By Capt. Elizabeth Shanahan, 200/500 T USCG Master
Owner SG Boat works and E2 Yacht Services
Since 2014, when I wrote an article regarding the current status of the Temporary Import Permits in Mexico, there have been numerous updates to the TIP system. The main change is that it is now computerized, as is most of Mexico.
This is a follow-up to my original article because of the numerous updates to the now computerized TIP system offices.
The basics are still the same. You apply for a TIP either online or at your first point of entry to Mexico. Or you may do so through an agent. You should find out quickly if you have any open TIPs on the boat and if you have an issue that needs to be dealt with.
All boats that ever had a TIP are now in the computer system. And cases have surfaced recently in which, for example, a person purchased a boat in Southern California, but the former boat owner (and seller) didn’t cancel his TIP. Perhaps he forgot to cancel it, or lost it etc. But when a new owner applies for a TIP they cannot complete the process if the prior owner, (or 2 or 3 owners back) never canceled the TIP.
That’s the bad news. The good news is there is a process to get this cleared up. It’s not scary but it is time consuming. If you are selling your boat it’s very important for you to cancel your TIP when you leave Mexico.
First, see if you can locate the original TIP with all the required back up from the seller or prior owner. If you have the original and all the back up data (the 8 ½’ x 11” equipment list) that was issued with the TIP you can simply walk into Banjecito and cancel it. While you are there be sure to get a full TIP history on your boat. It has happened where the seller of a boat canceled his or her TIP but the owner prior to them did not.
If you bought a boat and have an issue, go to your first point of entry into Mexico with a certified copy of your bill of sale, a current document – and a large amount of patience. But you will need to go to Banjercito and get a history (or status) of the TIP for your particular vessel. Then you will have to go to the Ministerio Publico (Public Minister) and file a report that the prior TIP has been lost by the prior owner. Next you have to notify customs (Aduana) with the report from the Public Minister.
Again, be patient. Aduana may or may not go to the boat and verify the hull number, document number and any other identifying information. Then you will need to return to Banjercito with the reports. At that point you should be able to cancel all old TIPS’s and get your current TIP.
Try to remember through all this that you are not in the USA. Always be respectful to the authorities. We are, after all, guests in their country. Mexico allows us 10 years on our temporary import of a non-Mexican flagged vessel with no tax other than the cost of the permit.
The United States is not so generous, nor are most other countries if you are a foreign flagged vessel.