Moving soon to Chile - what foods can be brought

All topics related to food in Chile including, Chilean food, expat food favorites, exchanging recipes, where to shop, hard to find foods, substitute ingredients and foods, food quality, restaurants, and more. If you can eat it in Chile, post it here.
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Ramana66
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Moving soon to Chile - what foods can be brought

Post by Ramana66 » Mon May 14, 2018 9:02 am

Hi Forum,

My contract is in place and I am going to Chile Consulate in London to apply the visa this week. Just started planning in advance regarding what foods I can bring to Chile (in the container which comes through ship together with my household goods).

I am thinking of bringing some rice, Indian ground spices, Indian lentils (broken, without skin) of different varieties, so none of these can be germinated or considered as seeds!!. I have seen only few varieties of lentils in supermarkets, hence this idea of bringing some other varieties which are not available locally.

Would bringing these items pose any problem in customs, what is the experience of any other forum members (Obviously, there will not be any meat/milk products or seeds/bulbs or something which can be germinated).

Any thoughts or comments if this will create any issues in clearing the items?

Many thanks,

cr0zzb0w
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Re: Moving soon to Chile - what foods can be brought

Post by cr0zzb0w » Mon May 14, 2018 9:13 am

Well. Last time I came through the customs, I had a load of cooked food, ground and non ground spices.

I filled the form saying I had "food made from plans".

They wanted me to see one of my luggages because they saw seeds via the xray. The girl very kindly told me that I cannot take the red chilli with seeds and they let me take everything else. From what I heard they sometimes have issues with nuts but I had with me a bad of caju nuts which were roasted and I showed them to which they responded that it was ok to take through.

Just talk to them nicely and you will not have any problems. :) This was the airport though. Hopefully containers are the same :)

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Re: Moving soon to Chile - what foods can be brought

Post by admin » Mon May 14, 2018 9:47 am

Never, ever, ever, put food in a shipping container.

We once had a client that had some house movers in the states stick a jar of penut butter in to a drawer of a furniture they were packing.

SAG found it at the port.

The client had to go to the port, that was 1500 kilometers away, to be present to witness the siezure in person. A single jar of penut butter. Meanwhile, they were paying for the port storage for several weeks while that all got resolved. It cost them several thousand dollars more by the time it was all said and done.

Is your rice really worth it?
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From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

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Re: Moving soon to Chile - what foods can be brought

Post by eeuunikkeiexpat » Mon May 14, 2018 10:11 am

IOW, bring your food items via your luggage and not in the shipping container.
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Re: Moving soon to Chile - what foods can be brought

Post by Britkid » Mon May 14, 2018 11:49 am

Ramana66 wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:02 am
Hi Forum,

My contract is in place and I am going to Chile Consulate in London to apply the visa this week.
I am British. When I went to the consulate in London to apply for the visa for Chile they were quoting me some high price of around a thousand pounds or a million pesos. However, I found out, that if you apply from within Chile the fee was a tiny fraction of that. When I asked the consulate in the UK what reason there was to apply from within the UK rather than within Chile, I could not get any answer. So, I flew to Chile with no visa, got the 3-month tourist visa stamped on the way in, immediately applied for residence, and saved a lot of money. As far as I know, this is legal or at least tolerated.

The only reason to apply in advance would be if the company you are working for is insisting on it, otherwise it would seem to be a waste of money.

Things could be different for you if prices/rules have changed since I came in 2014, or if you are not British, or if your personal situation is different in some otherway.
In 2014/2015 I blogged about my life in Chile. http://web.archive.org/web/201601121940 ... age_id=268

Ramana66
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Re: Moving soon to Chile - what foods can be brought

Post by Ramana66 » Mon May 14, 2018 3:46 pm

Thanks @Britkid, Yes the company would be paying the fees as they need me to work legally from day one (as I can't wait three months in Chile to start working). I understand that it is not legal to start working if I am on a tourist visa. Yes, I am British, but I understand the fees are reciprocal (the amount Chilean Embassy charges is roughly same as what UK charges for a Chilean visa).

From your posts, I noted that your situation was different compared to mine. I am moving as an expat and will return back to UK after 3 - 5 years in Chile.me

Ramana66
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Re: Moving soon to Chile - what foods can be brought

Post by Ramana66 » Mon May 14, 2018 3:48 pm

admin wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:47 am
Never, ever, ever, put food in a shipping container.

We once had a client that had some house movers in the states stick a jar of penut butter in to a drawer of a furniture they were packing.

SAG found it at the port.

The client had to go to the port, that was 1500 kilometers away, to be present to witness the siezure in person. A single jar of penut butter. Meanwhile, they were paying for the port storage for several weeks while that all got resolved. It cost them several thousand dollars more by the time it was all said and done.

Is your rice really worth it?
Thanks a lot @Admin, Guess I will give the rice to friends or donate to charity

Ramana66
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Re: Moving soon to Chile - what foods can be brought

Post by Ramana66 » Mon May 14, 2018 3:52 pm

cr0zzb0w wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:13 am
Well. Last time I came through the customs, I had a load of cooked food, ground and non ground spices.

I filled the form saying I had "food made from plans".

They wanted me to see one of my luggages because they saw seeds via the xray. The girl very kindly told me that I cannot take the red chilli with seeds and they let me take everything else. From what I heard they sometimes have issues with nuts but I had with me a bad of caju nuts which were roasted and I showed them to which they responded that it was ok to take through.

Just talk to them nicely and you will not have any problems. :) This was the airport though. Hopefully containers are the same :)
Thanks a lot. Probably I will bring the stuff with me in my checked-in luggage and will declare what they are. At the worst case, whatever is not allowed will be binned and I can take what is allowed by them.

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Re: Moving soon to Chile - what foods can be brought

Post by admin » Mon May 14, 2018 8:40 pm

Well, on the other hand we once had client that the movers loaded up her riding lawn mower in south florida, without washing it. SAG never bothered with it, and it was the first thing in the container. In fact it looked like it had just cut the grass. Basically if there is an invasive spieces in the world, it has a cousine in south florida, and a sample was stuck all over that lawn mower. They also ignored the antique wood furniture that had been to more countries than now exist on the map.

Meanwhile we had a client bring a ship full of used fruit harvesters from the states. SAG had them fumigate them in every way possible, short of using a flame thrower on the machines.

You just never know what is going to set them off.
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

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Re: Moving soon to Chile - what foods can be brought

Post by Julito » Mon May 14, 2018 10:07 pm

Or in my case extremely lucky. Without elaborating, in partial ignorance and a tendency to take a punt at the time I broke every rule in the book and they opened nothing in the shipping container. With the benefit of hindsight I'd never try it again!

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tiagoabner
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Re: Moving soon to Chile - what foods can be brought

Post by tiagoabner » Mon May 14, 2018 10:12 pm

Small, "reasonable for personal" consumption is usually allowed in your personal luggage for vacuum sealed products, specially if there are no seeds, fruits or non-processed milk and meat involved. It can be tricky to get it through on a container, though.

Fun fact: my wife once traveled to Chile with about 3 kg of tapioca flour (IE. grounded cassava roots) in her luggage and the guys didn't even pay attention to it, even though it really looks like cocaine in appearance. I wonder how incredibly bad that could've gone in, let's say, the USA.

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Re: Moving soon to Chile - what foods can be brought

Post by eeuunikkeiexpat » Mon May 14, 2018 10:47 pm

My experience, I've brought in more than a years supply of allowed food items many times without Aduanas batting an eye so the quantity where questions begin can be quite high. I believe drug searches are done by drug dogs before luggage is put on the carousel. Inside the arrivals terminal, friendly food dogs make the rounds.
Generally, just a SPAM KILLER. You are on your own in this forum. My personal mission here is done.

BUT when necessary, by way of ridicule and truth revelation we shalt do war.

--eeuunikkeiexpat

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