South of the Border, Problems Remain

U.S. owners report continuing struggles with Mexico’s tax police impounding boats.

A new report in The Sacramento Bee says U.S. boat owners are still wrestling with Mexican authorities as part of the broadest and most complicated seizure of foreign-owned sailboats in Mexican history.

On November 26, Mexican authorities impounded 337 boats — most of them foreign-flagged — at 11 marinas in what the government called an attempt to root out tax cheats and boat thieves. Since then, about half the boats have been released, but a number of American owners remain ensnared in red tape even if they can prove they have paid all required fees and have proper vessel identification.

Boat owners and marina owners alike have been complaining publicly that the government’s actions are hurting Mexico as a cruising destination, one that is especially popular with American retirees visiting from California.

So far, according to The Sacramento Bee, none of the impounded boats has proved stolen. Many of the seizures were of liveaboard cruising boats, as opposed to boats owned by high-net-worth individuals.

Read the full report here: