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Old 26-01-2014, 09:48   #241
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Re: Impounded boats in Mexico

the area of pacific off kali coast to mexico is a smugglers alley. usa and mexico patrol it to mexican border, each used to remain on own side of border. .. usa uses dark and sneaky, as does mexico.
they will identify and take a picture of your boat if they are near by when you sail thru., i have not encountered this but a friend who was ex special forces was intercepted on his way from catalina to san diego and described his adventure with homeless insecurity and their big dark patrol boats at 0300......
in daylight i was able to see, hidden in the usual locations, mexican navy ships. i didnt see any usa homeland security boats or us navy in those mexican waters. at that time,dhs and usn was remaining within us territorial waters. things have changed.
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Old 26-01-2014, 10:17   #242
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Re: Impounded boats in Mexico

Having gone through this thread, I have noticed a few people that have been approached on the high seas and told to go into port to be searched/ documented. Question:
How far off shore must one be before you are out the the reach of the Mexican Officials? I know its a long haul, but one might sail completely past Mexico if you are headed for Panama anyway...
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Old 26-01-2014, 10:25   #243
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Re: Impounded boats in Mexico

Saturday afternoon I attended a Pat Rains "Commuter Cruising" seminar at the SunRoad Boatshow. At that seminar Captain Rains stated the following as a summary of what had been said at the Friday night meeting that I missed because it started 35 minutes BEFORE it's scheduled time.

- the boats that were embargoed had done something wrong and deserved to be embargoed
- No boat that had the correct paperwork and on file with their marina were embargoed
- the embargo was no big deal \
- the embargo caused no hardship for those whose vessels were embargoed
- the Mexican paperwork requirements are perfectly clear and there is no reason anyone should be confused by the requirement
- 26 boats have been removed from the embargo list
- MOST of the remaining 312 (??) will be removed from the list in a month or so
- The Mexican government was just trying to protect cruisers and themselves from criminals who were importing stolen boats and the whole process was for our benefit
- The implementation of the process was deficient and not well coordinated or managed
- there is no reason to not go to Mexico if you follow all the rules
- EVERY item on the boat with a serial number must be listed in the TIP
- anytime you change or add an item to the boat with a serial number you must modify your TIP

Here is an e-mail Captain Pat Rains sent to a very large distribution list on Sunday morning:


The Mexican government apologizes, “liberates” 26 boats, says a month for the rest.

Addressing boaters at the Big Bay Boat Show in San Diego on January 25, Fito Espinoza, manager of Hotel Coral & Marina, Ensenada, apologized for the inconvenience felt by boaters in Mexico.

In November when AGACE agents performed a random tax audit in eight marinas to verify vessel identifications, they found a total of 338 visiting yachts to have some kinds of paperwork deficiencies that could not immediately be cleared up. Their status was as a “precautionary embargo,” not impounded, Espinoza said. Nobody was prevented from living on their boat. No boats were impounded, not confiscated, not removed from their slips. No boats were chained to the dock. Nobody was taken to jail.

As of today, 26 of those embargoed vessels have been “liberated.” Ten of them were at IGY Marina Cabo San Lucas, and 16 of them were berthed at Opequimar in Puerto Vallarta.

During November, December and January, the Mexican government contacted the governments of the US and Canada and other countries regarding each of the 312 vessels still in precautionary embargo. Right now, the Mexican government is working with these governments and the boaters on board to clear up the registrations, hull numbers and ownership of those vessels.

Espinoza said that the Mexican government expects that, within the next month, the remaining vessels will be liberated from the precautionary embargo status.

Attny Chris Wenthur of Wenther Law Group LLP, San Diego, explained the several paperwork deficiencies that caused the vessel problems in Mexico. He focused on the legal responsibilities of yacht brokers, delivery skippers and boat owners in the audience.

Wenthur passed out a 3-page flier that outlined and illustrated how a boat’s hull identification number (HIN) must be visible on the hull two inches below the top of the transom, and stressed that the HIN on the boat must match what’s written in the Mexican Temporary Import Permit or MTIP. Wenthur listed several specific HIN exemptions and how to remedy them in compliance with both the US Coast Guard and Mexican law. One common exemption was hulls built before 1972.

Wenthur said several boats that had been sold or bought in Mexico didn’t have the paperwork completed correctly. He said another problem was not having an authorization letter for people operating the boat in the owner’s absence. His office is working with boat owners in Mexico.

Alejandro Santander Habif, the Chief of Mexico’s federal Tourism Board, apologized for the inconvenience felt by boaters in Mexico. Santander said he also expects the current precautionary embargo to be lifted in the next month. It might happen sooner, but the government hopes to “liberate” the boats together, not one at a time.

When asked if this inconvenience will happen again, he explained that SAT had performed this audit in order to establish a data base of visiting boats in Mexico, and to find any stolen boats hiding in Mexico. Santander said SAT is likely to perform an annual audit, yes, but not in the same abrupt manner. He said the aggressive manner used by the AGACE agents was very upsetting to the entire boating community, about which all the branches of Mexican government are very aware and likewise are very upset. He said this kind of audit won’t happen again.

Santander said, however, that a very small number of the boats currently in precautionary embargo might turn out to be in serious violation of US and Mexican law, not just a missing HIN or expired MTIP. He wouldn’t elaborate, but he repeated that it is a very small number.

Southbounders, I sent this report to Richard at Lat 38 and to the Log Newspapers. I'm trying to post on you tube the video we took of the meeting, but it's too long and we're trying to cut it into segments. But the gist is here.


After the seminar I talked to Mr Fito Espinoza about the TIP confusion and it is apparent based on that conversation and what Captain Rains said at the seminar:

- the authorities believe the whole TIP problem is way overblown
- there is no reason any cruiser should be confused
- Mexican boat import requirements are clearly specified

I asked Mr. Espinoza and Captain Rains several specific questions that have been raised on this forum and was told in every case:
- "Oh Don't worry about that - no one in Mexico cares"
- "Well - you'll have to talk to the SAT authorities about that"

Questions (just a few)
- you keep telling us to use the online TIP website but my make of boat is not listed -
- I applied for a TIP but did not receive a decal that you say must be displayed - what should I do?
- the SECTUR online Tourist manual says I need a US zarpe - is that true?
- Is the 2nd interior HIN required?
- you say EVERY item in the boat with a serial number must be listed on the TIP - what should I do when I add or change an item?
- you tell me the TIP must be kept on the boat even if I am not on the boat but the customs guy at the border wanted to see my original TIP - what do I do?
- how do I verify that the marina I am staying in has retained, can find, my TIP and the other required documents?
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Old 26-01-2014, 11:03   #244
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Re: Impounded boats in Mexico

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
The information we have received down here, by Harbor managers is that many, if not most have been released from the list.
That is great news, Celestialsailor. My advice to anyone wanting to get on with their plans is, just as it was in my very first post, go through the proper checking out procedure and leave this mess behind if they are allowed to.
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Old 26-01-2014, 11:33   #245
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Re: Impounded boats in Mexico

Thanks for this, TacomaSailor!

I didn't see your post re the Sunroad Marina meeting before responding to CelestialSailor's post about boats being liberated.

I read the letter and what was said at the meeting with my jaw fully dropped!

I just don't know what to say!

I am very grateful I and my vessel are no longer in Mexico and after reading that, I now admit I will never return to Mexico under any circumstance.

I dealt with Fito Espinoza at Hotel Coral and Marina personally. My vessel was seized there. My advice to anyone reading Espinoza's words or listening to them, is to seriously question anything he says.

And, this is probably none of my business, but I was there, I saw firsthand what was happening. I would advise anyone I know, or care about to stay out of Mexico. But then again, that's just me... things might change and I hope they do.

But this letter and report from the meeting at Sunroad, Tacoma... It just hammers the point home.

Sad, very sad, what's going on down south.
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Old 26-01-2014, 11:49   #246
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Re: Impounded boats in Mexico

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Question:
How far off shore must one be before you are out the the reach of the Mexican Officials? I know its a long haul, but one might sail completely past Mexico if you are headed for Panama anyway...
Answer: No limit. When a military boat approaches and orders you, then you obey. They have been known as have US boats to check outside their immediate territorial waters. Now realistically they're going to stay somewhat close to home. A general practical rule is when you're closer to another country than you are to Mexico.
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Old 26-01-2014, 14:11   #247
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So the Mexican government thinks its no big deal?

Today is the 2nd month anniversary of my boat seizure in La Cruz Marina.

I flew in yesterday to visit it in the prison. I poured a glass of wine for me and changed its oil.

We sat there together reminiscing about the good old days when we would sail places together, roaming from port to port. In a few days visiting time will be over. I will promise to stay in touch. I will probably give her one last look over my shoulder, and head to the airport.

Never thought after 30 years of ownership, a $200K upgrade, days of pouring over Mexican paperwork contradictions and ambiguities to try to make our first Mexican cruise hassle free, that something like this could happen.

Mexican laws of import are clear they say?

After 30 years of reading Richard Spindler's Latitude 38 magazine, and John and Pat Rains cruising guides, and countless San Diego Log's excellent articles of expert advice, I never once encountered advice about VIN requirements, the skipper's responsibility to force marinas to file TIPs correctly, what to do with broken Mexican websites and phantom email addresses while filing documents on line, what to do when you hear second hand that your impounded but have never been contacted by authorities and have no avenue for showing your paperwork to them, etc.

