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Argentinean Customs Regulations for Cruisers Unclear and Costly

Noonsite is reporting that customs in Ushuaia are levying "fines" on foreign cruising yachts who (according to them) have not followed the “correct procedures” according to the law. The details of this “law” are a very grey area, but it appears they are referring to laws that pertain to the importation of goods into the country. Current information should be sought before venturing into Argentina waters.

Customs in Ushuaia now state: "No vessel may be left unattended in Argentine waters without the written application to, and consent of, the local customs authority. A power of attorney must be granted to a resident living within a certain radius from the boat and a notarized letter produced to communicate this information to customs and coast guard. The penalty for infringement is 1% of the value of the vessel. Many cruisers who have often left their vessels here in the past report that they have never been informed by anyone until now about this piece of paper. This includes people who have wintered their boats in Ushuaia for over 10 years. No vessel may breach the terms of their conditions of entry into the country by using their boats for commercial activities while in Argentina."

Digging deeper, these new rules are open to interpretation and it has been reported that even local lawyers are not willing to give statements in writing. The local customs have come up with all sorts of ways one could be considered to be breaking the rules. This includes but is not limited to: Modifying or repairing the boat, purchasing goods or equipment locally, leaving the vessel and traveling overland; even purchasing fuel can be considered an infraction without going through the laborious process of completing paperwork. Any infraction could lead to boat arrest and a spot fine of 1%.

For the full article, visit www.noonsite.com.
 

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And what exactly is the relation to Cuba? ....

The regulations in Patagonia are there to control the growing illegal/informal charter trade. The Argentine coast guard has their hands full plying those dangerous waters to keep everyone safe. I'd be very surprised to find that cruising boats are getting fined, unless they happen to be doing business illegally there.
 

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... a logical conclusion
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We are currently in Callao, Peru and preparing to continue south. When we read the report on Noonsite a few days ago, our first thought was to do our Argentine explorations by land from Valpariso and Puerto Montt, and to give a miss to any visit to Argentina from Patagonia. We have heard we will be liable for heavy fines on arrival in Argentina if have been to the Falklands without Argentine clearance.

Our current thinking is, that unless Argentina dramatically clarifies its new regulations, we will enjoy Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego without stopping in Argentina to spend our money there.
 
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