Visitors may import personal effects including clothing, jewelry, medicine, sporting gear, camping equipment and accessories, photographic and video equipment, personal computers and the like, and wheelchairs for disabled individuals. They may also bring 500 grams of tobacco, three liters of wine or alcoholic beverages (adults only), and small quantities of perfume.
Customs inspections are usually routine, but at Santiago’s international airport and some land borders, incoming baggage must pass through X-rays; do not put photographic film in your bag en route from Mendoza, Argentina, to Santiago, for instance. At the Peruvian and Bolivian borders, inspectors pay special attention to illegal drugs; at the international airport, there are drug-sniffing beagles.
Travelers bound from Region I (Tarapacá) and Region XII (Magallanes) will undergo internal customs checks because those regions have Zona Franca duty-free status. At many borders, the Servicio Agrícola Ganadero (SAG, Agriculture and Livestock Service) conducts agricultural inspections—fresh food will be confiscated—and sometimes levies a small charge. At some remote borders, the Carabineros handle all border formalities.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition