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By No owner — last modified Nov 24, 2017 10:18 AM

 Argentina - Formalities

Clearance

Customs rules and laws for visiting yachts (both private and commercial) were in a constant state of change during 2009/10, and many foreign-flagged yachts avoided Argentinian ports in fear of having to pay a considerable "fine" imposed by Customs for perceived infringements. During 2011 the situation seemed to calm down and foreign yachts were made welcome once again, the majority using port agents to deal with the authorities. With the new conservative government in 2016, it appear that bureaucracy has unfortunately increased.

Yachts arriving from overseas must clear with the following authorities: Health Control, the Harbour Authority/Customs (Hydrographica), Immigration and the Port Captain (Perfectura Naval Argentina), where the ship's documents have to be presented.

At the first Prefectura office, make sure that you receive the Raoul (roll). It sometimes takes some persuasion, but without this you will not be checked into the country by Immigration. The Raoul is a form filled out with all the yachts particulars (mostly taken from the ships papers) and the passport particulars of the captain and crew. This paper will then be copied and be stamped in and out of each port until it is unrecognisable - then you should have a new one made.

WARNING: Every boat must check in on a daily basis with the Argentine Coastguard by a pre-agreed method (E-mail, satellite phone, SSB or VHF frequency) while sailing between Argentine ports. Get a written contact sheet and log your attempts to call to avoid heavy fines on arrival at your destination. Further details under Restrictions below.

Cruising between Argentina and the Falklands

Argentina's new conservative government continue to press the country's claims to the Falkland Islands,South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. They have also always claimed a section of the Antarctica Peninsula as part of their territorial waters.

The procedure has become more bureaucratic in 2016 and it now takes 40-45 days to get a permit or "Permiso". This enables yachts to pass from Falklands to Argentina and back again. Note, the Prefectura will only give the permit from the last port of call in mainland Argentina.

This permit is needed by ships and all sailing vessels using Argentine waters en-route to the Falklands, South Georgia or the South Sandwich Islands - all UK controlled. This is being aggresively policed and large fines are made for those making unscheduled stops, even in an emergency. For example, two private yachts in the last 2 months of 2010 were fined $6000 US for visiting the Falklands without Argentine permission. In both cases force Majeure was claimed (engine problems/weather) however this was not considered an issue when being assessed for the fines.

For information on how to apply for a "permiso" read this Noonsite report from 2012.

The latest condition being applied by Argentina, is the requirement that, even if not calling at the Falklands, the skipper of yachts sailing to of from an Argentinian port via the Atlantic, must complete a form Anexo 2 where the skipper makes a sworn statement in the presence of an Argentine consul or a coastguard officer, not to visit the Falkland Islands. If this form is not completed nor permission obtained to visit the islands, it is assumed they have done so and a fine imposed.

Useful numbers
Argentine Consulate +44 (0)20 7318 1340
Embassy of the Argentine Republic +44 (0)20 7318 1300

Last updated December 2016.

Immigration

All visitors require a valid passport valid for at least 6 months, although citizens of Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay may only need identity cards.

No visas are required for nationals of Andorra, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, Great Britain and North Ireland, Finland, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Holly See, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Nicaragua, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, St. Lucia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela and Yugoslavia.

Citizens of these countries are allowed to stay for 90 days.

Those from Granada, Hong Kong (with British passport), Jamaica and Malaysia, for 30 days.

Nationals of Canada and Australia have to pay a "reciprocity fee" when entering Argentina. This is not a visa fee but it is equal to what Argentinians must pay when requesting a visa to travel to those countries. This new fee was introduced in January 2013. Australians must pay US$100 and Canadians US$70. Americans no longer have to pay this fee.

See http://www.migraciones.gov.ar/ for further details.

One's passport should be carried at all times if travelling inland.

Last updated May 2016.

Customs

Firearms must be declared to customs.

Foreign flagged yachts are allowed to be temporarily imported for a maximum period of eight months except for those coming from a Mercosur country, (ie. Uruguay, Brazil). In this case the period of importation is reduced to 3 months.

A vessel may not visit Argentina for the purpose of carrying out repairs without importing the vessel. Repairs may only be carried out for damage sustained within the country for the purpose of allowing the vessel to leave under the conditions of the temporary import. Any repair work should be cleared with the local Customs office ahead of time (See "Further Possible Fines" below).

Note that Argentine Customs 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.

No vessel may breach the terms of their conditions of entry into the country by using their boats for commercial activities while in Argentina.

If a yacht is deemed to be chartering in Argentina waters by Customs, they are liable to a fine of 30% of the value of the vessel. Remember, even if you make a voyage in Argentina waters with people paying costs aboard, you could then be construed to be a charter vessel.

Further Possible Fines:-
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%.

