Chile not allowing import of used bikes. Where to ship in SA?

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by bouldergeek, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. bouldergeek

    bouldergeek Filthy, poor KLR dweeb

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,074
    Location:
    Palmer Station, Antarctica
    I've been deployed in Antarctica for six months. My bike has been in a crate in Denver, waiting to be shipped in order to arrive in Santiago around October 1. Now, I find that in June, Chile changed its regulations and is not allowing importation of used motorcycles.

    This really messes with my plans.

    I will get to Punta Arenas, Chile around 28 September. I can have free flight to Santiago, but not free elsewhere. My shipping agent says that I can get the bike to Buenos Aires, Argentina or Lima, Peru for ~$1000.

    I have heard that Argentine customs might hold the bike for a month unless I pay bribes. Any truth to this?

    I would rather pick up in BA. What does the community think my best option will be?
    #1
  2. csustewy

    csustewy Motojero

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    back in Denver
    Sorry to hear your plans are getting so shaken up! A fun introduction to South American logistics, but something will work out in your favor.

    I took a quick glance at the Chilean customs website and didn't see any major changes to their regulations. Chile does not allow any used motos to be imported, but I believe that refers to fully importing the bike to register it in Chile. As a traveler, you should be able to easily get 90 or 180 days from customs. While I'm no expert, and this is far from a definitive answer, if it were me I would inquire more specifically about the restrictions you mention, and whether they really apply to you. It'd be a shame to miss out on that free ticket, and to add any additional shipping costs, if it wasn't entirely necessary...


    My wife and I are currently in Argentina, having left Denver a couple of years ago. We will be here until at least November, so maybe we can catch a beer with you if we cross paths. It'd be fun to see a fellow Coloradoan, and I'd be real interested to hear about your time in Antarctica.

    Good luck getting the logistics sorted out!
    #2
  3. bouldergeek

    bouldergeek Filthy, poor KLR dweeb

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,074
    Location:
    Palmer Station, Antarctica
    That's great. Thank you for that info, csustewy!

    That info came from the customs agent that my shipper uses. But, perhaps there was miscommunication.

    The Aduana page that you referenced did say this:

    LAS MOTOS USADAS NO PUEDEN IMPORTARSE BAJO ESTA FRANQUICIA.

    I really need to bump up my Spanish skills. :huh But that doesn't sound good.

    Did you bring vehicles directly to Argentina? Do you think that the process of imporation would be significantly worse in Argentina than Chile or Peru?

    I'll ping you when I know what time and challenges Argentina will present.

    #3
  4. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    619
    Location:
    Bellingham, Washington
    When asking questions like this, you need to distinguish between temporary and permanent importation. Each time.

    Without clarifying this distinction--yes, each time--answers will not make any sense, and both you and your readers will go batty.

    Hope that's helpful.

    Mark
    #4
  5. Surf & Moto

    Surf & Moto Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2013
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    Arica, Chile
    bouldergeek,

    I think its just a translation problem, you are not importing the Motorbike, that usually refers to permanent import and that's forbbiden (if that is your case) you are temporaly entering a motorbike as a turist from other country, you are allowed to do that, with some temporal restrictions.

    The second quote from csustewy is the right article, and your last quote refers to another type of exemption in other chapter from customs FAQ.

    (Sorry for my english I'm from Chile)

    Cheers mate.
    #5
  6. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,548
    Location:
    Alaska
    Folks ship to Santiago often IIRC. Big difference between an import, and a temporary permit. I agree with the others, something got lost in translation.
    #6
  7. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    98,934
    Location:
    Valle del Sol AZ
    Wait, do you prefer to ship to BA or Santiago?

    I've known several folks who had Enzo and Martina arrange shipping for them out of Valparaiso, Hostal Kunterbunt, iirc.

