Arrival Immigration and Customs, Santiago de Chile Airport
Santiago airport underwent an impressive expansion program in 2021 with large, modern and airy passenger terminals with long, automated walkways.
Upon arrival into this enormous space, as with any international airport, passengers will be required to firstly pass through passport control (immigration), collect their luggage (if you have any) and then pass through the Chilean agricultural and food control (SAG) and Chilean customs.
Here, below we explain a little about these processes.
Upon arrival to Chile, through ANY border control point, you will be given a little form to fill out and is usually given to you on board your incoming flight. You then surrender this form to the immigration official at passport control. He or she will then hand back to you a piece of paper that looks like a “supermarket till receipt” at first glance. This is your PDI TOURIST VISA and enables you to legally stay in Chile for three months as well as AVOID VAT room tax at hotels. Therefore, KEEP it with you for hotel check-in.
NOTE: If you lose this document, it will delay your departure and make it rather difficult and tiresome as new paperwork will need to be raised and questions will be asked as to why you do not have the original. You will need to pay a fine, but NOT at the airport – at an office in Santiago city. Therefore, to avoid a very complicated life, do NOT lose the tourist visa!
Avoiding VAT Tax at Hotels
If you are a foreigner NOT residing in Chile, in other words you HAVE the entry tourist visa, then you will NOT be charged VAT (IVA) by hotels for accommodation. However, to qualify for this exemption you MUST present a valid passport AND your PDI entry tourist visa at check-in to the hotel.
You are NOT permitted to import the following items when entering Chile:
Fruits, seeds, cheese, meat, vegetables or non-processed animal products, firearms, munitions, explosives, or illegal drugs.
NOTE: Luggage is x-rayed upon entry and sniffer dogs check out luggage too. Check out the web site: www.aeropuertosantiago.cl
Passengers are entitled to enter, free of customs duties and taxes, all merchandise that represents their luggage.
Luggage is understood to include:
Travel necessities (suitcases, bags, and personal effects), clothing, adornments, electrical toilet appliances, articles for personal use (alarm clock, camera, typewriter, portable calculator) that are used and appropriate for the normal use of the person importing or exporting them and which are not for sale. Objects for use exclusively for their profession or trade, provided they are used, portable, manual, of simple manufacture, that do not need to be installed for their normal use and relate to the traveller’s profession or trade.
Up to a volume not exceeding 400 cigarettes, 500 grams of pipe tobacco, 50 cigars and 2.5 litres of alcoholic drink per adult person (over 18 years old).
· House furniture.
· Household goods, crockery, linen goods and paintings.
· Musical instruments.
· Electrical or electronic goods, spares and appliances.
· Office installation.
Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG)
These guys monitor all agriculture and livestock entering the country to ensure, as best they can, that no agricultural or other diseases enter the country.
Therefore, anyone arriving to Chile from outside the country’s borders cannot bring in the following items below, and if you have any of these they MUST be declared. Failure to declare any of these will result in a heavy fine.
NOT Permitted to Bring in to Chile are:
· Milk, butter, cream and cheese.
· Fresh fruit and vegetables.
· Meats of any kind, cured meats and sausages.
· Seeds, grains, dry, desiccated or dehydrated fruits.
· Fruit, ornamental or forestry plants of parts thereof: twigs, cuttings, bulbs, etc.
· Flowers, dried flowers and garden plants. Soil.
· Word or bark.
· Insects, snails, etc. Bacteria and fungus for scientific research purposes. Bees, honey and bees’ wax. Animal semen, biological and veterinary pharmaceutical products.
· Small animals and pets (dogs, cats, etc.). Birds.
· Live species and their products or by products, prepared from wild fauna.
Important to bear in Mind
You will be asked to sign a sworn statement regarding the above. Making a sworn declaration that is not true constitutes a crime and can be punished by a prison sentence of between 61 days and 3 years. Refusal to make the declaration may be punished by a fine too.
Check out the web site: www.aeropuertosantiago.cl