1. Temporary Import Permit. What do I need to keep my boat legally in Mexico?
All countries regulate foreign marine traffic within their boundaries, whether for commercial or pleasure purposes. Mexico’s Customs law allows an owner/captain to enter Mexico with a pleasure boat and keep it in the country for up to 10 years. The legal document which allows you to do this is called a Temporary Import Permit (Permiso de Importación Temporal). It does not change the registry or nationality of the boat; It is simply a permit to keep a boat in Mexico for up to 10 years. There is a one-time $51.00 US fee.
All vessels are required to have a Temporary Import Permit (TIP) no mater how long you intend to stay in the country. It is the document that allows your vessel to be legally in Mexico and you should not be in Mexico without it, weather you are on board or not, or in a marina or not. If you do not have this permit, Customs will consider that the vessel is illegally in the country and, according to law, subject to fines and/or confiscation. The custom rule 4.2.5 outlines this process. (“Reglas de Carácter General de Comercio Exterior 4.2.5”.)
Along with your boat you are allowed to bring in mobile accessories such as jet skis, dinghy, motor cycle, quads and a helicopter for non commercial personal use. These items are listed on a form called “Listado de Equipos Móviles” to be filled out at the same time you apply for your Temporary Import Permit.
The TIP can be obtained either on line before you depart for Mexico or at the first official port of entry. If in USA or Canada you can apply on line by going to this site, https://www.banjercito.com.mx/registroVehiculos/ 7 days to 6 months prior to departure. (We are told that soon you may apply on line in Mexico and have it mailed to a Mexico address). If you do not do it on line, and are coming from the USA on the Pacific side, we recommend you stop in Ensenada at the one-stop office and do all entry paperwork there (Immigration, Port Captain, and the Temporary Import Permit). The Temporary Import Permit is issued by a special BANJERCITO CIITEV office. If you wish to obtain the TIP at another port, go to the Customs (Aduana) office and ask where to do it. In La Paz the permit is issued at the Banjército office in the ferry terminal in Pichilingue, 10 miles from town. You take the original and a copy of the following documents: Passport, tourist card, and vessel documentation or registration, the hull identification number (HIN), and engine numbers. If you don´t have a car to go to Pichilingue, take the bus that runs to Pichilingue from the downtown waterfront bus depot in the morning. You will need $60.00 in US dollars or a credit card. Customs will issue a document and a decal that is supposed to be placed on the vessel (Most people do not because it deteriorates quickly and keep it with the permit on file.) If you decide to place the sticker on the vessel, be sure to take several copies of the document before you do so.
The permit is valid for multiple entry into the country for the 10 year period, so you do not have to cancel it when you leave Mexico, if you are planning to return. It can also be renewed for an additional 10 year period.
The TIP is also needed to import vessel equipment, maintenance and repair parts and materials for your boat. There is a new format for registering the temporary importation of merchandice destined for the maintenance and repair of temporarily imported vessels. (“Registro de importación temporal de mercancias destinadas al mantenimiento y reparación de las embarcaciones temporalmente importadas”).