Mexican government impounds boats in crackdown

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Hundreds of tourists with boats docked in marinas throughout Mexico had their vessels boarded and subsequently impounded by the SAT — Mexico’s IRS — during the course of several weeks after a crackdown by officials.

Starting in early December, a total of 338 boats are reported to have been impounded for not having documents required for tourists to bring boats to Mexico, according to the The Log Newspaper.

Two Americans docked at Island Global Yachting Cabo San Lucas Marina had their vessel impounded when they were unable to provide the original Temporary Importation Permit after SAT agents boarded the vessel and asked to see the documentation, according to attorney Jose Antonio Gomez.

Although Gomez’s clients had a printed copy of their 10-year Temporary Importation Permits — the document that tourists must apply for with Mexican Customs before bringing a vessel across to Mexico’s waters — the agents responded by impounding their boat. His clients flew to California, retrieved the original permit and delivered it to the marina the following day, Gomez said.

“It’s been at least 30 days and nothing has happened. My boat is still impounded,” one victim told The Log. The source asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from the Mexican agency.

Mexico has recently begun to strictly enforce regulations regarding Hull Identification Number display requirements.

Two identical HINs are required to be displayed on each boat hull. A primary HIN must be mounted to the starboard outboard side of the transom within two inches of the top of the transom, gunwale, or deck joint — whichever is lowest.

The duplicate HIN must be displayed in an unexposed location on the interior of the boat or beneath a fitting or item of hardware.

According to Gomez, 300 agents were involved in the crackdown last month and 15 additional boats were reportedly impounded from the same marina that day.

Another victim, who also wanted to have his name withheld until the situation is resolved, says he is not allowed to board his boat, which is being held at Cabo San Lucas.

Officials say they expect the boats to be released today, but did not commit to that timeframe.


13 comments on “Mexican government impounds boats in crackdown

  1. Pingback: Mexican government impounds boats in crackdown « Parker Business Planning

  2. Drew

    If the Mexican government wants to stop tourists and yachtsman from spending money in their economy, they just did!
    Advice to those whom value their property ~ STAY IN AMERICA! Oh wait, THE IRS HERE WILL DO THE SAME!

  3. Sven

    “The duplicate HIN must be displayed in an unexposed location on the interior of the boat or beneath a fitting or item of hardware.”

    Say what !? Please provide a reference to back up that claim.

    A boat is not an automobile.

  4. Elizabeth

    fact: the vessel in Nuevo Vallarta have not been IMPOUNDED they are on a “Precautionary Embargo” and are free to come and go from the dock they must just provide copies of their paperwork that was missing or incorrect, and will be released to formally to freely travel Mexico

    Fact: Per the requirement of a TIP the sticker portion must affixed to the vessel and per the article the original was not even on the boat AS REQUIRED. Additionally The original Coast guard document for US Vessels, Per the USCG must be on the vessel to be legal, same is true with the TIP.

  5. Eddyboats

    Manufacturers usually put the hin somewhere beneath the main helm station as well as on the outside of the transom although sometimes it is not visible with the vessel in the water.

  6. Elizabeth

    Update on the above, Opequimar Shipyard, Puerto Vallarta which had 16 vessels on “Precautionary Embargo” ave been removed, and released. Opequimar provided certified copies of all needed paperwork to SAT , AT NO TIME were the vessels at Opequimar , chained, seized or IMPOUNDED, Just Like marina Nuevo Vallarta under ” Precautionary Embargo” only. Coral or Carlos, Opequimar can be reached for questions at +52 322-221-1800. They handled the issue in a professional manner and dealt wiht the issue and all things considered rather quickly

    As with any governmental agency, there is bureaucracy,and things take time, 2 of the 3 marinas affected the the

  7. Robert Neun

    I am presently aboard in Mexico. My vessel is older then HIN and was issued a “Build Number” instead of a HIN.Try and explain that to a Mexican official with his automatic totin marines. This was a big money grab that blew up in their faces. Boats where nobody was aboard were impounded!!! And can someone tell me since when have you needed a TIP for Baja because 2 years ago you did not (Baja was a free zone).Also they are impounding cars as well.Bite the hand that feeds you.

  8. bpante

    The US should take a lesson from Mexico (and few other nations). Mexico is even more strict about enforcing their immigration laws. You don’t want to get caught there with out the proper papers.

  9. R Norquist

    We took our Offshore 48 trawler out of Mexico on Nov. 26th. after having it there 7 years. We have had it with Mexico. Considering we spent about $20,000-25,000 per year on cruising and boat expenses I would think they feel the financial loss in Mexico if a number of cruisers do the same. We are so done with Mexico.

  10. R Norquist

    Has this been verified? i.e., “Two identical HINs are required to be displayed on each boat hull. A primary HIN must be mounted to the starboard outboard side of the transom within two inches of the top of the transom, gunwale, or deck joint — whichever is lowest.”

    The fact is that one HIN (Hull Identification Number or IMO or other number))is required for recreational vessel certification and is to be located on the stern exterior hull. US Documented recreational vessels are to display the vessel name and hailing port the outside of the hull. The Documentation Number (Official Number of the Department of Homeland Security/United States Coast Guard)is required to be permanently affixed and be clearly visible on an interior structural part of the hull. All of this information is also listed on the US “Certificate of Documentation” and is renewed annually.

  11. Susanne

    I’ve sailed into Mexico, and traveled to many of the charming cities in Mexico for vacation over the last 30 years. After all of this BS with the boats, HIN crap…embargos and threats…especially after reading about John Hards screwed up situation with his boat. I will NEVER spend another dime in that country!! I feel sorry for all of the wonderful people of Mexico, if they didn’t have those psycho thugs running their country, life would be so much better for all. I can’t imagine wanting to spent a little time in Mexico, how could anyone find that fun and relaxing, when in the pit of your gut there’s always going to be an a ounce of dread that something could go very wrong, at any time. Thank God for America…I will put up with all of our government crap, any day, verses the serious Shit that’s going on in Mexico! So for all of you ex pats hanging South…all I can say is Good Luck…hope you or your loved ones stay safe!

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