Skip to content

Mexico Streamlining Bureaucracy

As this file shot from a recent Baja Ha-Ha rally reminds us, hundreds of boats typically head south to Mexico each fall. Recent initiatives by Mexican government agencies will make immigration and boat importation easier this season.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As many visitors to the recent Progressive San Diego International Boat Show learned, several agencies of the Mexican Government have taken important steps to streamline both immigration procedures for visitors and the temporary importation of pleasure craft.

As you’ll see, the system outlined below should eliminate all the confusion that led to last winter’s foreign boat-impoundment fiasco. The following is taken, verbatim, from a presentation by the Mexican agencies, SAT and Hacienda, at the show.

Main Vessel Changes

1) For a foreign-built vessel to legally be in Mexico, it must either be permanently imported or temporarily imported. 

 2) Vessels allowed to be Imported with a Temporary Import Permit (TIP) are recreational and sports vessels, such as boats, yachts or sailboats that are more than four and a half meters long, including the trailer for its transportation.

3) The process to obtain a Temporary Import Permit for a vessel can be made by the owner or by any person on his/her behalf. If it is done by a third party he/she must present a letter issued by the owner giving power of attorney, along with a non-certified copy of owner’s official picture ID. In either case the owner is considered the importer.

4) The person applying must show proof of identity with a simple copy of any official picture ID and in the case he/she is the Captain, the Seaman’s Book. 

5) The applicant must show proof of property or possession of the vessel and of the trailer, if applicable, and present a non-certified copy of any of the following documents that have the vessel’s information (name, builder, model year, type, the hull ID number (HIN) and registration or documentation number):

  • Invoice or Bill of Sale, in the importer’s name.
  • Charter or leasing agreement in the importer’s name, with a letter by the owner authorizing the temporarily importation of the vessel to the country. 
  • Title. 
  • Current certificate of registration issued by the competent authority.

6) A payment of $51 dollars plus tax to Banjército ( if it is done in person at any of their CIITEV units or $45 dollars plus tax if it is done over the Internet. 

7) In addition to the hull, the vessel includes the machinery, equipment and fixed or mobile accessories used for its navigation, ornamentation and operation. Considered mobile accessories of the vessel are jet skis, dinghies (including their trailers), motorcycles, three-wheelers, quads or recreational vehicles, as well as a helicopter for private use. The importer must show ownership and fill out the form “List of mobile accessories of the temporarily imported vessel,” which Banjército will provide.

8) A new Temporary Importation Permit may be requested by the importer for the same vessel for another ten-year period as long as the process is being made within 45 days prior to the expiration date of the current permit, by Internet at, or in any of the CIITEV units without the need to present the vessel.

9) During the life of the Temporary Importation Permit, it is allowed to verify and change the information of the vessel or the importer´s data, if there are errors.

Improvements in Control Systems

An internal web page was created in order to allow the customs personnel and other authorities to access the official database to verify Temporary Import Permits.

The form “Register of the temporary importation of merchandise destined to maintenance and repair of the temporarily imported vessel” was created.

Simple copies of the documentation showing proof of ownership or possession are accepted.

Improvements were made in the permit in order to allow the distinction between the owner and the person doing the importation if it is done by a third person.

Other improvements were to include: the name of the vessel, the vessel’s Hull Identification Number, the vessel’s registration or documentation number, its make and model year as well as information regarding the dinghy and trailer, if applicable.

Modification of Banjército´s online system will be made to allow the Temporary Import Permit to be mailed to an address in Mexico, and to allow one owner or importer to have more than one vessel temporarily imported at the same time.

A link was placed on SAT´s web page to an english language page that explains the basic information regarding Temporary Importation of Vessels:

 And a mobile APP “Paisano” was released that allows users to temporarily import vessels from their mobile units.

Modification of the Temporary Import Permit format to include better vessel ID

The new receipts issued by Banjercito have clear info about the vessel and its owner.

© 2014 Banjercito, Mexico

Leave a Comment

Mariners transiting Mexico’s Pacific coast are keeping their eyes on two tropical storms that are currently circulating offshore.