therefore costs should be about the same.
3) The "customs clearance" cost you´ve received are probably so high because your agent has contemplated hiring the services of a customs broker. These chaps in Argentina will try to charge you at least 300 US for a job which you can do yourself, if you are patient.
4) I still have my receipt from when I shipped a bike from Norway to Buenos Aires. The following costs are ONLY what I spent upon arrival (this means they don´t include the actual shipping). This info. should give you an idea and the truth of the matter should not deviate too much from this:
(All prices in USD, the bike was a 600 Transalp and the agent AEI International)
Paid to Agent:
a) "Documents" $60
b) "Port Tax $4
c) "Entry to SIM" $12
d) "Movement" $140
Paid to Warehouse:
e) "CAF" $25
f) Storage (minimum) $72
g) "Law 661/99" $12
h) "Verification" $60
Okay. What´s all this crap? I know some of it sounds pretty cryptic but it brakes down likes this. A thru D were paid to the shipper´s representative in BA. "Documents" are forms, the SIM is a cargo identification number given by an international cargo tracking system and "movements" I guess was moving the crate -handling. Whatever, all different words meaning to "take, steal, rip off the client". Sad but unavoidable.
E thru H were paid to the warehouse which is run privately. In other words, its a government concession which allows for extremely lucrative business without having to do very much since clientele is assured. Also some more funny words. CAF i don´t have a clue what it means but it´s unavoidable -probably some tax; Res. 661/99 is another tax to the government and Verification is when two Customs agent look at the serial numbers on your bike and check they correspond with the info on your papers. In other words, yet another unavoidable rip off.
Conclusion: Ship your bike, forget about your agent´s quote in Oz and expect about USD 350 - 400 to get your bike out. That´s pretty much what all travellers who go by sea end up paying. I repeat, nothing has to be paid at the port terminal EMBA (they might try to bang you there, don´t give them a penny). Payments only to your shipping agents representive in BA and at the warehouse. As I said, they are private so since they rip you off anyhow, they don´t usually need to ask for bribes. You will receive a receipt for all your payments.
Go for it. It´s worth it.
[This message has been edited by Gonzalo (edited 09 October 2001).]
I just received a 'clarification' which puts costs in the ball park that you described;
Dear Mr. Dennehy:
Surely it was a misunderstanding.
Based on yr information, approx costs you will pay are the followings:
a) Port charges:
usd 170 + vat = usd 205,7
b) Our halding = usd 85 + vat = usd 102,85
c) Custom clearance (vat is included) = usd 450,-
d) Transport to a motor dealer = not necessary according yr e-mail.
Concerning to the point c), pls consider that custom entry can be done
you, then if you do it by yourself the cost of usd 450,- is not applicable.
Then, you will pay only costs under items a) and b).
If we can be of further assistance, pls do not hesitate to contact us.
I arrived Buenos Aires Jan 6th and had custody of the bike by Jan 10th. Took me three days but could have easily been done in two. -Gonzalos guide is very useful-
Did not employ an (expensive) agent and did not speak Spanish. People were generally very helpful though communication was obviously a problem.
Shipping from Australia with CT Freight(Brisbane-Singapore-BA) was A$1,327 for 350kg and 3.57m2. Documentation charges A$75, and storage (in Oz) A$65.
On arrival costs with Maritime Services and customs totalled US$308.
Only problem was that the country was in a currency crisis when I arrived and even the government (customs) was refusing to accept its own currency in payment. Even when the conversion was done at the new exchange rates. Cash machines were not dispensing USD and I had some problems in arranging payment.
PS I did not have a Carnet and have not had a problem in Argentina or Peru. Chile admitted me five times before deciding at the same border post that they did not recognize my Australian title document. Situation was resolved but sometimes it really depends on who you are dealing with.
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