These marine tourism experts life's work is based on knowing such things as Mexican maritime rules and then advising others. Yet they could not anticipate or imagine this situation.

This says to me the Mexican official's claims and posturing about boat owners not following clear instruction are truly pathetic, hollow, and insensitive.

Thank god I can have the means to travel to other places in the world now, in order to forget about this sorry mess.
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Old 26-01-2014, 14:30   #248
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Re: Impounded boats in Mexico

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Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
Today is the 2nd month anniversary of my boat seizure in La Cruz Marina.

I flew in yesterday to visit it in the prison....
Please update us on the process to get your boat sprung. Is it just a matter of satisfactory proof of ownership? (eg sorry it's not an Avon?)
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Old 26-01-2014, 14:41   #249
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Re: Impounded boats in Mexico

Laughter is the best medicine. But while you're down there visiting your boat in prison, why not try to check out? Do it by the book, like I did. You say you've received nothing in writing about seizure of your boat or even heard from the seizing authority.

If you've done nothing wrong and the reason for the seizure was a botched inspection - like someone not finding the vehicle identification number, what have you got to lose? They will either stop you and you won't be any further behind or they may have no reason to hold your boat captive.

It is a question of jurisdiction. If the port captain will let you go what jurisdiction does the marina have to hold you? If they have jurisdiction to hold you, it should at least be on paper and addressed to the owner of the vessel, not a verbal warning from a marina employee.

As for Mexican paperwork not being complicated, according to authorities and Mr. Espinoza; It was Fito Espinoza, himself and his organization, that I paid to do my paperwork. My boat was one of the 47 seized at Hotel Coral and Marina - The marina where Mr. Espinoza is employed. If the paperwork is so easy to comply with, and he is such an authority, and he did mine, why did my (and 46 other boats in Marina Coral) get seized?

Also the story of what is going on, how it will be solved, who is working on solving it, and why it happened kept changing. The only consistency was a complete disregard, and near contempt (in my opinion) for the seized clients. This led me to believe nobody has the jurisdiction to seize one's vessel in this situation. As nothing had been presented to me, even verbally, about who it actually was holding and preventing me from using my vessel, I felt it prudent to approach the only authority I'd dealt with when bringing my boat into Mexico, the port captain/authority.

If this experience sounds familiar, I suggest you take the same steps.
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Old 26-01-2014, 14:46   #250
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Re: Impounded boats in Mexico

Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
Answer: No limit. When a military boat approaches and orders you, then you obey. They have been known as have US boats to check outside their immediate territorial waters. Now realistically they're going to stay somewhat close to home. A general practical rule is when you're closer to another country than you are to Mexico.
Sorry, I cannot believe that. If I am 100 miles offshore from the Mexican coast I think I have a reasonable expectation that I will not be boarded and forced to come to a Mexican port. I just want to know what they consider their Territorial waters.
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Old 26-01-2014, 15:14   #251
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Re: Impounded boats in Mexico

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
the area of pacific off kali coast to mexico is a smugglers alley. usa and mexico patrol it to mexican border, each used to remain on own side of border. .. usa uses dark and sneaky, as does mexico.
they will identify and take a picture of your boat if they are near by when you sail thru., i have not encountered this but a friend who was ex special forces was intercepted on his way from catalina to san diego and described his adventure with homeless insecurity and their big dark patrol boats at 0300......
in daylight i was able to see, hidden in the usual locations, mexican navy ships. i didnt see any usa homeland security boats or us navy in those mexican waters. at that time,dhs and usn was remaining within us territorial waters. things have changed.
Huh...I thought all the ex-special force people were retired and in a bar on Sukumvit in Bangkok. I guess not. They're obviously dodging big dark patrol boats at 0300. Interesting time to go sailing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
So the Mexican government thinks its no big deal?

Today is the 2nd month anniversary of my boat seizure in La Cruz Marina.

I flew in yesterday to visit it in the prison. I poured a glass of wine for me and changed its oil.

We sat there together reminiscing about the good old days when we would sail places together, roaming from port to port. In a few days visiting time will be over. I will promise to stay in touch. I will probably give her one last look over my shoulder, and head to the airport.

Never thought after 30 years of ownership, a $200K upgrade, days of pouring over Mexican paperwork contradictions and ambiguities to try to make our first Mexican cruise hassle free, that something like this could happen.

Mexican laws of import are clear they say?

After 30 years of reading Richard Spindler's Latitude 38 magazine, and John and Pat Rains cruising guides, and countless San Diego Log's excellent articles of expert advice, I never once encountered advice about VIN requirements, the skipper's responsibility to force marinas to file TIPs correctly, what to do with broken Mexican websites and phantom email addresses while filing documents on line, what to do when you hear second hand that your impounded but have never been contacted by authorities and have no avenue for showing your paperwork to them, etc.

