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Old 01-04-2012, 13:04   #46
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

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Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
Seriosuly mexico and mexicans are awesome. I spent my whole chilhood and young adulthood in baja...
This would be my exact experience as well wi a boat. I have never had any issues. But Mexicans generally have no time for belligerence and few cruisers want to admit they are in jail or lost their boat cause they lost their cool...
Yes, but I would also give them the "benefit of a doubt" until I know the facts. Let's not blame the victim until we know more.
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Old 01-04-2012, 13:12   #47
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

I went to my local CBP office ( Corpus Christi, Tx. ) and got a filled out CBP Form 1300. When we got to Isla Mujeres they accepted it as a Zarpe no problem.
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Old 01-04-2012, 13:33   #48
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

After 30 years of delivering boats up and down the left coast, I got to know the Port Captains and Migration from Alaska to Panama on a first name basis. Depending on the flag of the vessel I was delivering and who I was dealing with, there tended to be a little different interpretation of the rules in Mexico, the US, Costa Rica and other Central American Countries. Certainly, if the vessel was of non-US registry or Documentation, you need to be careful moving it around in US waters and let DHS/USCG know where you are going, for how long, who is aboard and your last Port of Call. Usually, a phone call detailing vessel movement is all that is required. Not necessary moving a US documented boat within the US. Going to Mexico or Canada with either a US or foreign flagged vessel, you should get an export permit/Zarpe from US authorities before going to Mexico or to Canada. Stop at the earliest Port of Call in either country like Victoria BC or Ensenada, MX, clear in and get a Zarpe from the Port Captain in Mexico and every subsequent Port Captain of where you stop in Mexico, or, in Canada, secure a cruising permit for the length of time you will be cruising BC waters.
It is just common sense to learn the marine documentation requirements of each country you plan on visiting before the fact. You will save yourself a lot of drama and problems. Taking firearms or ammo into Mexico WILL land you in jail and may result in impound of your vessel. You may take one long gun in to Canada but no handguns. If you are transiting through Canadian waters from the US to Alaska, mail your handgun from Washington State to yourself, c/o General Delivery at your Alaskan Port of Entry with a clearly written hold date on the package. Hope this lowers the fuzz index on an important issue... cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 01-04-2012, 14:00   #49
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Capt Phil, that is great info and I'm sure we will all heed it but what scares me in THIS CASE is the fact that they impounded a boat for not having a zarpe. If you read the original post, and the noonsite link, sv Judy Ann knew they might need one, went without one as many have before them, and got their boat impounded for 3-6 months. Even though they spoke with the port captain who doesnt know why the boat was impounded, I just felt that this was an unusual and sad situation and wanted to let people know. The only "fuzz" is the arbitrary enforcement..

And frankly, it's even MORE scary to me that the US does this also.
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Old 01-04-2012, 14:10   #50
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

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Inconsistently enforced regulations are unfair. The "law" book is inches thick and operating the classic American rule which states that declaring ignorance does not equate innocence is also unfair.
[snip]
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Old 01-04-2012, 14:16   #51
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

Let's see, a Country has a LAW or REGULATION and I violate it and get in trouble....doesn't seem to fuzzy to me !!
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Old 01-04-2012, 14:17   #52
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Wow, I actually went and read the noon site post.

Please goto http://www.noonsite.com/Members/sue/R2012-03-26-3 before responding.

Seems like they got the short end of the stick. In my multi decade experience of mexico on both east and west coasts, this is an anomaly. Assuming the skipper didn't provoke it, which it doesn't look like he did. I wonder at the 1am boarding following the day with the customs office....

...brutal. I still feel there is more to this as it is so far outside my experience in Mexico..
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Old 01-04-2012, 14:45   #53
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

What many of us Norte Americanos don't understand is that reglations can be subject to interpretation and level of enforcement that is not necessarily standardized across the countries we visit. If you are armed with complying with the letter of the law, you rarely have a problem. The fact that you demonstrate an awareness and willingness to comply with the laws or regulations in a foreign country connotes respect for that country and those admiistring the law. The concept that you are free to do whatever you damn well please whenever you damn well please to do it is uniquely American and is loosely wrapped up in our concept of freedom and liberty. This is NOT prevalent in other countries so get used to it or don't visit.
Foolishsailor has heaps of experience in both cultures from the sound of things and is better able to address the differences than I.
One thing I have learned is that the officials in these small, coastal communities wield a lot of authority and if you are polite, respectful and pleasant, it goes a long way to smoothing out any issues that come up. I've mentioned this before on other posts in this forum but it bears repeating. The number of times I've visited the office of the Port Captain showered, shaved, dressed in a clean shirt with bars and my cover and gone to the head of the line in front of a bunch of cruisers sitting there looking like a squadron of homeless from downtown LA are too numerous to mention.
Respect begets respect and we are visitors in their country... it ain't all that hard to figger out! Capt Phil
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Old 01-04-2012, 14:54   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Phil
One thing I have learned is that the officials in these small, coastal communities wield a lot of authority and if you are polite, respectful and pleasant, it goes a long way to smoothing out any issues that come up.
Mate you have hit it on the head. Let's not prejudge these poor people but instead talk about dealing with Latin American countries and Mexico in particular...

