Who would have thought that of all the countries we have been to on this trip, Argentina would end up becoming such a nightmare in terms of having to deal with customs. The trucks finally arrived last Tuesday, already a week late, but they are currently being held by Argentina customs officials for a reason that Steve, I and our local contacts have yet to figure out. We have definitely found out the hard way that Argentina is probably the worst country in the world to try and import or export any type of goods, even if it is only temporarily.
Unfortunately for the locals, this problem extends far beyond just us here at The World by Road. For example, farmers in Argentina, who export much of their commodities such as cereals and soy products overseas to places like China, have to pay a whopping 35 percent export tax on top of about 20 to 30 percent in additional taxes, and recent strikes and protests have shown that they are not happy. I guess we could try and protest all of the hoops that the customs officials are making us jump through. After all, we are in the land of famous revolucionarios like Che Guevara. However it is hard to jump through a hoop that does not exist.
We spent most of yesterday waiting at the US Embassy to see if they could certify that our company exists in the United States only to find out what we already knew and already told the customs officials; the US Embassy does not certify or notarize documents… nor do they do much of anything else. So where are we at now? Well, on Monday we are going to go to the customs headquarters with our freight forwarding company and literally beg them to give us our trucks. I am not kidding, this is the strategy of the company we are paying 2 grand for. Hopefully it works. If not, I guess we can go round up some disgruntled and sympathetic farmers and storm the customs house with pitchforks and shovels and demand the release of our trucks.