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Boats impounded in Mexico


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#1 bacarat

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 05:50 AM

This from Richard Spindler - Latitude 38

 

338 FOREIGN YACHTS IMPOUNDED IN MEXICO. A sub-agency of Hacienda (Mexico's IRS) has decided they will take 45 days to four months to decide whether to fine, confiscate or 'liberate" the 338 foreign boats from 12 marinas, including our catamaran Profligate, that they have impounded for the most ridiculous — misspellings or typos — or non-existent reasons. While the boats aren't chained to the docks, they are not to leave their berths until the decisions have been rendered, and if they do leave, the marina must report them to the government agency. Think how wonderful this is for a couple who has worked and dreamed and saved for 10 years for such a cruise, and are now stuck in one marina. As you might expect, the marinas, Mexico Tourism, and others are horrified. Please spread the word as far as you can. For more details, read today's 'Lectronic Latitude. And we hate to tell you, Kevin and Marcie, but your cat is one of them. I wish this was a joke, but it's not.

 

and

FLEE MEXICO ON YOUR BOAT? In response to our report that 338 foreign yachts worth tens of million of dollars have been impounded in Mexico, and their owners will have to wait anywhere from 45 to 120 days to learn if they will be fined or if their boats will be "liberated" or confiscated, we've been getting asked a lot of questions. Mainly, how to keep one's boat from getting on the list. First, we want to clarify what we mean by "impounded". The 338 boats we've been told are being held are in what's called "precautionary embargo", which so far hasn't meant any boats chained to the dock. But it does mean that boats can't legally leave the marina, and if they do, the harbormaster must report them to AGACE, the Mexican agency causing all the problem. That would mean big trouble. In addition, the port captains have the list, and if your boat's name is on that list, you can't clear out. So how do you stay off the list? 1) Don't have your boat in Mexico. We're not joking, because having all your paperwork in order doesn't mean your boat won't get on the list. We have the same paperwork and documents for Profligate being in Mexico that we've had for 17 years and all are current. But it's made no difference. Our only 'crime' is that we weren't around when the AGACE people came by asking for papers the first time. It made no difference that we presented all the necessary papers when AGACE came around again a week later. They smiled very nicely, said everything was good — and still kept our name on the list. We are far from alone in this status. Blue, the big J/Boat, and many, many boats are in the same situation. 2) The second strategy is to stay out of marinas, particularly ones that haven't been checked by AGACE yet. Why? Because based on what's already happened, if you're not on your boat 24 hours a day with all the proper paperwork, and everything spelled correctly and no numbers transposed, your boat is likely to be put on the impound list. To our knowledge, no boats at anchor have been checked, nor do we believe AGACE has the boats to check boats at anchor. 3) If your boat hasn't been impounded, should you leave Mexico immediately? It's hard to say. We like to think that this is a horrible blunder of the part of a sub agency of Hacienda that will quickly be reigned in once the greater part of government realizes the terrible damage they are doing the image of Mexico as a safe and secure place for foreigners. But you never know, as government agencies in Mexico often have a lot of autonomy. Let's put it this way, if Profligate was in Turtle Bay and wasn't on the list, we'd be back in California by Christmas. This may sound alarmist to some, but when one of your biggest assets has been taken from your control for absolutely no good reason for perhaps four months or longer, you get religion quick. 4) What if your boat is in a marina and you're up in the States and weren't planning to come down for a few months? Oh man, we don't know what we'd do. It would cost a fortune to move her, and where would you move her to? What makes this situation all the more vexing is that we've never received any formal notice that our boat is on the list, and there is absolutely nobody at a local AGACE office to appeal to. Indeed, AGACE people who checked boats in Banderas Bay came all the way from Guadalajara. The best Christmas present anyone with a boat in Mexico can hope for is that this nightmare ends quickly. After all, think of all the people who planned to spend the winter and then cross to the South Pacific. They have to live in constant fear if they stay in Mexico — assuming their boat isn't already on the list, in which case they could be in limbo until late April — that their boat will end up on the list. We love Mexico, but we'd be lying if we didn't admit that love is quickly waning. We hope Mexican officials come to their senses quickly before any additional damage is done to their country. Please, please, please spread the word about this situation, as it needs to see the light of day.

 

 

 

 

 



#2 Ishmael

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 04:28 PM

Well. That certainly puts a different light on things, doesn't it? Mexico was part of our future plans, despite the issues down there. If shit like this is going down, Mexico is going to lose a lot of cruiser traffic.

 

Here's the Lat 38 article: http://www.latitude3...20#.UrW9-7RtMcI

 

I'd like to hear more from people actually down there, on an ongoing basis. Is this just some stupid bureaucratic mistake, or is it government-condoned ransom?



#3 armido

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 05:23 PM

No doubt, the fiasco in Mexico is unprecedented.  But, I've taken a lot of heat in various forums for pointing to trends in the cruising environment that involve government actions imposing or increasing fees.  On my first four year plus 'near global circumnavigation' any requirement between ports to pay fees was an exception rather than the rule.  And, when fees were assessed they were affordable.  My second four year plus 'near global circumnavigation' found where fees were once nonexistant, they were now imposed.  The ports charging fees encountered on the first trip had increased them markedly.  Simply put, the cruising community is going to see more of these kinds of 'government actions' -whether boat 'impoundments' or higher fees - in the future.

 

 

Well. That certainly puts a different light on things, doesn't it? Mexico was part of our future plans, despite the issues down there. If shit like this is going down, Mexico is going to lose a lot of cruiser traffic.

 

Here's the Lat 38 article: http://www.latitude3...20#.UrW9-7RtMcI

 

I'd like to hear more from people actually down there, on an ongoing basis. Is this just some stupid bureaucratic mistake, or is it government-condoned ransom?

 



#4 slug zitski

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 06:40 PM

Nothing new here. The world has changed. Understand the rules and if the rules are unclear , hire an agent. Every country that I visit has drastically improved enforcement on foriegn flagged yachts. ....... they are after tax dollars.

Understand this or you will have trouble.

I was just at customs. The procedure Ive used for many years in this country is no longer valid. I am locked to the dock until I provide the required documents.

This is common....four months ago , a friendly customs agent alerted me of problems with my paperwork , cruising permit application and recomended that I put to sea.

I put to sea .

#5 Estar

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 06:41 PM

^^ yea . .  .except NZ just made it easier for cruisers to stay.  I am hoping that will be the start of reversing the post 9-11 trend of more difficult/more expensive.  Mexico has always been a bit of a crapshoot.. 99% of the time ok, but 1% you might get caught in a kafka/catch 22.



#6 SloopJonB

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 07:00 PM

One word for bureaucratic problems in Mexico - Mordida.



#7 Great Red Shark

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 07:04 PM

Wow.  I can't think of a bigger Mexico-fan than Latitude 38's Spindler - the publication seems to ALWAYS be a cheerleader for "Don't worry,  it's not that bad there." - heck they just ran their what,  20th Ha-Ha ?    Wonder how many of the boats 'impounded' they helped put there ?

 

Wave a nice juicy steak at tax officials long enough and they will start scouring the books for SOMETHING to harvest revenue with - and the trades that will be be impacted,  let alone the charity work the cruisers do ?   It's not like the tax department cares - they just want paid. 

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=ZomwVcGt0LE



#8 islandplanet

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 08:09 PM

Visiting boats bring heaps of revenue into Mexico. If the Mexican government doesn't get their heads out of their asses, they will lose exponentially more money than they could ever hope to collect by fining some boats for not having their paperwork together. I'm sure out of the 338 boats, there's probably a dozen that don't have their TIP (Temporary Import Permit) or all their paperwork in order. 

 

Those of us who have cruised Mexico realize that most marinas want a copy of the TIP and other documents in order to rent a slip. I don't know why they even bothered visiting boats when the marina offices probably have copies of everything. The "mordida" culture is much less of a factor than it used to be. 



#9 Great Red Shark

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 08:21 PM

All I can think is that it's REALLY fortunate for the other 387 boat-owners that Latitude's own boat got caught in the net,  or the response would definatly not be so heartfelt - with them 'embargoed' the story will at least be told to it's strange, bitter end,  and otherwise I do suspect there would be some paternal head-patting and the usual "Well, things are different down there and you need to respect the laws of even a fucked-up country when you are a visitor."  - al of which is true - but if I've read "it's more dangerous in Oakland than Mexico" once in Latitude I've read it a dozen times - and while perhaps true,  they aren't recommending a cruise to Oakland,  are they ?

 

Will be interesting to see how it all plays out,  and I DO feel for the boat-owners trapped in a fun-house mirror room of latin catch-22s.



#10 SloopJonB

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:03 PM

I've been to Mexico a couple of times and loved it and the people but I won't be going back - it's just too fucked up. If the gangs don't get you, the cops & bureaucrats will.

 

It's really a shame - it could be one of the best places on Earth.



#11 ChuteFirst

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:07 PM

I have one of the "embargoed" boats in La Cruz. All the proper paperwork including the TIP was on file in the marina office, shown to the officials by the marina management, and the authorities were escorted to my slip by marina management where they confirmed my US documentation placard, and hopefully my hull VIN if that LP paint job still has it legible.

I was in the states during the visit, but was assured by Marina Nayarit a day before the visit they had it under control. It was just chance that I happened to call the marina office about some other business the day before the Feds showed up. The marina was not planning to call me or anyone else AFAIK. In any event it would have been impossible to book a flight from the US to MX and get their it time.

So my crime, like the owners of Profligate, is not being aboard my vessel 24 hours a day while in MX.

The no brainer for MX if they want to know who has has a proper TIP (temporary boat import) document and who doesn't, is to simply require the port captain to confirm it on arrival. It seems the left hand does not know what the right is doing down there.

At this point I feel like an international fugitive. I will be headed back down next week to face the music. Or go surfing, rather than my planned cruise further south, if my boat is still in jail.

#12 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 02:49 AM

+ 1000

If the Mexicans went cannibal and ATE every cruiser, Lat38 would be fine with it as long as they were not in the stewpot.

All I can think is that it's REALLY fortunate for the other 387 boat-owners that Latitude's own boat got caught in the net,  or the response would definatly not be so heartfelt - with them 'embargoed' the story will at least be told to it's strange, bitter end,  and otherwise I do suspect there would be some paternal head-patting and the usual "Well, things are different down there and you need to respect the laws of even a fucked-up country when you are a visitor."  - al of which is true - but if I've read "it's more dangerous in Oakland than Mexico" once in Latitude I've read it a dozen times - and while perhaps true,  they aren't recommending a cruise to Oakland,  are they ?

 

Will be interesting to see how it all plays out,  and I DO feel for the boat-owners trapped in a fun-house mirror room of latin catch-22s.



#13 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 02:50 AM

WRONG

 

Some of the boats - hell prolly most - were 100% legal.

 

Nothing new here. The world has changed. Understand the rules and if the rules are unclear , hire an agent. Every country that I visit has drastically improved enforcement on foriegn flagged yachts. ....... they are after tax dollars.

Understand this or you will have trouble.

I was just at customs. The procedure Ive used for many years in this country is no longer valid. I am locked to the dock until I provide the required documents.

This is common....four months ago , a friendly customs agent alerted me of problems with my paperwork , cruising permit application and recomended that I put to sea.

I put to sea .



#14 islandplanet

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 07:51 PM

I've been to Mexico a couple of times and loved it and the people but I won't be going back - it's just too fucked up. If the gangs don't get you, the cops & bureaucrats will.

 

It's really a shame - it could be one of the best places on Earth.

 

If you've been to Mexico, you'd probably know that any danger from gangs is primarily confined to border towns far away from any anchorages or marinas. As gringos, we're practically a protected species there. The cartel people are not interested in harming us. To them, we're not worth wasting a bullet. If a gringo is attacked, it's bad for tourism and their local community people turn against them. I feel very safe in places like La Cruz, which is one of my favorite spots. 

 

I expect this situation will get resolved. It's not the first time some bureaucrats have gone rogue down there. This too will pass. 



#15 NoStrings

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 08:51 PM

The problem is that it's a never ending cycle of random rule changes, and I mean random both in terms of time phasing and port and port captain. I never thought anyone could be more fucked up than U.S. Customs until I went to Mexico.

Oh...it ain't just border towns. My brother and sister in law were robbed at gunpoint by Federales outside of Cancun.

#16 armido

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:30 PM

Could be push back for recent snooping by the NSA on foreign leaders or perhaps treatment of illegals in the States.  Both? Few targets to exact retaliation upon except American tourists and more importantly American cruisers with assets...  Then, could be a hint Mexico doesn't approve of gringos who appear to have set up a permanent presence aboard boats there.  Maybe early measures taken in a Gringos go home movement - with more yet to come.  May be sailors over value their contributions to the economy and 'good deeds'. :ph34r: 



#17 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 06:00 AM

If they are THAT stupid..........wouldn't be the first time a third-world country demoted themselves to the 4th world in a fit of chasing away their source of income.



#18 Tom Ray

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 12:32 PM

This from Richard Spindler - Latitude 38

 

...We like to think that this is a horrible blunder of the part of a sub agency of Hacienda that will quickly be reigned in once the greater part of government realizes the terrible damage they are doing the image of Mexico as a safe and secure place for foreigners....

 


This guy is a professional writer? And doesn't know that rain falls, you rein in horses (and sometimes bureaucrats), and you reign in your kingdom?

 

He should have his boat taken away and should probably also have my junior high school English teacher smack him in the head using his dead arm. That fixed lots of English problems. ;)



#19 Ajax

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 04:56 PM

There is a woman on Sailnet blabbering that this is all due to some US cruiser/tourist who was shooting their mouth off about falsifying official documents.

Apparently, she's a US ex-pat, living down there. She singlehands a 41 foot Formosa.

 

I have no idea if she's credible, I'm just pointing out her information, for anyone who wants to go over there and look.



#20 Estar

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 07:50 PM

^^

Actually Ajax, that is not the cause.

The (base original) cause is that two large marinas were found to have been completely taken over by drug cartels and were being used to stockpile stolen boats. The legal owners of these marinas were told to go home, given money, and to not return unless they wanted to die. This embarrassed the Mexicans, even more so because it was discovered by an (gringo) insurance investigation team (and not them).The federales decided to do a complete sweep of all major Marina's to be sure they would not be further embarrassed. Like many federal programs (on both sides of the border) it then got out if control and was badly executed.

#21 familysailor

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 09:51 PM

^^

Actually Ajax, that is not the cause.

The (base original) cause is that two large marinas were found to have been completely taken over by drug cartels and were being used to stockpile stolen boats. The legal owners of these marinas were told to go home, given money, and to not return unless they wanted to die. This embarrassed the Mexicans, even more so because it was discovered by an (gringo) insurance investigation team (and not them).The federales decided to do a complete sweep of all major Marina's to be sure they would not be further embarrassed. Like many federal programs (on both sides of the border) it then got out if control and was badly executed.

Interesting...

What is your source? Do you have a link?



#22 Estar

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 10:03 PM

^^ There is no 'link' and probably never will be . . . that's the inside scoop . . . my wife is in the marine insurance biz (BoatUS) and we have a very senior mex official as a good friend (I helped get his son into a top US grad school program)



#23 armido

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 11:05 PM

Very interesting.  Reminds me of a marina in the Dominican Republic that appears to be host to what most would judge to be drug boats.  Anyone been to marina del Mar?  These same boats are allowed to anchor when gringo sailors can't, and play excessively loud music at night.  Iknow, I know blowing yours and others eardrums away is a cultural thing in the Caribbean.  So is running drugs.

 

^^

Actually Ajax, that is not the cause.

The (base original) cause is that two large marinas were found to have been completely taken over by drug cartels and were being used to stockpile stolen boats. The legal owners of these marinas were told to go home, given money, and to not return unless they wanted to die. This embarrassed the Mexicans, even more so because it was discovered by an (gringo) insurance investigation team (and not them).The federales decided to do a complete sweep of all major Marina's to be sure they would not be further embarrassed. Like many federal programs (on both sides of the border) it then got out if control and was badly executed.

 



#24 Celestialsailor

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 11:20 PM

There is a woman on Sailnet blabbering that this is all due to some US cruiser/tourist who was shooting their mouth off about falsifying official documents.

Apparently, she's a US ex-pat, living down there. She singlehands a 41 foot Formosa.

 

I have no idea if she's credible, I'm just pointing out her information, for anyone who wants to go over there and look.

She's not



#25 Jim in Halifax

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 11:27 PM

A newb who does not observe the traditions of this forum is not credible either. Kindly post some tits if you wish to be credible.



#26 familysailor

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 11:38 PM

^^ There is no 'link' and probably never will be . . . that's the inside scoop . . . my wife is in the marine insurance biz (BoatUS) and we have a very senior mex official as a good friend (I helped get his son into a top US grad school program)

Thanks.

Do you think the facts as you've heard them will ever become public knowledge?

This is an incredible story...



#27 Estar

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:15 AM

It is very embarrassing from start to finish for Mexico. I know they hope to cover it all over. I suppose it depend pretty much on how hard Richard (at lat38) decides to push. . . .He has some excellent traits, but is not exactly a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist.

The true facts of the insurance investigation would make a legitimate action adventure movie. BTW, I am told there is an insurance investigator newsletter article on the case, but it is an 'insider newsletter" and it would be hard, but I guess not completely impossible, to run down a copy.

As an aside . . . . Re ajax's post. . . . I would not be at all surprised if someone somewhere in the Mexican government was also pissed at forged documents. With paint.net and a photo quality printer, paperwork has become so easy for the average man on the street (or a boat) to create, and governments have not yet figured out how to adapt/adjust to this yet. But that was not the driving force behind a targeted nationwide federal raid on marinas.

#28 Ajax

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:21 AM

As always, I appreciate you setting me straight. :)

#29 Estar

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 01:21 AM

^^

We need your help in the "all is lost thread" in the fixit forum . . . . What does the navy say about how to plug holes, particularily ones with jagged inner surfaces?

#30 FastRobert

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 03:10 AM


Typical F'ing Richard with an ax to grind and not much real info to work with. The guy does a serious diservice to Mexico by making up most of what is in that article. Pure bullshit by Lat38 ............ Again!!!

#31 familysailor

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 04:33 AM

Typical F'ing Richard with an ax to grind and not much real info to work with. The guy does a serious diservice to Mexico by making up most of what is in that article. Pure bullshit by Lat38 ............ Again!!!

What parts of the article are "made up"?

Estar has contributed some info apparently not available to the general public that seems to give some background to the current situation. He didn't dispute the fact that there are a shitload of cruisers that cannot move their boats due to the being "embargoed" in spite of having all the proper permits and documents.

Do you have different information?



#32 Great Red Shark

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 05:51 AM

Would kinda be strange for the guy that has been accused of profiting greatly from the Ha-Ha and was some sort of Mexico Tourism delegate to make up a story about his own boat getting the boot,  no ?   - but then has there been any other independant confirmation or denial ?



#33 Ishmael

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 06:15 AM

Yes, apparently it's for real. In an interesting sidebar, they can impound boats in Hawaii for unpaid taxes in Mexico. I see your name on the list.



#34 bacarat

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 06:30 AM

Would kinda be strange for the guy that has been accused of profiting greatly from the Ha-Ha and was some sort of Mexico Tourism delegate to make up a story about his own boat getting the boot,  no ?   - but then has there been any other independant confirmation or denial ?

Who in hell has ever accused Spindler of profiting greatly from the Ha-Ha? He organizes it, people line up to join it and most of them have a great time? Many of them over and over again. As to the suggestion that he would make this up - that's just nuts!



#35 Estar

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 02:37 PM

Estar ..... He didn't dispute the fact that there are a shitload of cruisers that cannot move their boats due to the being "embargoed" in spite of having all the proper permits and documents.

I should note that I have no idea how many cruisers have gotten tangled up. My contacts did not know, nor did they care. It is (unfortunately) of no interest or concern to the federales, the DEA, or the insurance companies if some gringo cruising boats had trouble producing paperwork to prove they were legal (and that is apparently how the federal officials see the situation). That will be left to the owners, marinas, and tourism and tax departments to clean up.

#36 SloopJonB

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 07:53 PM

There is a woman on Sailnet blabbering that this is all due to some US cruiser/tourist who was shooting their mouth off about falsifying official documents.

Apparently, she's a US ex-pat, living down there. She singlehands a 41 foot Formosa.

 

I have no idea if she's credible, I'm just pointing out her information, for anyone who wants to go over there and look.

She's not

 

If you're referring to Zeehag, she most certainly IS. She's a fuck of a lot more credible than the majority of the dinghy racers posting from their mothers basement on this site.

 

She owns & lives on the Formosa in Mexico and also owns an Ericson 35 - she maintains and sails both of them herself. She's been living on the Formosa in Mexico for some years now and is currently rebuilding its engine - herself.

 

She's actually there, doing it, not here yapping about carbon fiber tillers and the other nonsensical crap that makes up 95% of SA.



#37 Estar

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 08:49 PM

Hey, stop it.

Zeehag and I respect each other.

We just have different sources of info on this particular topic (and as an aside quite different approaches to "life"). . . Hers are "grass roots" and mine are "from the top". So, they reflect different perspectives, and there is probably some truth in both (the locals will have had different objectives and hot buttons in these raids than the federales).

#38 Great Red Shark

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:36 PM

Would kinda be strange for the guy that has been accused of profiting greatly from the Ha-Ha and was some sort of Mexico Tourism delegate to make up a story about his own boat getting the boot,  no ?   - but then has there been any other independant confirmation or denial ?

Who in hell has ever accused Spindler of profiting greatly from the Ha-Ha? He organizes it, people line up to join it and most of them have a great time? Many of them over and over again. As to the suggestion that he would make this up - that's just nuts!

 

I know,  right ?  but some dingbat calling himself Celestial Sailor,  in the Organized thread stated:

 

" i know one thing...The Ha ha has successfully increased the prices in the marinas in Mexico. They claim they make no money from it but was told by a 3rd. party they get a kick-back from marinas and bars in Cabo."

 

So apparently he not only KNOWS that the Ha-Ha schemed to inflate costs to cruisers (successfully inceased) but they also are reported to be shaking down Mexican establishments.

 

Care to elaborate,  Celestial Sailor ?



#39 SloopJonB

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:39 PM

Hey, stop it.

Zeehag and I respect each other.

We just have different sources of info on this particular topic (and as an aside quite different approaches to "life"). . . Hers are "grass roots" and mine are "from the top". So, they reflect different perspectives, and there is probably some truth in both (the locals will have had different objectives and hot buttons in these raids than the federales).

 

There does seem to be some crossover in her story and yours - if the problem is, as she says, limited to Banderas bay and North that would fit with the gang aspect you mentioned because that is where a big chunk of their activities are.

 

The bottom line here though is that Mexico is pretty fucked up these days - getting uncomfortably close to a "Failed State" if even a large part of the stories are true. No Go areas are a fact of life in most big cities but when it increases to whole areas of a country......



#40 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:42 PM

Upsetting - I have friends there and I always thought it sounded fun :(



#41 Estar

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:01 PM

There were apparently also raids on the east coast.
But I have not (yet) heard of a cruiser being caught up in it there
Don't know if that's because (a) there are no cruisers there (in those marinas), or ( b ) it was better executed, or ( c ) there were cruisers and we just have not heard from them yet.

#42 FastRobert

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 11:26 PM


I am thinking the word "raids" makes it all sound a bit strong handed. I have operated in and out of most Marinas in Mexico and continue to do so. In Banderas Bay( Puerto Vallarta) almost all of the issues stemmed from one Marina in LaCruz which might be a bit lax on keeping up filing of all required docs.

I am aware of several Boats that got listed and simply went thru the procedure to get it in order, and were stroked off the list.

Richard could do the same instead of calling that the Mexico sky is falling amd creating sooo much uncertainty of the situation. Instead he grinds his ax and tries to convince the deciples of Lat38 and others to stay away from all of Yachting in Mexico. He openly agrees that not all his Docs are in order. Does that Yacht even have a VIN #? Let's see his answer.

As others have said here and I can attest, these days most countries have upped the detailed requirements for clearing Yachts in and out - be it in Europe or NZ and Australia as mentioned.

#43 Great Red Shark

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 11:58 PM

How in the world does a publication that has operated the largest cruising rally on the West Coast for 20 years seem to be "convincing deciples" and others to stay away from Mexico ?  You know where the Ha-Ha goes,  right ?  

 

Further,  in the story I read he claimed all was well and good with his docs,  just that the captain wasn't aboard when they came through. 

