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PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:12 am 
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This was posted on another board by a person who received it from a friend in Mexico. I know nothing more about it. Do you?


Richard Spindler
338 FOREIGN YACHTS IMPOUNDED IN MEXICO. A sub-agency of Hacienda (Mexico's IRS) has decided they will take 45 days to four months to decide whether to fine, confiscate or 'liberate" the 338 foreign boats from 12 marinas, including our catamaran Profligate, that they have impounded for the most ridiculous — misspellings or typos — or non-existent reasons. While the boats aren't chained to the docks, they are not to leave their berths until the decisions have been rendered, andif they do leave, the marina must report them to the government agency. Think how wonderful this is for a couple who has worked and dreamed and saved for 10 years for such a cruise, and are now stuck in one marina. As you might expect, the marinas, Mexico Tourism, and others are horrified. Please spread the word as far as you can. For more details, read today's 'Lectronic Latitude. And we hate to tell you, Kevin and Marcie, but your cat is one of them. I wish this was a joke, but it's not.

My paperwork was ALWAYS a half can away from a full six-pack. This is the first winter my boat was NOT in Mexico. f***, I feel for those folks. And yet, we know this all the time, you cannot get lazy or sloppy with those in a position to confiscate your boat.

As an added thought, I think the gringo yacht brokers and chandlers down there have a lot to do with this....they feed their own agenda by spreading a false sense of "OH, this is really like Des Moines only they speak Spanish and have nicer weather." Yes, just like Des Moines. Until it's not.

Today's Lectronic Latitude:

Is Mexico Committing Nautical Tourism Suicide?
December 20, 2013 – Mexico

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)
Mexico has long been considered a sailor's paradise, but new impound policies are beginning to tarnish that reputation. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2013 Latitude 38 Publishing, LLC


We sure hope not, although thanks to the actions of a new sub-agency of Hacienda (the Mexican IRS) called AGACE, it appears the country is on the verge of doing just that — and even worse, perhaps setting the stage for possible problems with the United States government.
In the last month AGACE, which was created by the new Peña Nieto administration to be auditors for foreign commerce, has been checking the paperwork of foreign boats in 12 marinas in Mexico. To be legal in Mexico without having to pay duty, foreign boat owners are required to possess their boat documentation, proof of clearing into Mexico, and a Temporary Import Permit, and have all these documents on file in the office of whatever marina the boat is in. This is perfectly reasonable.
According to a harbormaster who attended a big meeting in Mexico City yesterday with AGACE, Tourism, and other officials, 338 foreign boats were found to be out of compliance with these rules in just the 12 marinas that were checked. That's a huge number, so let us give you a hint why.
We at Latitude 38, who have undoubtedly been the biggest promoters of nautical tourism to Mexico for the last 30 years, have had our catamaran Profligate put in what's called 'embargo precautorio', or precautionary embargo. It's not that we didn't have our boat documents; we did. It's not that we don't have a Temporary Import Permit; we have the same 20-year permit we've had for 17 years. It's not that we can't prove that we checked into Mexico because we have that document, too.
No, our 'crime' is that we weren't on our boat when AGACE officials, backed by armed Marines, came through the marina checking paperwork. Much of Mexican law is based on Napoleonic Law, where you are considered guilty until you prove yourself innocent. Since we weren't around to show our paperwork, AGACE assumed Profligate was not in compliance with Mexican law (guilty), and thus is now under 'precautionary embargo'.
It gets even more ridiculous. When AGACE officials came around a week later, Doña de Mallorca was aboard, and showed them the documents. Nonetheless, Profligate is still on the embargo list.
Other boats were found to be out of compliance because of misspellings on documents made by officials in the United States or Mexico, because hull identification (HIN) numbers were painted over after many years, because AGACE officials who know nothing about boats didn't know where to look for various identification numbers, and so forth.
Boats under 'precautionary seizure' are not allowed to leave the dock, as they are considered to be like foreign merchandise on which duty hasn't been paid.
There's just one problem with this. Most of the vessels in question are U.S. documented vessels, and it's our understanding that it's illegal to impede the transit of such vessels unless a crime was committed. We can't imagine the U.S. government is going to stand by with hands in pockets if 338 U.S. boats, worth tens millions of dollars, are illegally held for any period of time.
Surely, one would think, these minor problems could quickly be cleared up. Not so. At the meeting in Mexico City yesterday, AGACE gave no timetable for embargoed boats to be "liberated." But we've learned today that AGACE has up to four months, under their rules of operation, to assess the status of boats that have been seized. Consequently, there are cruisers who can't move their boats, and there are foreign boat owners who won't be able to take visiting family and friends sailing over the holidays. The damage to Mexico's reputation will be growing by the day, and right at the height of tourist season.
To say boat owners are pissed off would be an understatement. Both Canadians and Americans are already starting to call their government representatives to protest. If you think marina owners, Mexico Tourism, and other business interests, such as those involved with real estate, like this, you couldn't be more wrong. After all, it perpetuates the image of Mexico being a scary place, where tourists and retirees can't feel safe or believe their assets are secure. We hope this matter is resolved very quickly, as we don't think it accurately reflects on Mexico or even the Mexican government as a whole. But the damage will build with each passing day.
Please stay tuned.
- latitude / richard


