Since a major part of Chile’s economy is based on its agricultural exports, they are very careful in protecting their country from foreign biological contaminants.
When you arrive in Chile, you will have to pass through a screening process by the Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero (SAG) or Agriculture and Livestock Service.
The purpose of this screening is to prevent the introduction of new diseases, pests, or plagues that could adversely impact Chile’s production and economic output.
What to Declare
If you take anything that is plant- or animal-based, you should declare it in your mandatory sworn statement. If you are flying into Chile, you should get this form on your flight. You can see the declaration form (in PDF) on the SAG website.
You must declare any and all of these items:
- Milk, butter, cream and cheese.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Meats of any kind, cold cuts, and sausages.
- Seeds, grains, nuts, dried or dehydrated fruits.
- Fruit plants, ornamental plants, other plants or part of them: branches, cuttings, bulbs and others.
- Flowers, dried flowers and garden plants. Soil.
- Wood or barks.
- Insects, snails and others. Bacteria and molds for scientific research. Bees, honey and beeswax.
- Animal semen, biological products and veterinarian medicines.
- Small animals and pets (dogs, cats, other). Birds.
- Alive species, products or sub products from them, or elaborated from wild fauna.
Make sure that if you have any of these items on your person, in your pockets, backpack, or luggage, that you declare it.
The SAG officials will not take the excuse “I forgot I had that” when they find a forbidden item in your belongings.
They won’t necessarily confiscate everything you declare, but it needs to be inspected.
Penalty for Non-Compliance
There have been many stories of travelers that didn’t declare restricted items and were surprised by the results.
If you fail to declare a restricted item and one is then found, you will likely be detained for several hours to do paperwork and then will be fined upwards of several hundred dollars. That would not be a good start to your visit to Chile.
Be ready. Check your personal belongings and declare it to the SAG official.