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Argentina introduces restrictions on online shopping


Argentina has restricted online shopping as part of efforts to stop foreign currency reserves from falling any further.

According to new conditions, anyone buying items through international websites will now need to sign a declaration and produce it at a customs office, where the packages have to be collected.

The procedure will need to be repeated for every new purchase.

Argentina’s reserves of hard currencies dropped by 30% last year.

The government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has introduced a number of restrictions on transactions with foreign currency.

Items imported through websites such as Amazon and eBay are no longer delivered to people’s home addresses. The parcels need to be collected from the customs office.

Argentina has restricted online shopping as part of efforts to stop foreign currency reserves from falling any further

Argentina has restricted online shopping as part of efforts to stop foreign currency reserves from falling any further

Individuals are allowed to buy items up to the value of $25 from abroad tax free every year, but it has been hard for custom officials to keep accurate records of consumers’ transactions.

Once the $25 level is reached, online shoppers in Argentina need to pay a 50% tax on each item bought from international websites.


The government hopes that new declaration will make it easier for customs officials to enforce the import tax.

New currency controls were introduced a week after Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was re-elected in 2011.

Among the restrictions introduced more recently was a 35% tariff on credit card transaction abroad.

Despite the government’s efforts, Argentina’s reserves are now below $30 billion – their lowest level since 2006.

Currency controls, which were common in most countries until the mid-1980s were dropped in Argentina in 1991. Finance Minister Domingo Cavallo pegged the local currency, the peso, to the dollar.

The plan collapsed 10 years later, when the government was forced to devalue its currency.

Argentina eventually froze bank accounts and defaulted on its debts. It has since struggled to attract foreign loans at market rates.

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