    And I agree, temporary import is a much different thing than permanent.
    #7
  8. csustewy

    csustewy Motojero

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    550
    Location:
    back in Denver
    No worries - I have a feeling comments will continue to flow which will hopefully keep steering you in a good direction. But it's good news that so far everyone is agreement that a temporary import of a moto is still no problem.

    Sorry that I didn't translate those links, but it seems like you are picking up on the gist of them. And there's always translate.google.com (or use Chrome as a browser to auto translate).

    The part that you saw about not importing any used motos is related to a Chilean national who has been living abroad and is trying to import a vehicle permanently into Chile. Don't worry, that doesn't apply to you (well, I think not anyways).

    That first link (with page titled 'Aduana') is mostly about a Chilean national returning to live in Chile after living abroad. However, further down the page there is a section that relates to tourists bringing in goods and vehicles. It mentions specifics that I don't believe to be true (more particularly, that the vehicle has to remain out of Chile for at least 6 months before re-issuing a temporary permit...almost anyone who has ridden Patagonia will disagree with that one...). So, assume the second link is a better source of information. Thanks Surf & Moto for confirming that - and welcome to the forum!

    Additionally, keep in mind that at least hundreds of travelers ride their own foreign-registered motorcycle in Chile every year.

    As far as which country would be easier to ship into, I can't say from experience as I've only crossed at land borders. Based on your original post I assumed that sticking with Santiago would keep costs down, so I personally would lean towards that option. But whichever port you decide to use, a trusted agent, preferably one that has handled international motorcycles before, should make the process a whole lot smoother. MG mentioned contacts near Santiago, Sandra and Javier at Dakar Motos can help into Buenos Aires, not sure of any Lima contacts.

    Keep us posted what direction you head, and I look forward to catching up with you in Argentina!
    #8
  9. bouldergeek

    bouldergeek Filthy, poor KLR dweeb

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,074
    Location:
    Palmer Station, Antarctica
    Thanks for all of that info.

    I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. I assumed that temporary import for tourism was implied, not permanent residency.

    This all came up because the shipping company has an agent in San Antonio, Chile (south of Valpo), and that agent relayed the importation restriction. One person might be clueless, and that shouldn't deter me.

    If one can still get 90-180 day temporary import licensing for tourist motorcycles, then that is all that I need. If they will let you in with a bike at a land border, why not a port border?
    #9
  10. Acampao

    Acampao WInd Jammer

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    152
    Location:
    Southern Patagonia
    OK, by now you have already learned that you can not permanently import a used vehicle into Chile, but can get a temporary permit for the duration of your own visitor's permit (90 days). There is one exception though, and that is the "Zona Franca" areas in Iquique (far North) and Punta Arenas (far South), where importation of used vehicles -including motorcycles- is allowed. If you plan to sell your bike in South America at the end of your trip, you may want to consider this.
    #10
  11. bouldergeek

    bouldergeek Filthy, poor KLR dweeb

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,074
    Location:
    Palmer Station, Antarctica
    Very cool. Thanks, all, for your help on this.

    Armed with more certainty after the counseling here, I went back to my shipper with an authoritative tone and said that their agent must have been speaking of permanent importation, not tourist temp tags.

    We're back on, with direct shipping into Valparaiso. I am hoping to speak with Enzo & Martina at Villa Kunterbun and work out the fine print for some of the logistics once the crate arrives. :clap

    Thanks very much to all for assistance and a needed checkpoint. Ready to get this party started.
    #11
  12. Vin

    Vin Hopeless Addict

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    366
    Location:
    Lafayette, CO
    I'm putting together a similar shipment 2 years out (ship to Valparaiso, ride north, jump the gap and back to CO).
    Who did you end up shipping with? Would you mind sharing the cost? How was your receiving agent? Did they hit you with a bunch of fees/bribes on the Chile end? So many questions.
    I pinged you on another thread some time ago - while you were still in Antartica. When you get back to Boulder I'll offer up dinner if I can keep you from eating it by asking you lots of logistic questions about your trip.
    Have a good one!
    #12
  13. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,823
    Location:
    Back in Seattle, FINALLY
    I used Enzo and Martina Tesser at Villa Kunterbunt in Valparaiso. I shipped out, so am not sure what local port fees would be, but they can probably tell you what it usually costs. They ship a lot of bikes. Their house is also a motorcyclist-only hostel.

    http://villakunterbuntvalpo.blogspot.com/
    #13
  14. Finskii

    Finskii Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    13
    I'd like to clear up some misconceptions on "importing" used bikes into Chile. Since I live in Chile and I import used bikes into Chile.

