VISITING MEXICO BY PRIVATE BOAT

IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS & VESSELS THAT MAY BE PROCESSED PRIOR TO CRUISING IN TERRITORIAL MEXICAN WATERS BY PRIVATE BOAT.

STEP 1

Visit gob.mx/banjercito to apply for entry to Mexico and pay the required fees. Follow the instructions and save the electronic receipt. You will need it when you e-mail the passenger list to INM in the next step. Also print out a copy to keep with you on the boat.

The following information must be provided:

  • Passport number of the person responsible for the vessel.
  • Vessel documentation (state or federal documentation).
  • A fixed fee per each visiting foreigner as required by the Ley Federal de Derechos (Federal Fee Act), Article 8, Section I. The fee must be paid using a credit card. The cardholder should be the same person responsible for the boat.

STEP 2

Visit gob.mx/inm, download and complete the spreadsheet with the information on the vessel and passengers. Here you will find the following:

  • A sample form (spreadsheet) for submission of a list of maritime passengers and crew members—delete the sample information and insert your passenger list. Save it to your computer, following the instructions on the web page, including how to name the file correctly.
  • A guide for filling out the form for the submission of a list of maritime passengers and crew members.
  • An e-mail directory/list of INM port addresses for submission of lists of maritime passengers and crew members.

STEP 3

E-mail the completed spreadsheet and a copy of your receipt to INM. (See “Step 2” above, third bullet, on how to find the correct e-mail address.) You can see all the offices at gob.mx/inm.

STEP 4

Once the visitor information outlined above is sent to INM, INM will e-mail you the entry authorization (or denial) for the individuals intending to enter Mexico’s territorial waters on board the given vessel.

The document must be kept aboard the vessel at all times, along with the receipt of payment. The receipt must be presented to the Mexican immigration authorities at the first port of entry in exchange for each individual’s FMM.

  • The authorizing e-mail will also contain INM’s permit to enter as a visitor without permission to perform activities for profit (i.e., work for income/profit).
  • The length of the stay will be the amount of time requested by the applicant, but shall not exceed 180 days and cannot be used for multiple entries and departures.
  • A copy of your information will be sent to the Secretaría de Marina (SEMAR) (Secretariat of the Navy) and to the port captaincy.

IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS THAT MUST BE PROCESSED AT THE FIRST PORT OF ENTRY IN MEXICO BY INDIVIDUALS CRUISING MEXICAN TERRITORIAL WATERS

Passport/Visa

  • All foreigners traveling to Mexico, including US citizens, are required to carry a valid and current passport to enter Mexico.

Non-Mexicans from certain countries may also require a visa. Contact a Mexican consulate for a list of these countries or visit gob.mx/sre.

 Children under 18 need a notarized letter for travel if not accompanied by both parents.

  • When arriving at your first Mexican port of entry, you will need to check-in at the local immigration office and each crew member must present his/her passport and will need to fill out an entry permit, now called an FMM, and pay a fixed fee per person at the bank, unless the fee was paid online prior to arriving in Mexico, in which case you must present each individual’s online payment receipt.
  • The length of the stay will be the amount of time requested by the applicant, but shall not exceed 180 days, and cannot be used for multiple entries and departures.

FMM — FORMA MIGRATORIA MÚLTIPE

Known simply as the FMM, it is the permit required to enter Mexico by boat whether you go ashore or not. Each person must fill out an FMM form upon arrival. Immigration officials will keep the top part and you will keep the bottom part. This is your proof that you are in the country legally.

VESSEL DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS.

  • Every vessel entering Mexico must carry original current vessel documentation or registration that proves ownership. This means federally documented vessels will need to present a USCG certificate of documentation, and undocumented vessels will need to have a valid state registration.
  • All vessels registered under a corporation or LLC are required to have an original notarized letter on board authorizing the master or representative to operate the vessel.

TEMPORARY IMPORT PERMIT FOR VESSELS (TIP)

Temporary import permit for vessels
Temporary import permit for vessels

All vessels larger than 4.5 meters (15 feet) are required to have a Temporary Import Permit (TIP) when in Mexico. The original TIP must be on board the vessel at all times.

A TIP may be obtained applying at gob.mx/banjercito between 60 and 7 days before you depart, at the first official port of entry in Mexico, and at some of the Mexican consulates in USA.

If the vessel does not have a TIP on board or fails to exit Mexico prior to its expiration, the vessel will be considered to be in Mexican territory illegally and may be subject to fines and/or confiscation by Autoridades Aduanales (Customs Authorities). Temporarily imported vessels cannot be sold in Mexico, and chartering requires Mexican permits.

VALIDITY OF A TIP

A TIP is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of issue, allowing multiple entries during this period. A new Temporary Import Permit may be requested for an additional 10 years for the same vessel as long as it is processed within 45 days prior to the permit’s expiration date through gob.mx/banjercito.

CLEARING IN TO MEXICO FOR THE FIRST TIME

When entering Mexico, a vessel must clear in at the first official port of entry. The clear-in process is as follows:

  • Complete the crew list document.
  • Go to the immigration office and get the crew list properly stamped and have FMMs (Forma Migratoria Múltiple) issued for all passengers.
  • Go to the port captain’s office with the completed form to pay the clear-in fee and have the document duly authorized and stamped. In some ports, you may be required to pay a port use fee with the Administración Portuaria Integral (API) (Port Administrator).

CLEARING IN TO AND OUT OF PORTS WITHIN MEXICO (CABOTAGE)

  • If you are navigating from one Mexican port to another, all you need to do is inform the harbormaster or marina of your arrival or departure by means of an “aviso” (notification).
  • Depending on the harbormaster’s office, some may require a written notification, while others allow an oral one via VHF, Channel 16.
  • In some ports, you must pay a port use fee when arriving and anchoring (if you anchor out). These fees are paid to the API (Port Administration).

CLEARING OUT OF MEXICO

When leaving Mexico, a vessel must clear out at the last official port of exit. The clear-in process is as follows:

  • Complete the crew list for exiting Mexico (zarpe).
  • Go to the immigration office to get the crew list stamped and surrender the FMM forms.
  • Go to the port captain’s office to pay the vessel’s check-out fees and have the crew list stamped with the authorization to exit Mexico.

Source | Nautica Vallarta complementary edition 2020