 

You seem quite confused.



#44 FastRobert

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 12:13 AM

How in the world does a publication that has operated the largest cruising rally on the West Coast for 20 years seem to be "convincing deciples" and others to stay away from Mexico ?  You know where the Ha-Ha goes,  right ?  
 
Further,  in the story I read he claimed all was well and good with his docs,  just that the captain wasn't aboard when they came through. 
 
You seem quite confused.


Not feeling confused at all, in fact quite refreshed. Richards claim was that maybe his docs have some typos and transpositions of numbers and no VIN. The comment from him was that if he was further up the coast in TurtleBay he would high tail it to California by Christmas. I live in Mexico and so yes, I know where the ha ha goes.

#45 Great Red Shark

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 02:34 AM

Actually,  on 12/20  -the L 38 website says:

We at Latitude 38, who have undoubtedly been the biggest promoters of nautical tourism to Mexico for the last 30 years, have had our catamaran Profligate put in what's called 'embargo precautorio', or precautionary embargo. It's not that we didn't have our boat documents; we did. It's not that we don't have a Temporary Import Permit; we have the same 20-year permit we've had for 17 years. It's not that we can't prove that we checked into Mexico because we have that document, too.

No, our 'crime' is that we weren't on our boat when AGACE officials, backed by armed Marines, came through the marina checking paperwork. Much of Mexican law is based on Napoleonic Law, where you are considered guilty until you prove yourself innocent. Since we weren't around to show our paperwork, AGACE assumed Profligate was not in compliance with Mexican law (guilty), and thus is now under 'precautionary embargo'.

It gets even more ridiculous. When AGACE officials came around a week later, Doña de Mallorca was aboard, and showed them the documents. Nonetheless, Profligate is still on the embargo list.

 

but how,  in the past has the person/publication ever been anything but a strong advocate of visiting Mexico ?

 

Latest update: http://www.latitude3...date=2013-12-23



#46 familysailor

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 06:46 AM

I am thinking the word "raids" makes it all sound a bit strong handed. I have operated in and out of most Marinas in Mexico and continue to do so. In Banderas Bay( Puerto Vallarta) almost all of the issues stemmed from one Marina in LaCruz which might be a bit lax on keeping up filing of all required docs.

I am aware of several Boats that got listed and simply went thru the procedure to get it in order, and were stroked off the list.

Richard could do the same instead of calling that the Mexico sky is falling amd creating sooo much uncertainty of the situation. Instead he grinds his ax and tries to convince the deciples of Lat38 and others to stay away from all of Yachting in Mexico. He openly agrees that not all his Docs are in order. Does that Yacht even have a VIN #? Let's see his answer.

As others have said here and I can attest, these days most countries have upped the detailed requirements for clearing Yachts in and out - be it in Europe or NZ and Australia as mentioned.

Where does Richard say that?

Not in any of the articles quoted or linked in this thread.

Do you have another source? Or, do you have an issue with Richard?

 

Either way, please provide verifiable facts or quotes.



#47 islandplanet

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 10:01 PM

Spindler has maintained all docs were in order. One fairly reliable source reports Profligate has been out sailing on Banderas Bay within the past few days. 



#48 Veeger

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 11:04 PM

A)  Many people have difficulty with reading comprehension  

 

B )  Many ex-pat cruiser types blow a lot of previously warmed wind because it makes them feel superior and strategically important  

 

C)  Some of what we see in this thread demonstrates both A) and B )



#49 Training Wheels

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 02:27 AM

+1!
Fastrobert has me thinking one of us is living in an alternate dimension or bizarro world.

#50 bljones

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 02:20 AM

http://www.latitude3...13-12-30#Story4

 

 

  The saga is getting a little clearer.   It sounds like the big issue is a combination of absentee owners and absent HINs. I can see the logic to AGACE's sweep- they are a new agency, (created in 2012) without a completely clear mandate of what their role is, but they DO know that their role is to make sure whatever goods come in get taxed and tariff'd and aren't illegal. so, AGACE hits the marinas. What do they do when they discover a foreign-flagged boat with no HIN and no owner around to present papers? What would an American Customs Agent do? Yep. Lock it down until ownership can be sorted out. It ain't fun when new bureaucracies and new laws get created which cause problems to travellers and inconvenience longtime cruisers, but it's not that different from the days after 9/11 when DHS was formed, and suddenly America's borders got a whole lot tighter, and travel a whole lot tougher.



#51 bacarat

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 12:25 AM

Update from Spindler

 

338 MEXICO BOAT IMPOUNDINGS, UPDATE. Mexico has a way of scaring the hell out of nautical tourists. 'Dr. Hersch' reminds us that in 1995, Hacienda (the Mexican IRS) impounded "several hundred" boats, his being one of 12 that was taken into "protective seizure" at Palimira Marina in La Paz. (We remember the seizures, but not the number.) What was their crime? As we recall, it was that the owners of the 12 boats had put their boats in a marina whose owner owed taxes to the Mexican IRS. You and I may not see a connection between the owner of a Mexican marina owing taxes and foreign yachts berthed there being impounded, but Hacienda saw things differently. It was 140 days before the boats were released. Fortunately for Mexico, it happened in 1996 before the advent of internet communications, and it happened in the spring rather than a holiday period. So here it is, nearly 18 years later, and Mexico has made cruising in their country much easier, less expensive, and less scary. At least they did until November 29, when for reasons that are beyond us, the Mexcan IRS, backed by machine gun toting marines, suddenly descended on seven marinas between Ensenada and Acapulco and Cancun and conducted checks of Temporary Import Permits, other boat documents, hull engravings, engine numbers and so forth. In several cases, these checks continued until almost dawn, as if there was some critical urgency. A couple of days later, Hacienda proudly announced that they had found 338 boats out of compliance, and wasn't it wonderful what they had done for all Mexicans. Actually, they had not found 338 boats out of compliance, and what they had done "for all Mexicans" was not good at all. You see, in Mexico, unlike the United States, you are presumed guilty until you prove yourself innocent. So if nobody was on the 338 boats to show agents all that they needed and wanted to see, the boat was assumed to be out of compliance. We were not on Profligate, so our boat was put on the list of "precautionary embargoed" boats. That means we can't legally leave the dock. We keep our boat in the Riviera Nayarit Marina in La Cruz, not far from Puerto Vallarta, and our boat was one of 50 boats to be found out of compliance. The Hacienda folks returned a week or so later, and went around the entire marina with the Harbormaster and the marina lawyer inspecting boats that were out of compliance. Since our boat was actually in compliance, we assumed that we'd immediately be dropped from the list and could go sailing again. No, our boat was still on the list. So yesterday we visited with Raffa, the Harbormaster, and asked him what we needed to show the Hacienda folks to be in compliance. "Nothing," Raffa said, "your boat is good." When we pointed out Hacienda had apparently been unable to find our boat HIN (hull identification number) because they looked in the wrong place, our document number glassed into the hull (because they didn't come aboard), and our engine serial numbers because they didn't know where to find them on the engines (check the engine plate on the top in the center), Raffa told us it didn't make any difference as all Hacienda now cared about was our 20 Year Temporary Import Permit, which he says is as good as it's been for the last 17 years. If our boat is all good with Hacienda, why are we still on the list and why can't we got sailing? "Because," replied Raffa, "Hacienda has between 45 and 120 days to remove your boat name from the list." It's like being falsely imprisoned and the authorities saying they know it, but it will take 45 to 120 days to process the paperwork to free you. "But Hacienda promised they will try to get it done in less than 120 days," Raffa assured us." Isn't that nice of them. Of the 50 boats that ended up on Hacienda's list, 49 of them were found to have the TIPS they needed, while one had one that was expired "and would have to pay a fine." If you think the people who worked and saved for years to cruise Mexico, and through no fault of their own found they can't go sailing over the holidays, or take family and friends sailing who had flown down for the holidays to sail with them, are happy about this, you'd be wrong. Mind you, thanks to the internet, word of this has spread far and wide. At the magazine we've received email from sailors who have advised: 1) They were no longer going to stop in Mexico on the way to the South Pacific; 2) Having finished a long cruise, they were thinking of returning to Mexico, but have now canceled that plan. And 3) After spending 10 years cruising in Mexico, and returning to the States for a few months before returning, have decided never to return to Mexico because of the threat of seizure. Many Americans are scared of Mexico. A lot of the reasons are bogus, but having one's boat impounded for no reason and for an indeterminate amour of time is a legitimate one. This is the worst possible Christmas gift nautical tourism in Mexico could have received. We like to think that what our Harbormaster has told us, that our boat should be freed before too long, is true, but we'll believe our boat is free when it's no longer on the list. We do know that Hacienda is expected to hit additional marinas in January. In response, some boat owners have taken to putting copies of all their documents, as well as directions to the HIN and interior document number, into plastic bags and then hanging them on the lifelines. We think this is a smart idea, along with making sure the marina office, as is required by law, has copies of all your documents. Your boat doesn't have a HIN number? Although Hacienda apparently no longer cares, it would be a good idea to get a Dremel engraver for about $20 and do it. We've seen the list of the 50 boats in the Nayarit Riviera Marina that are impounded and what kept them out of compliance. The most common violation is stuff that is marked "not visible". If Hacienda auditors didn't go on a boat, how could they have possibly seen the document number in the hull or engine serial number? Just looking at the list, it's obvious that the agents know nothing about boats. They listed one boat as a Volvo, which, of course, is an engine brand not a boat brand. Another they listed as a Garmin, which is not a boat, but a brand of electronics. In many cases the most common boat brands and models were found to be out of compliance because the Hacienda agents weren't familiar with even the most common brands and models. In addition, they often confused the brand of a boat, Cal 31, with type of boat "Katamaran". This is a cock up of monumental proportions, and the sooner Mexico finds a way to back out of it without losing face, the better. As for those holier than thou members of the sailing community in marinas who weren't hit by Hacienda, and who accused the owners of boats put on the list as being "irresponsible" and much worse, now wouldn't be a bad time to apologize. Please help this update get the widest possible distribution. P.S. We love Mexico, and above all, the wonderful people of Mexico — which is why this is so damn distressing.

