Discover Baja is pleased to announce that we are now processing Temporary Importation Permits for boats. For an extra $45, save yourself the trouble and hassle of dealing with immigration and the bank at the border. Please allow two weeks for processing. To get started, download and complete the DBTC Boat TIP application
Be aware that the temporary boat importation laws have changed for Baja and now every boat over 4.5 meters (15 feet) that will be going down to Baja needs to have a temporary boat import permit. Inflatable boats that can collapse and fit into a bag are the only boats that are exempt from this law. Jet skis, kayaks, canoes, wave runners, etc. are also exempt. If you are a “persona fisica” (physical person, NOT a company), below are the steps that you will need to take.
To get your temporary importation permit for your boat, you can go online to Banjercito to apply for the permit. You will need to start the process about two weeks before heading to Baja, as you will need to allow time for processing and for the permit to be sent to you in the mail. You cannot process the paperwork more than 60 days before heading into Mexico.
Alternatively, you can stop at the border on your way into Baja with your paperwork in order. You can go into the Aduanas (customs) building at the border and they will direct you to the Banjercito where you will pay and get your permit.
You will need to cross at the Otay Mesa, San Ysidro (El Chaparral), Tecate, or Mexicali East border crossing (you are NOT able to get your permit at the Mexicali West port of entry).
You will need to have the boat and the following paperwork with you. You need to have the original AND a copy of each of these items as you will be asked to turn in the copies in order to get your permit.
- Passport or Passport Card
- FMM, temporary resident or permanent resident visa
- Boat registration or title
- Motor serial number
- If there is a lienholder on the boat, you will need to have a letter from the lienholder granting permission to take the vessel to Mexico
Boats registered under a family trust will not be accepted even if your name is on the trust. All vessels must be owned by a person or company only. If the vessel is registered under a company, you will need to present a letter of authorization on company letterhead granting permission to take the boat to Mexico.
The fee for the temporary import permit varies slightly from day to day but is around 950 pesos (about $55.00 USD) and can be paid in pesos, dollars or by Visa or Mastercard. The permit is good for 10 years (and is good for multiple entry). TIPs can only be extended one time, therefore the maximum amount of time that a boat can have a valid import permit for Mexico is 20 years
If your boat is already in Baja, you will need to go to Pichilingue or Ensenada to complete this process. At Pichilingue you must bring your paperwork and have the boat with you. Ensenada is the only place in Baja where they will allow you to bring the paperwork and complete the process without requiring the boat to be present. At both Pichilingue and Ensenada, the owner of the boat must be present (they will not allow a power of attorney).
Otay hours: Mon-Sat: 8am-9pm Sun: 9am-6pm
San Ysidro (El Chaparral) hours: 7am-11pm
Tecate hours: 8am-4pm every day
Pichilingue hours: Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat: 7am-3pm Tues, Thur: 7am-5pm Sun: 8:30am-4:30pm
Most marinas also require on-the-water boat liability insurance, which Discover Baja can provide.
If you lose your boat importation permit, you must go to Mexico and report it to the police as a stolen document. You can then take the police report to Banjercito where they will cancel the old TIP and reissue a new TIP (you will need to pay again).
Discover Baja members can download and complete the DBTC Boat TIP application to get started on processing their temporary importation permits for boats.