    There are two main topics here. (1) Temporary importation as a tourist (which you are), and (2) formal importation as a permanent resident of a ZFE, which you are not.

    1. Generally speaking, if you are not a resident of Chile you can import one vehicle for 90 days . The programme is called Título de Importación Temporal de Vehículo (TITV). You read Spanish so go here: http://www.chileatiende.cl/fichas/ver/52 Although some tourists need help with this, it is so simple that even Hardly riders can usually do it on their own.

    2. Unless you are a permanent resident of a Zona Franca, you cannot legally "import" (in the usual permanent sense) a used vehicle into Chile. Yes, I did this before I became a fully fledged permanent resident here, but that is not what the law allows. Such importation can only be done in certain ZF locations and only by using the services of certain authorised agents and I won't go into that since it's boring. However, since I have access to those folks and am now a permanent ZFE resident, I occasionally do buy used bikes (mostly KLR650 bikes) that international riders would just as soon not try to ride all the way back to Squaw's Ankle.

    Hope that helps to clarify things on this thread.
    #14
  15. dbrum

    dbrum totally n0ob

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I would highly recommend you look at shipping the bike to Montevideo, Uruguay - this is the only country I know of in SA that allows the importation for temporary use of a motorcycle for 12 months. A lot of people I have spoken with now either ship to Uruguay or store their bikes down there once they are done their trip until they can come back at a later time and continue onward or ship the bike home. Do not ship your bike to Argentina, it will die a slow death in customs and get sold off or outright stolen.
    #15
  16. TravelZen

    TravelZen Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    Oddometer:
    35
    I've been through a similar situation and this is terrific advice.
    #16
  17. Gabeslaw

    Gabeslaw Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2014
    Oddometer:
    298
    Location:
    South Florida USA
    R U refering to Harley-Davidson riders....No abusa asi broder......be nice or I wont buy you a beer in Chile in May 2015! LOL!
    #17
  18. asalmon81

    asalmon81 n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Oddometer:
    8
    Hi there I saw your below message.

    I'm coming over this April with my Bike for NZ. I want to drive from Chile up to USA.

    I went on the website and started the process but the got sent to another site asking me to enter my RUT code, do I need one to get a TITV or can someone in chile get this for me?

    Cheers,

    Aidan

    #18
  19. GastonUSAChile

    GastonUSAChile Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    788
    Location:
    Miami,USA
    Aidan,
    When your bike arrive in Chile, go with your BL or AWB and your personal documents and process Customs (Aduanas) of the same place where your bike arrived, port or airport. It will take minutes only and its free of charge like in every other country.
    Have clear that ports and airports charge for receiving your bike, such THC and storage fees, not Customs.
    Always the shipping line or the airline must give you a document called 'dressing' , which is a number of manifest on cargo arrival. Plus the BL or the AWB as I said above.

    Customs will give you a TITV, temporary permit , which you will surrender at the border crossing going to Argentina. They will give you a new one, usually a same used by both Chile and Argentina , because of treaties they have air each other.

    As for advice , never sell your bike without closing that temporary admission at Customs or you and the new buyer will be in trouble.
    Chile allow used bikes only at Patagonia and Iquique zones. Argentina forbid any used bikes import for selling.
    #19
  20. asalmon81

    asalmon81 n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Oddometer:
    8
    this is amazing info, feel like a rookie!! Does it still apply if i'm exiting chile through Peru?

    #20