Customs uses a random inspection system that requires you to push a button at the inspection bay—if a green light comes on, you walk through; if a red light appears, your bags are X-rayed and (very occasionally opened). In practice, many officials wave foreigners through without close inspection.
Officially, you can bring up to 2 liters of alcoholic beverages, 400 cigarettes, and 50 cigars into the country duty-free. However, Argentina's international airports have duty-free shops after you land, and customs officials never take alcohol and tobacco purchased there into account. Personal clothing and effects are admitted duty-free, provided they have been used, as are personal jewelry and professional equipment including laptops. Fishing gear and skis present no problems.
Argentina has strict regulations designed to prevent illicit trafficking in antiques, fossils, and other items of cultural and historical importance. For more information, contact the Dirección Nacional de Patrimonio y Museos (National Heritage and Museums Board).
Dirección Nacional de Patrimonio y Museos (11/4381–6656. www.cultura.gov.ar.)
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (www.cbp.gov.)