#52 NoStrings

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 04:43 AM

I'm not going to say that it's humorous reading Richard's rants, it just might be awhile before we have to read one of his patronizing lectures about the overarching merits of Mexico compared to the U.S. at east I hope so.

#53 Just a Skosh

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 01:26 PM

Here's the AP story:  http://www.philly.co...c1f6622cb7.html

 

And it turns out my office is working on the problem from the US side.  I'm not involved with it personally, but some other guys in my office are. 



#54 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 02:21 PM

I am not happy that this happened at all. That said, this story might be VERY different if Profligate wasn't one of the boats impounded. Also we can all send a CA 'bite me" to the expats posting about how this is all caused by stupid gringos who just don't understand Mexican culture :P

I'm not going to say that it's humorous reading Richard's rants, it just might be awhile before we have to read one of his patronizing lectures about the overarching merits of Mexico compared to the U.S. at east I hope so.



#55 FastRobert

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 10:58 PM


The AP release only has one source. Guess which one. Not only is it word for word a compliation of Richards petty rants, many paragraphs are a simple copy/paste of all the same old crap and misinformation from Lat38.

When contacted today the author at AP said they had received many replies concerned about the source and truth about their release. They also confirmed they had only used a single source. AP now intends to actually broaden their investigation and verify what might really be going on vs what is being said.

#56 MauiPunter

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:51 PM

jfc



#57 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 04:15 AM

So the AP reporters might go report instead of ctrl-c ctrl-v :rolleyes:



#58 VALIS

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 06:54 PM

The AP release only has one source. Guess which one. Not only is it word for word a compliation of Richards petty rants, many paragraphs are a simple copy/paste of all the same old crap and misinformation from Lat38.

When contacted today the author at AP said they had received many replies concerned about the source and truth about their release. They also confirmed they had only used a single source. AP now intends to actually broaden their investigation and verify what might really be going on vs what is being said.

 

So did you just want to bitch about Spindler and Lat38, or do you have actual information to share? 

 

I've heard several reports that essentially confirm what's been said in Lat38, and the people who have been saying it's no big deal seem to be hundreds or thousands of miles away from the scene.



#59 No.6

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 12:41 PM

Question. From what I gather, the only boats that were seized/impounded were ones that A.) didn't pay the required $70 fee or B.) failed to have a readable HIN, is that correct?

#60 Ishmael

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 03:59 PM

Question. From what I gather, the only boats that were seized/impounded were ones that A.) didn't pay the required $70 fee or B.) failed to have a readable HIN, is that correct?

 

According to what I have read, some of those boats had proper paperwork and their HIN was readable and in the right place. However, the officials doing the inspections were not familiar with boats and in some cases did not know where to look for the HIN or any other identifying marks. Which is why, according to Spindler, some boats were called "Perkins" and "Westerbeke". His own HIN was where it was supposed to be, but the officials had no idea what or where the "aft crossbeam" was.



#61 bacarat

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 05:29 PM

No 6 - it might help if you actually read some of this thread before posting - in most cases, the owners of the boats were simply not on board to present their paperwork.



#62 jtsailjt

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 02:41 PM

Question. From what I gather, the only boats that were seized/impounded were ones that A.) didn't pay the required $70 fee or B.) failed to have a readable HIN, is that correct?

That is incorrect.



#63 bmiller

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 03:51 AM

For what this is worth, I took the time to send a simple message expressing concern to all the addresses in the lattitude 38 article.

This is the response from Ulises Osvaldo Tomas Canseco <ulises.tomas@sat.gob.mx>,

someone in the MX government:

 

 

 

 

I hereby mention you that one part of Mexican Government’s comprehensive management is to provide legal safety to foreigners entering our country, that is why free traffic of merchandise that have been in compliance with legal requirements for its entry and stay is always favored, so that foreign tourism feels comfortable and safe while doing leisure activities offered in Mexican territory.

 

At the same time, Mexican Government through the Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT) is compelled to verify compliance with tax and customs obligations, among them, displaying of documents covering the legal possession, stay, holding and importation of goods entered into national territory.

 

I’m glad to inform you that, during the verification carried out in 2013, legal stay and possession of more than 1,300 vessels entered into Mexico were proved; such vessels had no problem at all and of course were not impounded.

 

As you can see, vessels complying with legal requirements to enter our country have no problema at all. That’s why, in order to guide foreign visitors and offer them as much ease as possible, always in compliance with the law, I inform you that this kind of processes[1] can be done:

 

a)     In Mexican Consulates located in Chicago, Illinois; Austin, Dallas, and Houston, Texas; Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Sacramento, California; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Denver, Colorado; and Phoenix, Arizona, in the United States of America up to 6 months before entry into Mexican territory.

 

B)     Additionally, you can also do the process through internet on the following url:

 

https://www.banjercito.com.mx/registroVehiculos/capturaOpcionl.do

 

It is very important to mention that data provided in your temporary import permit application must allow identification of the vessel covered by such permit.

 

Should you have any doubts related to temporary import permit application processing for your vessel, please reach SAT’s Administración General de Aduanas [Customs General Administration] with the following public servants:

 

 

 

               

#64 Salted

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:32 AM

Are these Regs particularly tough (compared to other countries) or is it just the slap dash in which they've been hastily 'applied'?



#65 NoStrings

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 05:14 AM

IMHO, this could turn out to be one of those times that the Mexicans tell us to suck it. You have Spindler essentially calling out a prideful Latin bureaucracy. How do you really expect that to turn out? Norte gringo vs Mexican bureaucrat doing what theyre supposed to do to protect Mexico's interests...Are there errors? Sure. Could they be solved without someone losing face? Probably. Was such a process followed? Not by Latitude 38.

I don't care if AGACE is doing things correctly, they're doing things the way they choose to do them IN THEIR COUNTRY. Deal with it or dont go. From the outset, I've been amused by Latitude 38s sense of entitlement that Mexico is their playground because they've done more to promote Mexican aquatic tourism than the Mexican CoC.

If I was a Mexican involved in this, I'd be sorely tempted to make an example out of someone, just to make the point that Mexico ain't the 51st state. At the least, I know exactly which boat I'd be releasing at 140 days.

#66 Ishmael

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 05:52 AM

And now, a burst of rationality.

 



#67 Ishmael

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 05:54 AM

And more informative discourse...

