Import restrictions meant to aid the Argentine economy are taking a toll on scientific research, despite exemptions for lab supplies from the restrictions and taxes designed to keep money within the country. For example, imports of the supplies have slowed such that the goods can take months to reach labs. Each time lab supplies are purchased, researchers must complete registration forms to keep from paying import taxes, extending by weeks or months the time it takes to procure the items. Local suppliers often do not have the necessary supplies in stock and, in addition, they are often considerably more expensive than elsewhere. Ordering directly from foreign companies results in a 35% government charge. Travel to meetings is also taxed at 35%, and researchers returning from abroad often smuggle in lab supplies. However, a positive aspect to the state of science in Argentina is the government’s increased investment in scientific infrastructure over the last 10 years. Additionally, because the government, rather than grant money, covers scientists’ salaries, the number of scientists has risen annually.

Source: The Scientist

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