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:27 pm 
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posted today to the Yahoo Southbound group by long time cruisers and residents of La Paz, BCS Mexico.
Basically....no boats have been "Impounded" they just have to get their paperwork in order before they can leave the marina.



To: southbound_group@yahoogroups.com
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2013 08:32:12 -0800
Subject: [southbound_group] RE: Impounded Boats in Mexico!?!


There are a lot of rumors flying around over the recent inspections carried out by Mexican officials in 12 marinas and boatyards in seven different locations throughout Mexico. The intent of the inspections is to make sure that all foreign flagged vessels have current documentation, temporary import permit, insurance, and immigration documents of the owners. The requirements are not new--only the enforcement technique.

This is the first time in many years that there has been a concerted push to check the paperwork for foreign flagged vessels. The agency doing the inspections is tasked with making sure that all goods and commerce that enter Mexico have done so legally and have paid appropriate fees and duties including proper permits.

The surprise inspections caught many vessel owners and marinas off-guard because some of the required paperwork was missing, misfiled, expired, or had irregularities such as transposed serial numbers or misspelled names. If everything was not in perfect order in the marina's file, the vessel was placed on a list for further investigation and officially placed in precautionary embargo. Like all government processes (not just in Mexico) once on the list there is a formal procedure that must be followed in order to have the vessel removed from the list.

Vessels that have current documents onboard should not have any problems. These documents include originals of the registration/title/documentation, original temporary import permit papers (permit/hologram, list of equipment, and payment receipt), current insurance binder that includes Mexican liability insurance, copy of the owner's passport, and copy of the owner's immigration document. Copies of all of the current documents should also be on file in the marina or boatyard office.

In some cases the officials were looking to physically match vessel identification numbers and official numbers (USCG, Transport Canada, etc.) and may not have been familiar with the locations of those numbers and without someone onboard to show them were automatically placed on the list for followup.

Every vessel that plans on entering Mexico should apply online for a temporary import permit before they arrive. The process is simple and efficient. Be sure to make sure that all of your documents are consistent -- HINs, official numbers, spelling of boat name and owner's names, Make sure that everything is current. Make sure that your HIN is clearly visible on the hull (on or near the starboard transom near the cap rail.)

As long as all of your paperwork is in order, you should not have any trouble. Mexico is a great place to visit and you should not let the rumors dissuade you from experiencing the great cruising grounds and ports of call.

Dennis and Susan Ross
S/V Two Can Play
Marina Palmira
La Paz, BCS, Mexico

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Currently living aboard SV THIRD DAY 1978 Hudson Force 50
In Morro Bay, CA
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:07 am 
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http://news.msn.com/world/us-canadian-b ... -in-mexico

Amy Taxin of Associated Press

Many boat owners say they simply weren't around when authorities came by and slapped liens on the boats barring them from leaving Mexico.