 

http://www.eastdulwi...d.php?20,266747



#68 FastRobert

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:00 AM

IMHO, this could turn out to be one of those times that the Mexicans tell us to suck it. You have Spindler essentially calling out a prideful Latin bureaucracy. How do you really expect that to turn out? Norte gringo vs Mexican bureaucrat doing what theyre supposed to do to protect Mexico's interests...Are there errors? Sure. Could they be solved without someone losing face? Probably. Was such a process followed? Not by Latitude 38.
I don't care if AGACE is doing things correctly, they're doing things the way they choose to do them IN THEIR COUNTRY. Deal with it or dont go. From the outset, I've been amused by Latitude 38s sense of entitlement that Mexico is their playground because they've done more to promote Mexican aquatic tourism than the Mexican CoC.
If I was a Mexican involved in this, I'd be sorely tempted to make an example out of someone, just to make the point that Mexico ain't the 51st state. At the least, I know exactly which boat I'd be releasing at 140 days.


Plus it is amusing how Spindlers twist of view changes the fact that Mexico gives you this many days grace period to clear things up, into his idea that they wont immediately answer his demand for action. Even the most low ranking Official wont respond well to Richards 'do you know who I think I am' attitude. ........ And there really is "no release" because Yachts are not chained up anywhere. They simply cannot clear out of Mexico until Documentation is proven in order. Same same with every Country a Yacht will pass through.

#69 Jim in Halifax

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:19 AM

The new avatar is great, ISH...



#70 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 03:39 PM

Mixed feelings here.

Lat38 has consistently dismissed anyone afraid of either crime or Mexican officials. Apparently they were half-right at best :rolleyes:

 

OTOH...

 

Lat38 and almost everoyne else *IS* complying with Mexican law. This is no large-scale attempt to get around the rules. The rules were followed and the boats are impounded ANYWAY. How would you like the USCG to chain your boat to the dock for not having fire extinguishers when you do have them and waving them around in the CG office only produced a "That's nice, but we have no idea how to unchain your boat now so go away".

 

 

IMHO, this could turn out to be one of those times that the Mexicans tell us to suck it. You have Spindler essentially calling out a prideful Latin bureaucracy. How do you really expect that to turn out? Norte gringo vs Mexican bureaucrat doing what theyre supposed to do to protect Mexico's interests...Are there errors? Sure. Could they be solved without someone losing face? Probably. Was such a process followed? Not by Latitude 38.

I don't care if AGACE is doing things correctly, they're doing things the way they choose to do them IN THEIR COUNTRY. Deal with it or dont go. From the outset, I've been amused by Latitude 38s sense of entitlement that Mexico is their playground because they've done more to promote Mexican aquatic tourism than the Mexican CoC.

If I was a Mexican involved in this, I'd be sorely tempted to make an example out of someone, just to make the point that Mexico ain't the 51st state. At the least, I know exactly which boat I'd be releasing at 140 days.



#71 FastRobert

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 03:47 PM


Kent Island, please try to wrap your mind around the Fact that there are NO boats chained up anywhere. You are drinking the koolaid from Spin(ler)s cup.

#72 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:37 PM

No - no one is physically attached to a dock. If you want to slip out of Mexico at night you probably could get away with it. Just make sure you get out ot international waters quickly and NEVER go back to Mexico ;)



#73 bljones

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 09:17 PM


If I was a Mexican involved in this, I'd be sorely tempted to make an example out of someone, just to make the point that Mexico ain't the 51st state. At the least, I know exactly which boat I'd be releasing at 140 days.

Or choose a boat "at random" for a full top to bottom sniffy-dog search.  "Senor Speendler, Eees dees baggy of marijuana how you promote mexican tourism?"



#74 NoStrings

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 09:26 PM

Mixed feelings here.
Lat38 has consistently dismissed anyone afraid of either crime or Mexican officials. Apparently they were half-right at best :rolleyes:
 
OTOH...
 
Lat38 and almost everoyne else *IS* complying with Mexican law. This is no large-scale attempt to get around the rules. The rules were followed and the boats are impounded ANYWAY. How would you like the USCG to chain your boat to the dock for not having fire extinguishers when you do have them and waving them around in the CG office only produced a "That's nice, but we have no idea how to unchain your boat now so go away".
 
 

IMHO, this could turn out to be one of those times that the Mexicans tell us to suck it. You have Spindler essentially calling out a prideful Latin bureaucracy. How do you really expect that to turn out? Norte gringo vs Mexican bureaucrat doing what theyre supposed to do to protect Mexico's interests...Are there errors? Sure. Could they be solved without someone losing face? Probably. Was such a process followed? Not by Latitude 38.
I don't care if AGACE is doing things correctly, they're doing things the way they choose to do them IN THEIR COUNTRY. Deal with it or dont go. From the outset, I've been amused by Latitude 38s sense of entitlement that Mexico is their playground because they've done more to promote Mexican aquatic tourism than the Mexican CoC.
If I was a Mexican involved in this, I'd be sorely tempted to make an example out of someone, just to make the point that Mexico ain't the 51st state. At the least, I know exactly which boat I'd be releasing at 140 days.


Actually, if you get boarded by the USCG and in their inspection they find you out of compliance with a bunch of the safety requirements, they can force you back to the dock, but that really isn't the point. You're traveling in a foreign country, in this case one that has repeatedly demonstrated inconsistency in how laws are interpreted, implemented, and enforced. It's ALWAYS been a moving target, even from port to port. Expecting rational and consistent behavior in Mexico is like expecting pigs to take wing...and I haven't even said a word about the damn graft, largely because it seems to be fairly under control on the west coast.

#75 armido

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 09:42 PM

Mixed feelings here.
Lat38 has consistently dismissed anyone afraid of either crime or Mexican officials. Apparently they were half-right at best :rolleyes:
 
OTOH...
 
Lat38 and almost everoyne else *IS* complying with Mexican law. This is no large-scale attempt to get around the rules. The rules were followed and the boats are impounded ANYWAY. How would you like the USCG to chain your boat to the dock for not having fire extinguishers when you do have them and waving them around in the CG office only produced a "That's nice, but we have no idea how to unchain your boat now so go away".
 
 

IMHO, this could turn out to be one of those times that the Mexicans tell us to suck it. You have Spindler essentially calling out a prideful Latin bureaucracy. How do you really expect that to turn out? Norte gringo vs Mexican bureaucrat doing what theyre supposed to do to protect Mexico's interests...Are there errors? Sure. Could they be solved without someone losing face? Probably. Was such a process followed? Not by Latitude 38.
I don't care if AGACE is doing things correctly, they're doing things the way they choose to do them IN THEIR COUNTRY. Deal with it or dont go. From the outset, I've been amused by Latitude 38s sense of entitlement that Mexico is their playground because they've done more to promote Mexican aquatic tourism than the Mexican CoC.
If I was a Mexican involved in this, I'd be sorely tempted to make an example out of someone, just to make the point that Mexico ain't the 51st state. At the least, I know exactly which boat I'd be releasing at 140 days.


Actually, if you get boarded by the USCG and in their inspection they find you out of compliance with a bunch of the safety requirements, they can force you back to the dock, but that really isn't the point. You're traveling in a foreign country, in this case one that has repeatedly demonstrated inconsistency in how laws are interpreted, implemented, and enforced. It's ALWAYS been a moving target, even from port to port. Expecting rational and consistent behavior in Mexico is like expecting pigs to take wing...and I haven't even said a word about the damn graft, largely because it seems to be fairly under control on the west coast.

Maybe things have changed since 2009 when I was in LaPaz.  But, if you must still submit to the 'health inspection' when clearing out - does the 'inspector' ask for a fee or $ for transportation?  I had a young female Mexican national sailing with me to the Marquesas.  When the 'inspector' asked for what was clearly far in excess of what he needed for transportation, this young lady scolded him - telling him how much she knew would cover his transportation expense and declared he would receive no more.  She even wrote a letter to her government decrying the existence of 'mordida' in Mexico. 

 

Ya know what?  Even though I was told by immigration before this inspection everything else was done, when I returned to immigration I was told there was still one more thing I needed to do.  Report to a guy down on the waterfront to make sure everything I owed had been paid.  Ended up paying an 'anchorage fee', which at that time was something no one else had even heard of.  No doubt mordida, paid in a roundabout fashion to the 'inspector'.



#76 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:26 PM

Actually I bet a lot of skippers right now would rather slip someone a few $20s then have their boats in jail for months. Sadly this reinforces my wariness about any kind of substantial investment or asset in 3rd world countries. You never REALLY own something there.



