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Old 12-08-2016, 15:24   #1
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Importing Boat Parts to Mexico

I am wondering if anyone can give me information on importing parts to Mexico.
I will be arriving by air and would like to bring with me parts for my boat. I currently have a valid TIP.
I will have a couple hundred dollars in parts.
Any information would be appreciated

Thanks Jim
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Old 12-08-2016, 16:09   #2
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Re: Importing Boat Parts to Mexico

You should say where you plan on flying into.......

We tried in Cancun to fly in with parts and with a tip......no joy (at least not that we wanted to spend days working through with customs officials who primarily deal with hotel zone tourists). In the end we just agreed on a value (prop and autopilot) and just paid the tax. It ended up being 200-300 dollars. I would prefer to still have the cash but it was worthwhile for me to just be done with it.


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Old 12-08-2016, 17:01   #3
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Re: Importing Boat Parts to Mexico

If you want to do it legally, you will need to have the parts added to a TIP addendum. You don't just carry in parts and show them the TIP, they need to be added which is something you would do at the Aduana office before you left to go get the parts.

So at this point, it's a crap shoot if you will be asked to pay the 16% import duty on the parts. The best advice at this point is to have invoices for the parts that show the least value possible and then if asked give them those receipts along with your TIP. If they see the low amount, they may think it is not worth the hassle.
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Old 12-08-2016, 17:34   #4
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Re: Importing Boat Parts to Mexico

We flew a Peugeot diesel for a Lafitte 44 into PV in the back of a small plane. Went out to the plane in a taxi, loaded up and drove away. Nada in fees.
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Old 12-08-2016, 18:05   #5
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Re: Importing Boat Parts to Mexico

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Originally Posted by Guy View Post
We flew a Peugeot diesel for a Lafitte 44 into PV in the back of a small plane. Went out to the plane in a taxi, loaded up and drove away. Nada in fees.
OK, what else was in the back of the plane?
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Old 12-08-2016, 19:49   #6
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Re: Importing Boat Parts to Mexico

What Rich said is true, at least in a historic sense. However, Mexico has been changing the laws related to importing stuff, including boat parts, so even with the proper TIP and TIP addendum, it is up to the individual custom inspector, many of whom either are a) not up on the law, or b) really don't care.

While Mex law allows duty-free import of $300 USD worth of "stuff" I know of several cases where the inspector claimed that allowance was for "personal effects" only and charged duty on boat parts irrespective of that allowance.

Pray for the green light, but be prepared to pay duty.

Consider that even with duty, it was likely cheaper and easier to bring the parts down yourself.
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Old 12-08-2016, 20:22   #7
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Re: Importing Boat Parts to Mexico

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Consider that even with duty, it was likely cheaper and easier to bring the parts down yourself.
That is so true. Shipping is very expensive. I needed a $50 part in Hualtuco and the shipping cost was way more than the part.
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Old 13-08-2016, 10:48   #8
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Re: Importing Boat Parts to Mexico

Mexico airport customs lets the majority of luggage go through unchecked. You push a button and if the light is green (usually is) you just go through unchecked. But if you do get checked and can show the invoices they will be able to charge a percentage. It is also worth claiming "vessel in transit" status. If you can prove that parts were replaced under warranty you might get a pass but it is best to have some cash on hand because if they ask you to pay something you will just have to pay. If the officer asks for a tip then hand it to him discreetly. If you claim the parts beforehand on your customs form then you are just asking to get dinged heavily for the import.
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Old 13-08-2016, 10:50   #9
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Re: Importing Boat Parts to Mexico

I have flown into airports all around the world over last 35+ years with boat parts & food and never paid any duties but prepared to pay if necessary. Always hope for the green light & never declare anything. Remove all original packaging and keep receipts in your carry on luggage in case need to prove price you paid instead of them using list price. Also print up vessel in transit notice with hailing port, foreign port boat is at and TIP or other official custom number for what ever country you are in. Wife just came back to Tapachula, Mexico with around 3 boat units of ours and other cruisers supplies. Doing it legally the equipment you are bringing in should be replacement for non-functioning & should be listed on your TIP but haven't met anyone who has done that. Several years ago brought Kiwi prop in carry on to Panama. Had to take out each scanning but showed pictures of what it was and how it looked together & no further hassles. Always plan to use Jimmy Buffett's line- Plead ignorance, beg forgiveness!
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Old 13-08-2016, 19:04   #10
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Re: Importing Boat Parts to Mexico

did you find that the clothing you wore/ image you presented made a difference?
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Old 14-08-2016, 14:47   #11
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Re: Importing Boat Parts to Mexico

We have flown into Mexico three times in the last year - Cabo San Lucas and Loretto on the Baja, and Hermosillo on the mainland. (State of Sonora.)

We have never been asked to pay for the parts we have brought back. We each carry on two bags - a duffel that fits in the overhead storage bins and a backpack or purse. The backpack has all our of electronics - computers, hard drives, etc.

