A clear distinction is drawn between tourists and those intending to reside or work in Argentina. Tourists must be in possession of a valid passport, and a stay of up to ninety days, renewable once, is permitted to most nationalities without the need of a consular visa. Citizens of some countries do however require a tourist visa which can be obtained from an Argentine consul at no charge.
For visiting nationals of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, their own identity card replaces the passport. Passengers by ship, in transit, must figure on a separate ‘Passengers in transit’ list, which must be made up in a similar fashion to that of disembarking passengers. Such transit passengers must fill out an international E/D card, one for each passenger. This card will be stamped by the Immigration authorities on board, and is the sole document passengers in transit are required to carry with them. These documents must be returned to the ship before departure, since the authorities will check all cards being returned to them, as a control that all transit passengers are on board.
Passengers on cruise vessels in port for less than 72 hours do not need an Argentine consular visa, and the Agent must declare them as such on the corresponding passenger list.
Disembarking passengers must complete a sworn declaration form giving their personal details and a description of all articles in their baggage, acquired abroad (bought, received as presents, etc.). Articles exclusively for personal use are excluded.
A Customs official then assesses the duty payable on the articles and will check the contents of the baggage before it can be withdrawn by the passenger. Articles omitted are confiscated, and if falsely declared, a fine is imposed as well. Deliberate attempts at smuggling can lead to imprisonment. On arrival, passengers must declare on the baggage declaration form whether or not they have any unaccompanied baggage, which is permitted to arrive up to 3 months before or 6 months after their own arrival.
Although the above regulations are in force, in practice and when large number of disembarking and/or embarking passengers is involved such as occurs with cruise vessels, above control procedures may be slackened or not carried out at all on grounds of a better and quicker operation; however responsibilities always remain with the actors i.e. passengers, vessel’s Owners/Master and/or ship agent.