#77 Veeger

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 05:31 PM

Actually I bet a lot of skippers right now would rather slip someone a few $20s then have their boats in jail for months. Sadly this reinforces my wariness about any kind of substantial investment or asset in 3rd world countries. You never REALLY own something there.

 

It's no different here!  (Try not paying your property taxes or excise tax on your house/boat/car)



#78 Great Red Shark

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 07:06 PM

Very true. Those Latitude 38 stories keep harping on the aspect of Mexican Law whereby you "Are Guilty until proven Innocent" and contrasting that to the glorious noble American Justice System - but in fact if you cross the IRS they have been known to chain the doors shut at their pleasure and you then get to fight for relief. Heck, the Spanish Inquisition has nothing on the IRS.

#79 Great Red Shark

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 10:05 PM

Well I can't muster up that sort of vitriol toward them, I DO find a it more than a little ironic that they have been such cheerleaders for so long and now are doing the righteous indignation bit.

But to be sure, I don't see how anybody makes a good outcome from this seemingly misguided episode.

#80 pogen

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 10:07 PM

screeching like a castrated Hobbit because Mexico isn't run like Switzerland.

LOL, maybe they should just stick to St. Barts. Or focus more on Lat 38 instead of Lat 23.

#81 FastRobert

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 11:00 PM


What's good for Boating in Mexico is when Richard goes to the Caribbean. Maybe they will make an appointment to welcome him back there.

#82 bacarat

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:21 AM

Okay, so Spindler says that in Mexico the weathers great, the sailing fantastic, the people are welcoming and it's all cheap - and you guys rip on him for saying positive shit about Mexico. Could it be that you're a little jealous that he's down there on his big Cat and you're stuck at home on your mom's computer? I'd rather be in Mexico despite the obvious flaws.



#83 NoStrings

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:47 AM

That's not the point. The point is how quickly his tone has turned beecause he's being inconvenienced by a third world bureaucracy. Now he's printing copies of letters from the outraged without comment, when in the past he'd spend half a page castigating anyone and everyone who had the temerity (sorry D) to question exposure to narco violence, dinghy theft, arcane entrance procedures, or mordida.

Finally, I know this isn't my moms iPad, and Pogen and I both take our respective boats on long vacations. You have anything else, Other than the fact that Mexico is rapidly becoming less cheap? They may be third world, but they've pretty much caught up on the whole "marine" supply and demand theory of economics.

#84 bljones

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:58 PM

Okay, so Spindler says that in Mexico the weathers great, the sailing fantastic, the people are welcoming and it's all cheap - and you guys rip on him for saying positive shit about Mexico. Could it be that you're a little jealous that he's down there on his big Cat and you're stuck at home on my mom?  I'd rather be in Mexico because of the obvious flaws.

 

 

    FTFYB.



#85 MR.CLEAN

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 02:30 PM

Okay, so Spindler says that in Mexico the weathers great, the sailing fantastic, the people are welcoming and it's all cheap - and you guys rip on him for saying positive shit about Mexico. Could it be that you're a little jealous that he's down there on his big Cat and you're stuck at home on your mom's computer? I'd rather be in Mexico despite the obvious flaws.

I think Spindler is pissed because things were going so well for so long.   The 'staircase' was slowly happening.  And he had a big part in all of it.

 

Those heavily invested in something who then feel betrayed tend to be pretty loud for a pretty long time.

 

Having navigated those waters (and the wide-ranging requirements of the different Capitanias de Puertos) for a long time between Ensenada and the very tip of the Tehuantepec, the tourist-friendly nature of things for the past decade was always the exception, not the rule.  The fact that anyone is surprised about some bureaucratic stupidity down there is a bit bizarre.  Did they think a little tourism spending and marina-building meant that the governance model was all-of-a-sudden not completely corrupt, inefficient, and fucked up?

 

All that being said, I fired off a 'we're doing an article on this for the world's biggest sailing website' email to a guy I met years ago who is now fairly high up in the Ministerio De Tourismo, and i attached our West Coast and Gulf Coast readership numbers, which are quite high.  Let's see what Tourism's spin is on it.



#86 firstlast

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 08:58 PM

I know it is very inconvenient, but the MX authorities are only assuring that visiting yachts are in compliance with heretofore existing law.  The laws pertaining to foreign yachts may not have been totally or haphazardly enforced. Missing numbers, transposed numbers or incorrect numbers if they do not match HIN, Documented documents.  If any of us were stopped by law enforcement, attempted to collect Social Security payments, sell a car or house, etc and a digit was missing, incorrect, or transposed from the appropriate document there would be a temporary hold on conducting further "business".   

 

In the case of the boat owner whose craft was put on a temporary impounded because he was not on board is akin to the government wanting to question him and determine ownership.  So, of the approx. 1400? boats inspected only 338 were impounded. 

 

Although an individual tax inspector indicated a boat was in compliance, but could not sail, may be correct.  His documents,  have to be forwarded to the main office for processing, are formally in the system.

 

I live in Mexico and sometimes an "expediting fee" is required.  Depends on the individual official, the individual office involved, etc. 

 

Oh, and Marines with assault rifles storming boats?  I suspect there was no "storming" only a presence.  Think  of it; no one has a clue as to what one may encounter in what is potentially a  haven to store and transport drugs.  Because these boarding and the blogs mostly concern sailors, I am sure some power boats were involved in the inspections.



#87 firstlast

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 08:58 PM

I know it is very inconvenient, but the MX authorities are only assuring that visiting yachts are in compliance with heretofore existing law.  The laws pertaining to foreign yachts may not have been totally or haphazardly enforced. Missing numbers, transposed numbers or incorrect numbers if they do not match HIN, Documented documents.  If any of us were stopped by law enforcement, attempted to collect Social Security payments, sell a car or house, etc and a digit was missing, incorrect, or transposed from the appropriate document there would be a temporary hold on conducting further "business".   

 

In the case of the boat owner whose craft was put on a temporary impounded because he was not on board is akin to the government wanting to question him and determine ownership.  So, of the approx. 1400? boats inspected only 338 were impounded. 

 

Although an individual tax inspector indicated a boat was in compliance, but could not sail, may be correct.  His documents,  have to be forwarded to the main office for processing, are formally in the system.

 

I live in Mexico and sometimes an "expediting fee" is required.  Depends on the individual official, the individual office involved, etc. 

 

Oh, and Marines with assault rifles storming boats?  I suspect there was no "storming" only a presence.  Think  of it; no one has a clue as to what one may encounter in what is potentially a  haven to store and transport drugs.  Because these boarding and the blogs mostly concern sailors, I am sure some power boats were involved in the inspections.



#88 firstlast

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 08:59 PM

I know it is very inconvenient, but the MX authorities are only assuring that visiting yachts are in compliance with heretofore existing law.  The laws pertaining to foreign yachts may not have been totally or haphazardly enforced. Missing numbers, transposed numbers or incorrect numbers if they do not match HIN, Documented documents.  If any of us were stopped by law enforcement, attempted to collect Social Security payments, sell a car or house, etc and a digit was missing, incorrect, or transposed from the appropriate document there would be a temporary hold on conducting further "business".   

 

In the case of the boat owner whose craft was put on a temporary impounded because he was not on board is akin to the government wanting to question him and determine ownership.  So, of the approx. 1400? boats inspected only 338 were impounded. 

 

Although an individual tax inspector indicated a boat was in compliance, but could not sail, may be correct.  His documents,  have to be forwarded to the main office for processing, are formally in the system.

 

I live in Mexico and sometimes an "expediting fee" is required.  Depends on the individual official, the individual office involved, etc. 

 

Oh, and Marines with assault rifles storming boats?  I suspect there was no "storming" only a presence.  Think  of it; no one has a clue as to what one may encounter in what is potentially a  haven to store and transport drugs.  Because these boarding and the blogs mostly concern sailors, I am sure some power boats were involved in the inspections.



#89 Training Wheels

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:20 AM

Really? Only like 25% impounded? "Expediting fee?" Are you employed with Agace

#90 Training Wheels

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:33 AM

Wow, and you just joined SA today! You must be with Agace, or at least the mx tourism board!