MEXICO CITY — When heavily armed marines and government tax agents stormed eight marinas on Mexico's Pacific and Caribbean coasts, boaters thought they were witnessing a major drug takedown.

The mostly American and Canadian retirees found out that the target was actually them — couples spending their golden years sailing warm-weather ports in modest 40-foot boats.

After inspecting more than 1,600 vessels in late November, the Mexican government's Treasury Department announced it had initiated seizure orders against 338 boats it accused of lacking a $70 permit. The office says it has four months to decide whether to release the boards or sell them at auction.

Many owners say they actually have the permit but were never asked to present it. Others say minor numerical errors in paperwork were used as grounds for seizure.

Some say they were away at the time and have never been officially notified at all, learning of the seizure only from local marina operators.

It is all part of a new effort by President Enrique Pena Nieto's administration to increase government revenues in a country with one of the worst tax-collection rates among the world's large economies. The push has drawn howls of protest from Mexicans upset about new sales taxes and levies on home sales. But few of the new measures were as unexpected or toughly enforced as what foreign pleasure boat owners call a heavy-handed crackdown over a minor permit, and they say it threatens a tourism sector Mexico has long sought to promote.

"They brought all these marines, with machine guns and stuff, and they kind of descended on the marina and everybody's going, 'Wow, there's a big narco thing going down here,'" said Richard Spindler, whose catamaran Profligate was impounded near Puerto Vallarta. "These are just retired people, 50-, 60-year-old retired people, mellow people. It was way over the top."

The document in question, known as a Temporary Import Permit, can be obtained from a Mexican government website and proves holders own their boats and promise not to leave them in Mexico or sell them here.

Many boat owners say they simply weren't around when authorities came by and slapped liens on the boats barring them from leaving Mexico. They say officials have not told them how they could remedy the situation.

One boater said marina operators warned that anyone who tried to leave would be hunted down. The owner, who expressed fear that speaking out by name could bring reprisals, said officials had given no written notice of seizure on their boat, and they had learned of it second hand from marina workers.

The Treasury Department and its tax agency refused to specify the size, value or nationality of boats impounded and did not respond to numerous requests for details or reaction to the boat owners' complaints.

Because authorities put no notices or chains on targeted boats, some foreigners in affected marinas are uncertain if their boats are on the impound list and fear their vessels might be seized if they tried to sail away even if they had paid the $70 tax.

"This is killing nautical tourism in a worse way than drug trafficking, because it's the government itself that is taking the yachts," said Enrique Fernandez, a member of Mexico's Association of Marinas.

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Mark C. Johnson, said in an email that U.S. officials are holding discussions on the issue with the Mexican government. Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development said it knows of three Canadians whose boats were seized.

Spindler, who has been sailing to Mexico for 36 years and publishes the sailing magazine Latitude 38, estimated that about 45 of the 53 boats at the marina where his boat was seized are owned by Americans or Canadians.

"Mexico wants and greatly supports nautical tourism," he said, but warned that the heavy-handed approach could put the sailing sector at risk.

"I'm getting all these letters from people now going: 'Well, that's it. I was going to go to Mexico, I was a little scared before, but now I'm not going to do it for sure,'" he said.

Paradoxically, Mexico may be punishing some of its biggest boosters — visitors who return each year and keep marinas and boatyards in work.

"This is the killer, these people are the greatest ambassadors for Mexico you have ever heard," Spindler said. "It's given Mexico a really black eye."


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:56 am 
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http://myemail.constantcontact.com/News--Latest-on-Mexico-Boat-Siezures.html?soid=1101990230252&aid=U9HpMpH9yTs

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:34 am 
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Music Man, I got the memo…but thank you. I find it curious that there was only one response to this thread. Are there no west coast boat owners on this board? Does not anyone on this board go to Mexico?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:50 am 
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There are some here but they most probably are all to busy trying to reclaim their boats. :o

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:45 am 
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Most of the ones I know didn't have a problem or they don't have much to post and say because getting information out of the Mexican Government is about as easy as figuring out the US Tax code.

As "bad" as 338 boats sounds...most of those are not currently active cruising boats, which adds to the lack of first hand reports.

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