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Mexico seizes boats over $70 permit

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Dick Markie, harbor master at Paradise Village Marina in Mexico, reports in that authorities have begun enforcing long-standing laws, most notably the temporary import permit. American and Canadian boat owners were caught up in a bust in late November that resulted in nearly 400 boats were ordered seized over the $70 permit.



The standard paperwork of crew list, documentation, passports of everyone on board and check-out from last port should be available, and best if it’s e-mailed 24 hours in advance to the harbor master at the first port of entry. Find details on the temporary import permit at www.banjercito.com.mx; click on “Application for Temporary Import Permit for Vehicles, Boats and RVs” on the right side.



“They want everything in place when boaters arrive, just like most countries,” Dickie said via e-mail. “I recommend that all a yacht’s required paperwork be done online. It is easy and cuts their check-in time to almost nothing.”



Driven by attempts to combat terrorism and a commitment to preventing the illegal imports of synthetic chemicals for drug production and export of black market goods, officers began enforcing the temporary import permit more strictly in late November when armed officers and tax agents stormed eight marinas on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts in what witnesses thought was a major drug bust.



The country’s Treasury Department says it has up to four months to decide whether to release the boats or sell them at auction, according to reports by the Associated Press. The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City is having discussions on the issue with the Mexican government.



Another tip Markie offered was to avoid importing chicken into the country.

“The Mexican government is deathly afraid of bird flu,” he said. “The country depends on chicken and if bird flu ever gets started here, it would be an economic disaster. My advice is do not bring chicken; you can get plenty here. They will also confiscate certain fresh fruits and vegetables, but don’t worry, this country is full of wonderful fresh produce.”



Dickie also reports that Paradise Village recently rebuilt its megadocks, adding a pump out system to the area and DSL lines and 480-volt power to every slip. For more information, e-mail him at dmarkie@paradisevillagegroup.com or visit www.paradisevillagemarina.com.

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