Import and export tax exemption applies to the goods that will be used exclusively for official or personal purposes when establishing in Argentina. This exemption covers total customs tax exemption (as regards import and export duties, taxes, special contributions, and "tasa por servicio de estadística" and "tasa de comprobación de destino" - two local fees related to Customs Clearance).
The tax exemption applies for definitive import or export, temporary admission, temporary export or transitory import/export.
Please bear in mind that the form must carry a brief description of the items that form the subject of the diplomatic tax exemption and, as is the norm when requesting any diplomatic tax exemption, details of the tax exemption objects must be given in Spanish and annexed to the form.
Principle of Reciprocity: Tax exemptions are strictly subject to reciprocity. The sending State must grant at least equal tax exemptions to the Argentine mission and its members.
They must be duly accredited members of staff working in a permanent diplomatic mission or accredited consular office located in Argentina or in an international organization that has a signed a headquarters agreement:
• Chief of Mission
• Attaché with diplomatic rank
• General Consul, Consul and Vice-Consul
• Civil servant or expert from an international organization
• Administrative or technical staff working for diplomatic missions or international organization representations, as long as they do not carry Argentine nationality nor are residents in Argentina
Administrative or Technical Staff: Are entitled to customs tax exemptions at the beginning or ending of their posting only. Furthermore, the tax exemption for personal belongings whose sole purpose is settling in Argentina, can be used only for imports that take place within 180 days of his/her first arrival in the country to take up his/her duties. Once this period has expired, an extension may be granted for a maximum of 180 days more, considering if there are special circumstances invoked and the objects previously imported.
To import or export cultural goods, prior authorization must be obtained from the Secretariat of Culture. This requirement applies to items such as paintings, sculptures, antiques, every other item with cultural, archaeological, historical or artistic value, that fall within the scope of the Secretariat of Culture.
Transferring goods imported under the diplomatic legal framework
Items imported with a diplomatic customs tax exemption cannot be transferred to third parties within the first two years counting from the customs clearance date, however there are some exceptions:
a) Previously imported goods that will be re-exported.
b) Transferring within Argentina, to another beneficiary of a diplomatic tax exemption privilege that has not yet been used, (this beneficiary will then have to wait for what is left of the 2-year period before being allowed to transfer the items himself/herself)
c) When the items are left to an insurance company, in the case of an accident, upon the payment of the taxes previously exempted.
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco
Are subject to annual import quotas. Other objects or edibles, can be imported in reasonable quantities considering they are for the exclusive use of the civil servant and/or his family, namely:
|COUNSELOR, CONS.GEN., MILITARY ATTACHE||120||240||360||120||15.000||200||200|
|SECRETARY, CONSUL, DEPUTY MIL. ATTACHE||120||120||240||120||15.000||100||150|
Procedure to import personal belongings
In order to apply for the tax exemption when importing personal belongings, the mission must present the following documentation.-
(Note: the procedure below does not apply to import/export registrable items such as cars, motorbikes or boats, see car section for more information)
1) Note from the Mission:
a. Duly signed by the Chief of Mission (or legal surrogate): Signature, full name and position
b. Duly signed by the beneficiary: Signature, full name and position.
c. Mission stamped
d. The note must contain at least the following information: port of arrival, estimated date of arrival, mean of transportation.
e. Explicit motivation of the import.
2) Three printed copies of the tax exemption web-based form
>> Tax exemption forms
To complete the form, the following information will be required
a. Quantity of packages
b. Detailed description of the items
c. Mean of transportation: truck, air or vessel
d. Approximate value of the items or the statement “sin valor comercial” (no commercial value).
The amount must be expressed in the currency corresponding to each case
e. The form must also be duly signed by the Chief of Mission (or legal surrogate) and the beneficiary, with their full names and positions.
If there is not enough space in the form mentioned above, attaching an extra sheet containing the required details is permitted.
3) In the case of alcoholic beverages or tobacco, the note must provide a breakdown of the number of litres of whisky, champagne, wine and other beverages to be imported, of the number of units of cigarettes and cigars and of the number of ounces of tobacco to be imported.
4) Nationality and residency form
Stating that the beneficiary does not hold Argentine nationality and is not a resident in Argentina, signed by the beneficiary and by the Chief of Mission (or legal surrogate and bearing their full names and positions within the mission.
5) Non-certified copy of document of transportation: Bill of lading, airway bill or consignment note
6) Non-certified copy of Commercial Invoice.
7) Packing list certified by the mission
8) Cultural Goods: Prior authorization must be obtained from the Secretariat of Culture for the definitive or non-temporary import or export of cultural items. This requirement applies to items such as paintings, sculptures, antiques, etc., whether these are requested by the foreign mission or belong to one of its civil servants.
9) Some goods are subject to sanitary or phytosanitary controls. The DGA (Customs General Directorate) may request other documentation to comply with those regulations.