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Bringing your boat to Mexico

The following article is reproduced with the kind permission of
the Consul General in Austin Texas.
It first appeared in their :




September 1996 - Austin, Texas - Year IV, Number 25
Bringing Your Boat To Mexico

 

This on-line manual has been written for you, spelling out in detail the guidelines and requirements necessary to enter a vessel into Mexico, either for sport or recreational purposes.

  1. Summary
  2. Requirements to Bring Your Boat Into Mexico
  3. Requirements for Temporary Entry of Trailers
  4. Requirements to Sail in Mexican Waters
  5. Regulations for Renting your Vessel

What papers do I need to enter my vessel temporarily into Mexico?

  1. Title (lease agreement in your name if the vessel is rented).
  2. Proof of citizenship or residency in a foreign country.
  3. Choose one of the following depending on the way you entered the country:
    • Departure clearence from the original point of departure, or similar official document in the event that you enter by sea.
    • Title for the trailer (or lease agreement in your name if the trailer is rented), in the event that you enter by land.

What should I do when I arrive in Mexico?

  1. Obtain Tourist Visa (FMT) from the immigration office.
  2. Obtain from Customs a Temporary import permit for the vessel and trailer.
  3. Pay $10.00 (in U.S. Currency) with an international credit card, or deposit with the Armed Forces Bank, BANJERCITO, a bond for the value of the vessel (this procedure is applicable only when the vessel enters by sea, if you enter by land the permit for your vehicle will cover your vessel).

In the event you decide to return to your country of origin and leave your vessel in the care of the marina, you must return to the marina at least once a year. BE SURE TO SAVE ALL IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS.

REQUIREMENTS TO BRING YOUR BOAT TO MEXICO


If you want to bring into the country a touring motor boat or sailboat more than four and a half meters long (14'-6"), you must comply with the following requirements:

  1. If you are going to enter by sea:
    • Upon your arrival at the first port of entry in Mexico, go to the immigration office and abtain a Tourist Entry Form for each passenger aboard, if you had not previously obtained this form from a Consulate Office, Mexican Government Tourism Office or Embassy.
    • Proceed to customs and obtain a Temporary Import Permit, presenting the following information:
      • Vessel Ownership Title.
      • Document verifying that the vessel's owner resides in a foreign country (Tourist Entry Form).
      • International credit card, bond or deposit.
  2. If you are going to enter by land:
    • Proceed to the immigration office at the crossing where you enter into the country and obtain your Tourist Entry Form.
    • Proceed to customs and obtain a Temporary Vehicle Import Permit, stating on the back of the permit the following information about your vessel:
      • Vessel Ownership Title.
      • Document verifying that the owner of the vessel resides in a foreign country (Tourist Entry Form).
      • International credit card, bond or deposit.


It is important to indicate that once you enter the country (whether you came by sea or land) you will be able to proceed to a marina and obtain a form to register your vessel. Once this has been done, remind the marine operator to inform the proper Tax Office for the area where the marina is located, or the Customs office at the port of entry, that your boat is registered at the marina.


If you want to bring into the country a touring motor boat or a sailboat less than four and a half meters long (14"-6"), you must comply with the procedure for temporary import, meeting the following requirements:

  1. The vessel is the property of a person residing in a foreign country.
  2. Present identification verifying your nationality and current Tourist Entry Form.

Your motor boat or sailboat can remain in the country for a period authorized in the Tourist Entry form.

NOTES: In the event that rented sailboats or motor boats are involved, you must present the proper rental agreement in your name.

The Temporary Import Permit for your car, together with the vessel information will provide legal authorization to enter your vessel into the country until you arrive to a tourist marina.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE TEMPORARY ENTRY OF TRAILERS


The trailer used to transport your vessel can be imported under two conditions:

  1. Tourist Marines Regulations which allows you to leave your trailer in the care of the marina for the length of time you desire.
  2. Temporary Immigration Regulations, according to which your trailer can remain in Mexico for the length of your authorized stay.

You may choose the tourist marine regulations whenever:

  • The trailer is your property.
  • It is registered with an authorized marina.
  • You file through the marina, a notice to the Customs Office or the local tax collection office for the area in which the marina is located, stating that said trailer shall not be taken out of the country while under the care of the marina.

You should take into account that trailers brought into the country according to tourist marinas regulations can only travel within the national territory while transporting said vessel, therefore, if the trailer leaves the country, so must the vessel.

In the event you want to leave your vessel in the care of a marina, but want to leave with your trailer, all you need to do is leave the vessel in the care of the marina meeting all the tourist marina regulations, and bring the trailer into the country under the temporary import regulations, which allows trailers to be in the country for one month, having to be taken out of the country after that period of time.

REQUIREMENTS TO SAIL IN MEXICAN WATERS


Upon your arrival in Mexico, if you want to sail from one port to another, even if you do not leave the country, you need to have the proper arrival and departure clearances:

ARRIVALS:

  • Coastal Sailing: Departure clearance from the port of origin or any other legal document verifying the vessel's point of departure.
  • Open Sea Sailing:
    1. Departure clearance from the port of origin or any other legal document verifying the vessel's point of departure.
    2. A Health Permit, whenever so required by the proper authority, taking into account the vessel's original point of departure.

      Check with your nearest Consulate to make sure this regulation applies to you.

DEPARTURES:

To authorize the departure of your vessel to a marina or port you need:

  • Sailing within the same port:

    A verbal agreement from the Harbor Master or his representative.

  • Coastal Sailing:
    1. Special form for departure clearance.
    2. Inspection Certificate from the vessel's country of origin or similar document to verify it.
    3. Verification that there are no accounts pending at the marina.
    4. A Health Permit, whenever so required by the proper authority, taking into account the vessel's original point of departure.

      Check with your nearest Consulate to make sure this regulation applies to you.

REQUIREMENTS FOR RENTING YOUR VESSEL WHILE IN THE CARE OF THE TOURIST MARINA


Tourist marinas can market for profit the vessel you left in their care as long as the following requirements are met:

  1. The recreational yachts or sailboats left in their care are 4.5 meters long (14'-6") or larger.
  2. The vessel is marketed through the tourist marina itself or a third party, who together with the owner of the vessel, is responsible for all fiscal obligations.
  3. The tourist marina or authorized third party has entered into a rental agreement with the owner of the vessel.

These vessels may not be marketed without the required permits issued by the Ministry of Treasury and the Ministry of Communications and Transportation.


Published or Updated on: January 1, 1998
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