Temporary Boat Importation Laws Have Changed for Baja

boats baja


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 boat importation, you will need to stop at the border on your way into Baja with your boat and have 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. If you want to complete paperwork online ahead of time, you can start the process at Banjercito:  https://www.banjercito.com.mx/registroVehiculos/ You will need to allow a few weeks for your application to be processed and the permit to be physically mailed to you before you can enter Baja with your boat.

If you plan on getting your temporary import permit at the border, you will need to cross at the Otay Mesa or Tecate border crossings (you are NOT able to get your permit at the San Ysidro, El Chaparral, port of entry).

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 (a SENTRI card or drivers license is NOT sufficient)
-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

The fee is $52.20 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).

If your boat is already in Baja, you will need to go to Pichilingue in La Paz with your boat and the above paperwork to complete this process. Only the owner of the boat can complete this process for the boat at Pichilingue (they will not allow a power of attorney).

Otay hours: Mon-Sat: 8am-9pm, Sun 9am-6pm
Tecate hours: 8am-4pm every day
Pichilingue hours: Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat: 7am-3pm, Tues, Thur: 7am-5pm, Sun: 8:30am-4:30pm

If you are entering Baja by sea, you must stop at Ensenada to complete paperwork and pay the fee at the port captain’s office.

If you would like to save yourself the headache and hassle of dealing with immigration and the Mexican banks, Discover Baja will process your boat temporary import permit for you for a fee of $45. See HERE for more information.

Most marinas also require on-the-water boat liability insurance, which Discover Baja can provide.

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