If you are bringing your motor or sailboat into Mexico, either by sea or by land, you need to follow the following guidelines put out by Sectur, the Secretary of Tourism in Mexico.
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. Your motor boat or sailboat can remain in the country for the period authorized on the Tourist Entry Form.
Before You Head Out
Before you head out, gather together copies of the following documents. I suggest keeping the copies in a plastic sleeve so that you can keep them with the boat at all times:
1. Copy of your passport and copies of the passports for your passengers
2. Copy of the Title or lease agreement in your name if the boat is rented
3. Copy of the Title for the trailer or lease agreement in your name if trailer is rented, in the event that you enter by land
4. Either your Departure Clearance from the original point of departure or a similar official document in the event that you enter by sea.
5. A copy of your Mexican insurance policy
Have these documents ready to show at the border. Upon arriving at the border, whether you came by sea or by land, you will be able to proceed to a marina, and obtain a form to register your boat.
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.
Once You Are At the Border By Land or Sea
Go to the immigration office at the border crossing for your Tourist Entry Form. Proceed to customs and obtain a Temporary Vehicle Import Permit. On the back of your Temporary Vehicle Import Permit, be prepared to fill in:
1. TheTitle information
2. Document verifying that the owner of the vessel resides in a foreign country (Tourist Entry Form)
3. A form of deposit payment
Requirements For Your Trailer if Entering By Land
In cases where a vessel is pulled by a privately owned vehicle by a tourist importing the vessel, you need to register the vessel and it’s trailer on the back side of the temporary import permit used for the vehicle, describing with precision the characteristics of both the vessel and trailer.
If you are importing a motor or sailboat being pulled by a foreign private vehicle not owned by you, a permit will be issued for the boat and trailer and a separate temporary import permit for the vehicle, using the same forms used for automobiles.
Trailers brought into Mexico, according to tourist marinas regulations, can only travel within Mexico while transporting the boat. Therefore, if the trailer leaves the country, so must the vessel.
If you plan to leave your vessel in the care of a marina and leave Mexico with your trailer, you need to leave the vessel in the care of the marina and bring the trailer 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.
The Trailer Can Be Imported Under Two Conditions
1. Tourist Marinea Regulation which allows you to leave your trailer in the care of the marina for the length of time you need or
2. Your trailer can remain in Mexico for the length of your authorized stay according to the Temporary Immigration Regulations
You may chose the tourist marine regulations whenever:
1. The trailer is your property
2. It is registered with an authorized marina, which shall be responsible for it and
3. 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 the trailer will not be taken out of the country while under the care of the marina
Let’s Get Sailing
Upon your arrival in Mexico, if you want to sail from one port or marina to another, even if you do not leave the country, you need to have the proper arrival and departure clearances:
To authorize the arrival of your vessel to a marina or port you need:
1. Coastal Sailing:
Departure clearance from the port of origin or any other legal document verifying the vessel’s point of departure
2. Open Sea Sailing:
a) A departure clearance from the port of origin or any other legal document verifying the vessel’s point of departure.
b) A Health Permit, whenever so required by the proper authority, taking into account the vessel’s original point of departure. Please check with the nearest Mexican Consulate if this regulation applies to you.
To authorize the departure of your vessel to a marina or port you need:
a) Sailing within the same port:
A verbal agreement from the Harbor Master or his representative
b) Coastal Sailing:
1) Special form for vessel 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) Health permit, whenever so required by the proper authority, taking into account the vessel’s original point of departure. Please check with the nearest Mexican Consulate if this regulation applies to you.
Regulations For Renting Your Boat When You Decide To Leave It In The Care Of The Tourist Marina
Tourist marinas can market for profit the boat you leave 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 boat 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. However, these boats may not be marketed without the required permits issued by the Ministry of Treasury and the Ministry of Communications and Transportation
3. The tourist marina or authorized third party has entered into a rental agreement with the owner of the vessel.
For more information, please contact Sectur, the official Secretary of Tourism in Mexico. You can contact your nearest Sectur office or call:
Toll Free (Mexico): 91-800-90-392
Toll Free (International): 1-800-482-9832