These marine tourism experts life's work is based on knowing such things as Mexican maritime rules and then advising others. Yet they could not anticipate or imagine this situation.

This says to me the Mexican official's claims and posturing about boat owners not following clear instruction are truly pathetic, hollow, and insensitive.

Thank god I can have the means to travel to other places in the world now, in order to forget about this sorry mess.
Thanx for the post. When I stated most had been released, I'm not sure if they can take off yet. That is not clear to me. I'm sorry you are having to visit your boat in prison. I agree that Mexico's statements were a little one sided and you have to question why the meeting in San Diego was started early. That said, I think Richard has also gone a little over board with the issue.
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Old 26-01-2014, 16:17   #252
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Re: Impounded boats in Mexico

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Sorry, I cannot believe that. If I am 100 miles offshore from the Mexican coast I think I have a reasonable expectation that I will not be boarded and forced to come to a Mexican port. I just want to know what they consider their Territorial waters.
The question wasn't how far they're authorized to stop you. It was "can" and the reality that it doesn't matter where they pull up to you if they say go in, you have no choice. They're armed and determined. Right doesn't make might. Their territorial waters extend 12 nm. Then there is the contiguous zone which is another 12 nm. But there is also "exclusive economic zone" and it extends up to 200 nm. So the answer is that under normal conditions they shouldn't be stopping you and directing you in more than 12 miles and definitely not more than 24. But they sometimes do and if they do you have no choice.
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Old 27-01-2014, 15:53   #253
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Re: Impounded boats in Mexico

The USCG stops and boards boats at 800+ miles out of their territorial waters so why complain about a mere 100 miles for Mexicans?

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Old 27-01-2014, 16:13   #254
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Re: Impounded boats in Mexico

seems to me that those COMING TO MEXICO and presenting their papers IN PERSON and doing it the mexican way..in pèrson with respect, the boats are cleared..... shouldnt be too difficult. the process has been spelled out more than one time in with all this balderdash being posted.
is also strange that if this is so INTOLERABLE why, then were ONLY 338 out of over 1600 boats tagged.....
and why is it those tagged and refusing to appear at sat in person are the only ones still whining about lack of service and intolerance

mexico doesnt do anything online. get real. they do it in person.
btw...there are many more than only 1600 boats in mexico... there are over 10,000 boats in mexico. .and that is only boats belonging to non mexicans. mexicans also have sailboats and mega yachts and aquatic toys in marinas in mexico. if most of these can be legal, what is the big deal in being legal.... sorry. i am legal. isnt difficult.

if it is so very terrible here, why , then , do so many still enjoy life on the water here in mexico. unmolested. safe . comfortable. and , i might add, totally legal.
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Old 27-01-2014, 16:23   #255
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Re: Impounded boats in Mexico

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The USCG stops and boards boats at 800+ miles out of their territorial waters so why complain about a mere 100 miles for Mexicans?

While this is true it should not be used as supportive of other govts doing the same. Further, a USA flagged vessel can be boarded by USCG anywhere in the world. Then there is the fact that USCG conducts such operations on a selective basis. To wit; when about 700 nm off Kauai we (USA federal documented vessel) were fired upon by a Japanese vessel. USCG stated they would NOT respond.

I think what you have here is fear-based perception coupled with ignorance of the law. Who hasn't heard the multiple stories coming out of Mexico, or they themselves have experienced the corruption of Mexican govt officials? With that in mind, there is fear that while in Mexico a boater may feel anything can happen, ie, the rule of law is not necessarily followed.

But even if the rule of law is adhered to, a hapless boater is ignorant of the law (for whatever reason). Does it then become implicit that the boater know the law of each country they visit? I say yes but even then it is problematic because laws change or are subject to differing interpretation by different officials. This is a problem of onerous laws and not so much pointing at this or that country.

I am a commercial pilot, I earn dough by flying. I am familiar with the FAA and that means I am familiar with how regulation can be subject to wildly different interpretation depending upon which govt official is at hand. The basic problem is too much regulation.

That the US Constitution (which sets the governance of a whole country) is but a few hundred words yet a typical regulation on, say child seats in automobiles may extend several tens of thousands of words is my point; less is more when it comes to writing rules and regs.

As far as me mentioning the Brown Act vis a vis the recent meeting in San Diego I admit it was 'overboard'. However, my understanding gotten from the OP was foreign officials were invited by USA govt officials. I thought it unusual that representatives of a foreign govt would just, you know, show up on their own accord and without invitation by USA govt officials. And following on that understanding, it would be a violation for govt officials to act to obscure public involvement. Since further clarification was provided after my comment I admit mea culpa. But always be watchful of the doings of govt officials especially if they portend to act in a non-official capacity.
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