View Full Version : Taking Two Ubuntu Laptops To Latin America Ole!

November 23rd, 2015, 06:20 PM
Hola Amigos,

I'm planning a trip to Latin America after the first of the year. I will be taking my car; and I want to bring both of my DELL Laptops and my printer. Do any of you have any experience crossing international borders with technology items? I know that one PC is usually allowed. I'm not sure about the second. If I bring two laptops, will I be viewed as a smuggler by customs; or will they just tax me on the second one? I also want to bring a router, my many pen-drives and associated cabling. I really don't know how any of this works.

Thanks, Hannibal

November 23rd, 2015, 08:42 PM
"Latin America" is a little vague. Every country has different rules.
I travel a bunch, but generally do not take more than 1 computer per person. I have taken a smartphone, tablet and laptop without any issues. Did get funny looks taking a laptop and a $500 GPU to a good friend in Argentina. Customs wanted me to pay 50% import tax, since that GPU was still boxed and wouldn't fit into my laptop. Somehow the GPU didn't make the return trip with me. Don't know exactly how that could have happened. Perhaps my friend "found" it?

I travel with a tiny travel wifi-router. No issues.
Also took a Alix 2D13 x86 pfsense router overseas, but that wasn't in "latin america." It looks like a small router and the
location customs agents probably didn't have a clue what it was. That part of the world doesn't have many computers or routers. Left it there at a monastery there to manage that network.

Check the importation laws for going in both directions. You may need to provide proof of purchase both when entering AND when trying to get back into your home country. For example, the USA has an $800 duty free law, but things might be different for land borders. Going over land into eastern Europe/central Asia with lots of equipment needs more government approvals, forms and proof of purchase. In places with high import taxes the border controls are tighter, IME.

Name the countries you are going through for more specific advice.

November 25th, 2015, 12:41 PM
it sure doesn't work like you think it does :)

Customs tax matter only if you intend to sell something or if you move some very valuable things you plan to leave in that country. laptops and such are personal items. you can also have two watches. having 20 or 50 of them might be suspicious to customs officers if they found them. and you would need to work hard to explain how you would intend them for personal use. can still work - say you use them to set up 20 cameras to shoot based on them or something. or for example you can wear 4 gold rings. as long as they think they are for your personal pleasure and not for sale they won't mention them.

anyway most countries also allow certain amount of extra new and personal things to be imported for free. I think in EU it is around 800 EUR per person. After that you are supposed to declare the new things and they decide if you will be charged or not with customs.

anyway personal use 2 lappies and some other hardware shouldn't be a big deal. especially if they are not brand new. still unboxed. :)

I do logistics, import&export stuff and sales every day. I don't know everything, but I did pick up a few things. I am also authorised exporter, which is kind of a customs officer deputy. so like The Fu said every country has it's own rules. and depends where you are going, to what countries. but like I said most customs officers are not interested into used personal stuff that is not of some super high value. obviously a large pink diamond in a golden crown used or not would raise some eyebrows at least :-) but laptops, I very much doubt it.