Mailing Instructions

To all missionaries of the Argentina Mendoza Mission, current and future, their parents, friends and families:

In order to allow the missionaries to receive mail and packages from home, please consider the following suggestions (These are based on our most recent experiences with the customs service here in Argentina, especially here in Mendoza.):

First some background information. Packages sent through the mail are processed here by the Argentina Postal Service, Correo Argentina. There is no additional charge for their service for letters or small packages. However, for larger packages that must be cleared through the separate Customs Service, Aduana, the post office charges a document processing fee and possibly a storage fee if we are unable to retrieve the package in a certain amount of time after being notified it is being held for pick up at the Post Office. Then the package is opened by Customs, in the presence of a representative of the missionary (an elder from the mission office staff, currently), the items evaluated and a tariff assessed. That tariff can be up to 50% of the declared original price. That charge is then passed on to the missionary and deducted from the monthly allowance provided each of them. What that means is a package intended as a gift for a beloved missionary in Argentina turns out to be an unexpected, and often very expensive and, therefore, painful, surprise; one that costs both the sender and the receiver.

Also, there are some items that are not allowed to be imported into Argentina, specifically, vitamins and medicines without proper and complete prescription labeling. These are always potentially confiscated and definitely always result in the mission representative receiving a lecture about not allowing such materials to be sent in the mail... So,

1) Please never send vitamins or medications via the mail. Most items are readily available here and probably at much lower cost than in the US.
2) Never repackage anything you are sending. Candies that have been taken out of the original packaging, homemade candies, dried fruit and jerky all look like contraband drugs and are almost always confiscated and serve to embarrass the Church.
3) The Argentina people are neither backward nor superstitious. Putting pictures or religious items on packaging does nothing more than cost the sender and further embarrass the Church by appearing to protect the package contents with icons. Honest treatment results in a much better impression.
4) If you can prepare packages that weigh less than 2 kilograms (about 4.4 pounds) they will generally bypass the Customs office and avoid the extra charges if they have a sticker that lists the contents and the declared value of the contents does not exceed $25US.
5) Letters and very small packages are always welcome and highly encouraged, (though home baked cookies and candies, dried fruits and meats are not, they often look like contraband because they are not in “factory”-like packaging ), and are very gratefully received, but even more gratefully received because they don’t have an additional cost to receive them.
6) If larger items are needed by your missionary while she or he is here, we suggest you provide them via additional funds deposited in a personal bank account at home and the missionary being able to access those funds here via a personal bank card. Personal cards are accepted almost everywhere in Argentina.  That way the only additional cost may be the bank service fee which is generally fairly reasonable, especially when compared to the Customs duty.

Elder Wells
MisiĆ³n Argentina Mendoza