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What's the Story on Foreigners Buying Buquebus Tickets?

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Punta del Este...
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What's the Story on Foreigners Buying Buquebus Tickets?

My wife went to the Buquebus ticket office in Recoleta today to buy her ticket on the ferry/bus back to Punta del Este. She was going to use her Uruguayan ID. She was told that if she did so she would have to pay in Dollars or use a foreign credit card which would be charged in Dollars, because of a "new AFIP [Argentinian version of IRS] requirement." She used her Argentinian ID and paid in Argentinian Pesos.

This " foreigner must pay in Dollars or credit card" line cannot be true. I seem to recall it's already been written about on TA but I cannot find it. Can some Argentinian who knows the ropes confirm that Buquebus is trying to scam people?

Or is it true that a foreigner has to use Dollars or a credit card? I would find that very, very hard to believe . . . even in Argentina.

Edited: 07 February 2014, 00:24
Argentina
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1. Re: What's the Story on Foreigners Buying Buquebus Tickets?

It's here, Punta:

tripadvisor.com/…

Non-residents have to pay in US cash or foreign credit card when purchasing "services rendered OUTSIDE of Argentina".

Edited: 07 February 2014, 01:07
WDC
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2. Re: What's the Story on Foreigners Buying Buquebus Tickets?

Yes, PuntaLugano, I'm afraid you'll have to suspend your disbelief; this has been the case for a few weeks.

TIA, as we say, This Is Argentina !

It is important to note, as Verobaires did above, that this requirement of dollar (or dollar based CC) payment is for Foreign Travel only. For Domestic flights, or other transport, payment in Pesos is fine...though the long-standing two-tiered charge system is, naturally, still in effect.

What can we expect next ???

Argentina
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3. Re: What's the Story on Foreigners Buying Buquebus Tickets?

As with the two-tiered charge system, my belief is that this will not apply to "foreigners" vs "Argentinos" but that the issue must be "residence".

As long as you have a DNI, I would think that you can pay in Pesos, regardless of your nationality.

buenos aires
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4. Re: What's the Story on Foreigners Buying Buquebus Tickets?

As far as I know, any shop or business in Argentina MUST charge in pesos, regardless who is the buyer. Our currency is pesos, not US dollars. So, Punta, I guess you must insist, and they will have to charge you in pesos.....

WDC
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5. Re: What's the Story on Foreigners Buying Buquebus Tickets?

Marulandia, so good to hear your voice...ok, see your post :-) You have been missed on the Forum.

You and PuntaLugano are in the business of law, I think, so I would certainly yield to your knowledge, but I was certain that I had read that there was a recent REGULATION (?) permitting such a restriction to payment in US currency - for non-residents, traveling outside Argentina. And the experience of Mrs. PuntaLugano is consistent with others not using the Argentine DNI. Please, keep us posted on what you learn about this.

Edited: 07 February 2014, 12:21
Punta del Este...
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6. Re: What's the Story on Foreigners Buying Buquebus Tickets?

Thanks to Marniewdc and verobaires for setting me straight. I had read the earlier thread but had obviously forgotten the details (Buquebus was specifically mentioned in that thread) and could not find it quickly yesterday.

It was firmly implanted in my mind that a foreigner could no longer use Argentinian Pesos to buy an international tourist package or transportation that takes place completely outside Argentina. That makes sense, and probably violates no international convention. What had not stuck in my mind was that a foreigner could not buy passage from Argentina to another country using Argentinian Pesos. That part doesn't make much sense. Maybe it's understandable if the foreigner is buying passage on a foreign carrier, say American Airlines. The foreign carrier does ultimately receive Dollars at the official rate and those ultimately come from Argentinian reserves. However, an Argentina-based carrier (Aerolineas Argentinas, for example) never needs to change the Argentinian Pesos to Dollars; it uses them for its Argentinian operations. A post in the earlier thread said that Buquebus is Uruguayan. Not so sure of that; I could not quickly find details of its incorporation on line but it's referred to on at least one Internet site as "based in Argentina." But wherever it's based, it's a fact that it has huge operations in Argentina and so any Argentinian Pesos it takes in do not have to be changed into Dollars; Buquebus can use those Pesos in its Argentinian operations.

There is no logical basis for applying this Central Bank circular to any carrier selling a ticket for travel from Argentina to another country, if that carrier has extensive Argentinian operations and can use Argentinian Pesos in those operations. To the extent the circular is being used by Aerolineas Argentinas or Buquebus to demand payment in Dollars or with a foreign credit card, I think it's a pretext and the real purpose is just to gain a windfall by charging in Dollars. Since a substantial portion of Buquebus sales of ferry tickets in BA for travel from BA to Uruguay is to foreigners, it's quite a windfall for Buquebus.

There are international conventions that require, basically, that citizens of one country not be discriminated against commercially when doing business in another country. I don't know the details of these conventions. But what Buquebus is doing -- no doubt with the complicity of the Argentinian central bank -- must skirt mighty close to violating those conventions, if it doesn't do so.

But, I suppose no individual foreigner has any way to challenge this practice. Or maybe I'm just wrong about the absence of rational basis for the practice. Wouldn't be the first time I got something wrong . . . .

Santiago, Chile
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7. Re: What's the Story on Foreigners Buying Buquebus Tickets?

I wonder if this applies to foreigners buying bus tickets to Brazil or Chile from Argentina? I haven't seen any posts saying it does, but you never know.

WDC
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8. Re: What's the Story on Foreigners Buying Buquebus Tickets?

So, PuntaLugano, you were expecting logic ? Seriously, thanks for your thoughtful take on this issue.

Argentina
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9. Re: What's the Story on Foreigners Buying Buquebus Tickets?

DancingMolly, you are right: we have not learned yet if this regulation applies for bus tickets as well. Or should I say, if bus companies are taking advantage of this new ruling for refusing pesos from non residents?

Now, I don't think this is about nationality, but about country of residence. Real case: if my Argentinian son wants to buy a ticket with his Chilean ID (he used to live in Chile), he most probably won't be allowed to pay in Pesos (= Punta's wife).

On the other hand, my French father (who has never taken the Argentinian nationality) used to buy his domestic flights at the "locals''" fares, because he has a DNI, which proves he is legally a resident of Argentina.

Marnie, are you a member of the diplomatic corps, by any chance? Your last post ... chapeau!

WDC
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10. Re: What's the Story on Foreigners Buying Buquebus Tickets?

Would that I were, Verobaires, would that I were.