law you are NOT required to hire an agent to clear into Mexico regardless of what you might be told in Isla Mujeras. This is the only Port in Mexico that refuses to obey the law and the Port Captain
has been under investigation because of this. The following was our experience. Others have had different experiences.
The following is info we have acquired about the check in procedures for Mexico. Upon arrival you must call the Port Captain
and notify them that you have arrived. They should make arrangements for Sanitation to come to the boat
to do their inspection
. No crew should go ashore till that is done. Once they have inspected, the Q flag can come down and you can proceed. There is no charge for this. Next you go to Immigrations with your passports. They fill out a short form and stamp the passports. They will give you a form to take to the bank to pay the Immigration fees
. They were $21.00 US per passport. The bank stamps the form and returns it to you. Don't lose that form. Next stop is the Port Captain. Upon our arrival we were told we must hire an agent. We had been expecting this. We informed them that we were aware of the change of law and that an agent is not required. They told us the law here in Isla Mujeres is that an agent is required. We knew that was not true. We had a copy of the December issue of Latitude 38 stating all of the changes for clearing under Reglamento 69 passed and signed in to law by President Fox which applies to ALL of Mexico of which Isla Mujeres is part. Our next contact was to Tere Grossman of the Mexican Marina Owners Association. She was instrumental in getting this legislation passed. She is in constant contact with the Director of Port Captains in Mexico City on just these issues. By the end of the day we received a email
from her stating that she had passed our email
on to the Director and he was to call the Port Captain here and inform him that he was not to require an agent. When we returned to the Port Captain office we were processed with no problem but we had been told that they were only doing this for us and others would have to use an agent. The charge depends on the size of the boat and was $26.00 US for Sea Trek which is 40 feet. You still must have or acquire the Importada for the boat and that is another process. Under Mexican Federal law it is illegal for a Port Captain to require a PLEASURE boat to hire an agent. It is also illegal for a Port Captain to charge additional fees
to check in to other ports
after you have cleared in to Mexico officially. Tere Grossman can be contacted at email@example.com
and welcomes anyone that is having problems. It appears that the Port Captains in Isla Mujeres and Puerto Morelos on the Atlantic side are the only ones not in compliance. We hope our actions and that of other cruisers will change that. We emphasize that through this entire process we remained friendly and courteous and believe that helped move the situation along. They know this is wrong but don't want to let go of the old ways. They acted as if this was something they knew nothing about. There was a meeting in Mexico City of all Port Captains to explain the new law when it was passed. Hope this info helps.