Argentina is updating its border control policy yet again. While it may be harder for some people to enter the country (e.g. people with criminal records), a new law could make life a little easier for travelers to pass through customs.

Yippee! Now the only hell you face is catching the number 8 bus at 6am in the morning. Or locating your timorous uber driver in the depths of the Avis car park.

Yesterday, the Government passed a law that will enable those people who have no goods to declare to pass through customs in a speedier fashion. Now, passengers with nothing to declare will form a separate line to have baggage checked only randomly. This is opposed to the old system where even people who had nothing to declare had their luggage scanned or checked.

The changes are part of an attempt to “accelerate processing times” in customs by “simplifying the formalities and minimum requirements of bringing in luggage.” In other words, do away with those interminably long lines at Ezeiza.

The process for entering the country is as follows.

  • After collecting their luggage, passengers go to customs with customs declaration form (which must be provided to them by airline.)
  • Those passengers who have goods to declare will join the line called “Goods To Declare”, where customs officials will proceed to check their luggage
  • Those passengers who do not have goods to declare will join a line called “No Goods To Declare”, and their luggage will be only randomly checked via a non-intrusive method (i.e. scanner)
  • Customs reserves the right to check anyone’s luggage. Moreover, if it finds undeclared goods, it will be able to confiscate these goods.

The “selective” baggage checking method will involve resurrecting the use of a light signal, a system that was used between 1994 and 2010. If passengers do not have anything to declare, they will touch a button that could have one of two results: if it is green, the passenger hands over their customs form and is then free to leave; if it turns red, the passenger could have their luggage checked via a scanner, according to Infobae. It means the number of people who have their bags revised or scanned should decrease.

Photo via InfoViajera.com
Photo via InfoViajera.com

Good news for the some 3000 to 5000 passengers who arrive at Ezeiza in peak hour (generally early morning.)