Before Sailing to Argentina, check with the Argentine consulate with regards to what one needs to do with regard to exit and entry papers, leaving the boat, hauling your vessel, having work done on your vessel, or anything that may create a potential problem with Customs. If you can get this in writing, even better.

Using a shipping agent for clearance etc. appears to prevent any problems with Customs, for now.

See the latest report on the situation regarding the Customs rules and fines being imposed for perceived infringements adjacent in reports.

Importing Spares

This is best avoided. Cruisers recommend having spares sent to Punta Arenas, Chile instead: even the locals do.

Last updated March 2017.

Health

Officials from Health Control will visit the yacht if you have arrived from a foreign port. There is a charge for this service. If arriving from another Argentinian port, these checks are not required.

Malaria prophylaxis is recommended, although there is no risk in some areas. Malaria risk exists from October to the end of May in rural areas.

Polio, typhoid and measles vaccinations are recommended.
Yellow fever and cholera are a very low risk, although the latter is of concern in parts of Chaco, Salta and Jujuy.

Tap water is considered safe to drink. Outside cities and large towns, treat as potentially contaminated. If in doubt, sterilization of all foods is advisable. Commercially prepared dairy products are pasteurized and safe to eat as are most locally produced meat and vegetables.

Rabies is common and with the large number of dogs on the streets of Mar del Plata precautions should be taken.

Be aware that red tide can contaminate shell fish and it is fatal to humans. Notices are usually posted in affects area.

Health care standards in private facilities are good.

Full travel insurance with evacuation option is advisable.

ZIKA VIRUS ALERT: There have been recent safety alerts from the US State Department, UK Foreign Office, and Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding travel to parts of Central and South America, Africa, southern Asia, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific islands. Argentina is an area of interest with multiple reported cases and active virus transmission. There is growing concern about the rapid spread of the ZIKA Virus and the impact of the virus on pregnant women and babies. ZIKA is transmitted by mosquitos in tropical and sub-tropical climates, and there is currently no cure or vaccine. This situation is evolving rapidly, so please refer to the CDC’s dedicated website if you are intending to cruise in one of the effected areas.

Last updated September 2016.

Fees

Overtime is not charged, except by immigration if called outside of office hours. There are port fees in commercial harbours.

All authorities do not charge for clearance, except for Health Control if arriving from a foreign port.

Restrictions

Daily Position Reports

Every boat must check in on a daily basis with the Argentine Coastguard by a pre-agreed method (E-mail, satellite phone, SSB or VHF frequency) while sailing between Argentine ports. Get a written contact sheet and log your attempts to call to avoid being detained and possible fines by the coastguard on arrival at your destination.

Depending on your position, reports should be made to:

MAR DEL PLATA (L2T)
Between Lat. south 35 º 50 and and Lat. 42 º 00 'south
VHF C/ 9-16
SSB :
Frequency 4354 KHZ (24 hs)
Frequency 8713 y 2065 KHZ (alternative)  Hours 05.00 - 13.00 y 21.00
email: mpla@prefecturanaval.gov.ar

COMODORO RIVADAVIA (L3A)
Between Lat. 42 º 00 'south and Lat. 54 º 30 'south
VHF C/ 9-16
SSB :
Frequency 4134 KHZ (24 hs)
Frequency 8710 y 2065 KHZ (alternative) Hours 07.00 - 14.00
email: criv@prefecturanaval.gov.ar

Ushuaia (L30)
South of Parallel  Lat. 54 º 30 'south
VHF C / 9-16
SSB:
Daytime frequency 4354 KHZ
Frequency night. 2065 KHZ
email. ushu@prefecturanaval.gov.ar

Other Restrictions

The naval bases of Mar del Plata and Puerto Belgrano (38°54'S 62°06'W) are prohibited areas.

Fishing is only permitted if in possession of a valid permit. The open season for fishing is November to February or March.

Last updated May 2014.

Clearance Agents

Delfines S.A
POC: Ernesto Canigia
Assist with clearance and permission for Falklands.

Pets

There are no quarantine facilities in Argentina. A Health Certificate stating that the animal is in good health and has been vaccinated against Rabies. This certificate must be issued by a recognised veterinarian and certified at the nearest Consulate of Argentina. Animals must be inspected on arrival by a veterinary health officer. All paperwork must be obtained within 10 days of travel. Appropriate travel forms for pets can be obtained on line from www.pettravelstore.com/store-pet-immigration-forms1.html or by sending your name and address to Pet Travel Inc, PO Box 1225, Borrego Springs, CA 92004 making sure to indicate which countries form you need. Restrictions - all animals (including dogs and cats) coming from Africa or Asia (except Japan) must obtain prior telex authorisation from quarantine department(Senasa) in Argentina.

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