In Loretto, we got the red light and our bags were checked. We had a complete Groco Model K head in our bags. Yes, a complete head - the ceramic bowl, toilet seat/lid, base, and the two foot aluminum handle. The base and seat/lid were in one bag, the bowl and handle in another. We also had a bunch of other stuff for the boat. The woman who checked our bag appeared completely unconcerned. She asked if we had any alcohol or tobacco. No, so away we went.

The last time we came through was in Hermosillo. We had a new EPIRB, an entire spool of hand fishing line, fishing supplies, canvas snaps/hardware, bungee cords, six watermaker filters, and a bunch of smaller items. Our bags were stuffed - and very heavy. We had to cross three checkpoints and x-ray machines - Portland, Tijuana, and Hermosillo. No problems. We do have a "P" on our passport that allows us to go through the "Pre-Checked" line at the airports, which is a lot faster and seems to draw less attention. (We opted for additional background checks when we got our passports years ago.)

When we leave the country and come back, we carry all of our ship's paperwork with us, including the TIP. But, the rules regarding TIP appear to have changed sometime, not sure when.

When we finalized our TIP paperwork in Ensenada in November 2015, they did not want, and would not accept, our list of all the boat parts that were on the boat. (The list contained practically everything that could be replaced except the hull.) We were able, for an additional fee, to add the dingy and outboard onto the boat's TIP. But that's it. Nothing else. I tried to get the official to stamp the accessory list "just for a record" but they would not.

Maybe the reason we haven't been asked to pay is we look like middle-age gringo tourists on vacation. We always dress up when traveling in or out of Mexico (collared, button-down shirts, slacks, shoes, jewelry) and save our "sailor wear" (shorts and flip-flops) for the marina.

The reason we carried an entire head back with us was because the guy at Lopez Marine in La Paz told us that there was a ban on bringing ceramics into the country and he couldn't order one. (It was the one thing we didn't replace when rebuilding the boat, but should have. At 28 years, it was simply worn out.) We did not find that to be the case via the airport route.

Hope this helps!
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Old 14-08-2016, 16:13   #12
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Re: Importing Boat Parts to Mexico

What causes confusion and sometimes frustration when bringing in parts to Mexico is that there is "the rules" and then there is "How they are enforced" and it varies from site to site and day to day. The Official rules haven't changed since I began shipping things into Mexico almost 10yrs ago now. But enforcement of the rules and even the knowledge of the rules is a crap shoot. I've imported parts in legally using the TIP and also played the Red Light/Green Light customs game. I also ship parts to Mexico weekly using DHL, and once you know how to do it...3 days from San Diego to anywhere in Mexico is pretty standard and easy...but do it wrong and it can take 30-45 days.

So when someone asks what to do...or how it works...there are two answers.
1. What the official rules are
and then
2. What can usually happen if you get lucky

But here's where the "They ripped me off or were looking for a Bribe" comes from.

Just because someone else (me included) got the Red Light and had two water makers in the back of my car or in my checked bags but was waived through doesn't mean that on my next pass through I could be tagged and asked to pay what is legally required. That doesn't make the time I was asked to pay "a Bribe or a Scam"...it just means I was lucky and was able to skirt the rules on my other trips.
I have crossed with loads of boat gear into Mexico since 2007 (easily over 50 crossings by Car, Air and on-foot) and usually I either get the green light or even if stopped get the waive through. But on a few occasions (I think 3 or 4) I was asked to pay the import duty...so I smiled and said "Quantos Senior" paid it and continued on.

As a Side Note:
What Marcus at Lopez Marine in La Paz said about the ban on ceramics importation is partially true. Mexico, in looking after their domestic pottery business to keep all the bowls and souvenir market from being crushed by chineese imports, has put a crazy high import duty on Ceramics. It can be done...but it is too costly and paperwork nightmare to mess with. The plungers in our water makers Hp Pumps are ceramic so to avoid a shipping/duty fiasco we make sure to delete the work "Ceramic Plungers" from any paperwork when a water maker ships to Mexico. Like a lot of things work in Mexico, we learned a lot of how things really work the hard way.
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Old 15-08-2016, 13:42   #13
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Re: Importing Boat Parts to Mexico

ok even with tip you will pay duty now. anything over 300 usd is taxed. even 82 usd toilet pump had non negotiable duty fees.
have fun.
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Old 15-08-2016, 14:28   #14
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Re: Importing Boat Parts to Mexico

Club Cruceros in La Paz has a web page devoted to TIP and importing part in the Baja

Club Cruceros

I found that each time I imported something to Mexico it was different depending on the location.
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Old 15-08-2016, 17:47   #15
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Re: Importing Boat Parts to Mexico

Quote:
Originally Posted by James R View Post
...I will have a couple hundred dollars in parts...
This shouldn't be a problem.
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