#91 European Bloke

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 10:09 AM

Reading this from a distance, with no personal interest, it seems that the Mex Authorities have only done one thing wrong.  That is they have not provided a mechanism to easily and quickly get your boat reinspected and released.



#92 NoStrings

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:23 AM

Reading this from a distance, with no personal interest, it seems that the Mex Authorities have only done one thing wrong.  That is they have not provided a mechanism to easily and quickly get your boat reinspected and released.


It's Mexico. It's as f-d up as Florida, only in Spanish.

#93 firstlast

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:37 PM

Sorry to disappoint you.  I am only a common everyday gringo living in MX.  If any of these impounded boats are not released by the administrative process,  the owners will  have to consider going through the MX judicial process.  The issue of an expediting fee will arise, just to get their case on the docket.  I have personally and happily paid an expediting fee for a certain transaction.  It saved me time and money.  Another time, I could have been financially raped, but there was no hint of mordida.  I only indicated what "may/could" happen.  If you are going to spend any time in MX and want to enjoy your stay, you better stop trying to be the righteous Gringo. 

Wow, and you just joined SA today! You must be with Agace, or at least the mx tourism board!



#94 kent_island_sailor

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:46 PM

Bite me.

I will NEVER go near that place if getting a perfectly legal boat with every form filled out impounded is the norm there and then I can sit around for weeks or MONTHS paying "expediting fees" to get my own property back. BTW - how would you like to come to Annapolis and have the DNR decide your totally legal boat is violating the law for some unknown reason and is hereby restricted to the very expensive slip you thought you were renting for a weekend for the next few months? Sound fun?

Sorry to disappoint you.  I am only a common everyday gringo living in MX.  If any of these impounded boats are not released by the administrative process,  the owners will  have to consider going through the MX judicial process.  The issue of an expediting fee will arise, just to get their case on the docket.  I have personally and happily paid an expediting fee for a certain transaction.  It saved me time and money.  Another time, I could have been financially raped, but there was no hint of mordida.  I only indicated what "may/could" happen.  If you are going to spend any time in MX and want to enjoy your stay, you better stop trying to be the righteous Gringo. 

Wow, and you just joined SA today! You must be with Agace, or at least the mx tourism board!



#95 view at the front

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:26 PM

From the Puerto Vallarta Yacht Club Website:   Temporary Import Permit - Fact and Fiction

The Temporary Import Permit Tempest 
(article submitted by Capt. Elizabeth Shanahan)

A number of published news reports about the Temporary Import Permit audit performed at 12 Mexican marinas by the Mexican IRS earlier this month have unnecessarily upset boat owners and disrupted normal business dealings in the marine industry. But the facts don’t support any hysteria.

 “Don’t worry about your boats,” Tere Grossman, spokesperson for the Mexican Marinas Association says. “I expect the liens to be lifted in a couple of weeks.”  The “liens” to which Grossman refers are not liens in the classic sense most U.S. and other non-Mexican boat owners would think of.  In this case, the lien is a document that says that a particular boat’s paperwork is incomplete or missing.  

When the auditors showed up at the marinas, their first stop was the marina office to check for these documents:

–        Boat registration (or documentation papers)
–        Valid Mexican Temporary or Permanent Import Permit
–        Documents from when the boat entered Mexico
–        A copy of the boat owner’s passport

If any of these documents were not there, or illegible, the auditors went to the boats and asked owners (if they were aboard) to see their paperwork. If no one was aboard (or the papers missing), the auditors had no choice but to declare the boat not officially accredited to be in the country.

“They put a lien on about 340 boats all over Mexico, 92 of which were at Marina San Carlos,” Grossman said. “The reasons for the liens were either because at the time of the inspection we didn’t have the TIP (Temporary Import Permit) at the Marina office, as the owners didn’t leave a copy, or the permit had expired, or it just didn’t have one.”

Grossman said even if the boat’s temporary import permit was missing or expired, the law allows for people to get one. In San Carlos, the marina immediately applied for permit on behalf of owners who they couldn’t get in touch with – or whose paperwork was incomplete. “All boats at Marina San Carlos are covered,” Grossman said.

Some reports also led boat owners to believe that boats with these liens were impounded and not able to be used at all. In truth, some boats – even without all the required paperwork – can leave the marina. Some can’t, depending on how the marina has handled the paperwork.

“When the government puts a lien on a boat, someone has to be responsible that it doesn’t leave the Marina, that’s called signing a ‘DEPOSITARIA’.  Some marinas accepted this responsibility, which is not obligatory and some didn’t. At Marina San Carlos, we didn’t sign the ‘DEPOSITARIA.’ Because of this, our clients have been using their boats as usual. The Marinas that did sign the depositaría are responsible if the boat leaves.”

By January 10, some of the liens were already being lifted as paperwork caught up with the boats and boat owners. Numerous marine-related businesses are reporting serious fallout from the misinformation being published in the U.S. in various publications. At Marina Nuevo Vallarta, for example, 8 boats were on the original audit, 7 of which were removed within the 10 day time allowed of the original audit, by contacting owners and obtaining certified copies of documents for both foreign and domestic vessels, including certified copies of pedimentos for boats permanently imported and flagged Mexican.

At Opequimar Shipyard in Puerto Vallarta, 16 boats were on their list and by last Friday the 10th of January they had obtained the necessary paperwork to have them released. The phone calls and e mails in panic from absentee boat owners and potential marina guests have put a damper on this season’s business.

“This has been a real fiasco for the Marina industry in Mexico; I have been working very hard talking to the people in the SAT (Mexican IRS) and in the Tourism Secretariat in Mexico City. There has also been a lot of pressure from the Consulates, and other ministries in Mexico,” Grossman said.

 “I am sure that it will be resolved soon.”

Captain Elizabeth Shanahan is Owner SG Boat Works located in Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico

 



#96 NoStrings

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 12:44 AM

So, is she saying that a certain sailing rag publisher's ongoing petulant snit (provided conveniently fr you in 1500 word increments) was not only unnecessary, but may have worsened the situation?

I have a buck that says his boat is last one cut loose.

#97 Great Red Shark

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 01:29 AM

Today's SPlatitude re-hashes the whole matter - after making note that they are getting bored with their own coverage and then repeats everything they've said before - on an electronic format that anyone can back-read... and then wraps up saying "Everything will probably be fine next year"

Weirdest reporting ever.

#98 NoStrings

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 01:43 AM

I can't imagine anything more insulting to a Mexican doing his job than to piss on his shoes while telling him, his boss, and everyone else within earshot, that he sucks at it.

#99 firstlast

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 02:38 AM

I know what you mean and agree with you.  But, in the good ole USofA, in certain locales, become involved in a major development project and watch the various means of getting that "expediting fee"  Perhaps its a donation to a favorite cause, such as a political party, or how about the health or building inspector for a local restaurant or business.  That is why I say not to be so righteous. Yes there are inconsistencies between regions, and offices of the same MX entities.  I for one know  just the acquiring of a visa in MX between the office I use and immigration office a friend of mine uses in a different town. "My" office is straightforward and by the book. I receive my visa, every year including  the Xmas holidays within three weeks of applying.  My friend is going on 7 weeks from the other office.  But, not all the boats were impounded.  So, I think there was legitimate cause for the impounding.. 

Bite me.

I will NEVER go near that place if getting a perfectly legal boat with every form filled out impounded is the norm there and then I can sit around for weeks or MONTHS paying "expediting fees" to get my own property back. BTW - how would you like to come to Annapolis and have the DNR decide your totally legal boat is violating the law for some unknown reason and is hereby restricted to the very expensive slip you thought you were renting for a weekend for the next few months? Sound fun?

 

Sorry to disappoint you.  I am only a common everyday gringo living in MX.  If any of these impounded boats are not released by the administrative process,  the owners will  have to consider going through the MX judicial process.  The issue of an expediting fee will arise, just to get their case on the docket.  I have personally and happily paid an expediting fee for a certain transaction.  It saved me time and money.  Another time, I could have been financially raped, but there was no hint of mordida.  I only indicated what "may/could" happen.  If you are going to spend any time in MX and want to enjoy your stay, you better stop trying to be the righteous Gringo. 

Wow, and you just joined SA today! You must be with Agace, or at least the mx tourism board!



#100 Training Wheels

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 03:11 AM

^^^^^^ I still think you must be with Agace. By the way, how about some Mexican tits!




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