Look at where this happened...cancan.

The job of a customs agent or port captain or immigration is a well respected position within the community. And here come yanks, generally sorry for the stereotype as I am one, in their flip flops and dirty clothes with their respect me attitudes and one wonders why there aren't more problems.

This isn't an isolated port that may only get "seasoned" cruisers, this is cancun.

Anyway, I have been in the airport in Loreto to check in with immigration and watched a sports fisherman with, what smelled like at least, several beers, talk himself into a stay I the local jail...

What I love about Mexicans, tha some may not like, is that they shoot very straight. If they want a bribe they are clear about it and you can also be clear about your lack of desire to pay...but they are also clear about expectations. Which is more than I can say for many ports I have been in.

I am NOT an unbiased source, I have a huge love for Baja, mexico, and Mexicans in general...
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Old 01-04-2012, 15:54   #55
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

Yup, so until we know the facts, why don't we just assume they were rude, gun totin, beery, flip flop wearing american a$$&$@es.
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Old 01-04-2012, 16:00   #56
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

Don't forget to add, no ZARPE...
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Old 01-04-2012, 16:41   #57
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

I hope it is easier to get a zarpe in the US than it used to be. The couple of times in the past I tried I was just plain refused and told the US doesn't do that routinely. Apparently that is no longer the case, so it would pay to go through the process if you can do so. One problem I encountered before is that they wouldn't issue one say the day before if I said I was leaving that night--the only way they would do it was if I said I was leaving immediately upon leaving the office, which isn't exactly convenient.

I had a problem leaving Mexico via Isla. It turns out that when we checked into Mexico down near Belize at a little tiny town they didn't file the proper paperwork or give us the proper papers, so at Isla when I showed up to leave they said I wasn't in the country legally. I argued around and around about it and eventually talked to the head cheese in his office privately and I think he saw the light that I just wanted to leave and what harm could that do?
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Old 01-04-2012, 17:12   #58
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

One thing that all foreigners visiting Mexico should know that in this culture you do not dare usurp your bosses authority or get anywhere near it. That is to say the boss is all powerful and makes all the decisions. A subordinate will not make a decision, if something is written the the subordinate will enforce it exactly as instructed.

A crazy example but true. Years ago when I arrived in Mexico my cat was flown in when my father came to visit. However the cat was in a pressurized cargo hold. She (the cat) had all her certificates health documents everything. But she did not have a commercial invoice. Therefore she could not be cleared through customs as an ad valorem value could not be ascertained. She was cargo and duty had to be paid as the instruction stood that everything in the cargo hold had to have an invoice and be assessed for duty.

This was a Saturday. After about 4 hours of negotiating I finally persuaded the official to take my address and phone number. I would take the cat as it was very stressed after 26 hours transit from NZ. The agreement was if some more documentation was needed after the official had checked with his boss on Monday I would come back and arrange for whatever was required.

I never heard another word.

Don't argue with a subordinate. Negotiate and ask for the boss. Simple and easy.
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Old 01-04-2012, 17:20   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foolishsailor

Mate you have hit it on the head. Let's not prejudge these poor people but instead talk about dealing with Latin American countries and Mexico in particular...

Look at where this happened...cancan.

The job of a customs agent or port captain or immigration is a well respected position within the community. And here come yanks, generally sorry for the stereotype as I am one, in their flip flops and dirty clothes with their respect me attitudes and one wonders why there aren't more problems.

This isn't an isolated port that may only get "seasoned" cruisers, this is cancun.

Anyway, I have been in the airport in Loreto to check in with immigration and watched a sports fisherman with, what smelled like at least, several beers, talk himself into a stay I the local jail...

What I love about Mexicans, tha some may not like, is that they shoot very straight. If they want a bribe they are clear about it and you can also be clear about your lack of desire to pay...but they are also clear about expectations. Which is more than I can say for many ports I have been in.

I am NOT an unbiased source, I have a huge love for Baja, mexico, and Mexicans in general...
You can replace "Mexico" with just about any SEA country, oh and while we are at it probably every country.

I have seen checkin in in both Malaysia and Indonesia where there is a line of skippers, Holiday weekend, and there are always a couple whose time is more valuable than everyone else's getting cranky and pushy. I have seen the cranky, pushy and noisy skipper have "paperwork" issues and effectively process last. I have had Indo clearance take 2-3 hours if there is a line up... Be polite and patient. You are, after all, a guest.
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Old 01-04-2012, 17:31   #60
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Re: Boat Impounded in Mexico

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I've flown into almost every country in the world, the worst experience I've had was returning to the USA.

Lack of accountability take away restraint.
being that I am a US citizen and have traveled about 1/2 the world on yachts and planes I have to agree with your statement.
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