Tips on the TIP, Mexico’s Golden Ticket

It’s last year, the middle of September. Rejoice should be anchored out in the lee of Avalon, our first visit to picturesque Catalina, the island off the coast of Los Angeles that was to be one of the highlights of our first voyage down the coast to Mexico. Instead, she’s in Marina del Rey with Dahlia, and I’m in a small office park in Sacramento. This sounds sad, but instead I’m elated, holding a piece of paper with the same transcendent awe with which Charlie held the last Golden Ticket to visit Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. I have been issued a Permiso de Importación Temporal de Ebarcación, better known as a Temporary Importation Permit, or TIP, the document that will allow Rejoice to operate legally in Mexican waters for the next ten years. Less than a week previously, a grave Banjercito official in Los Angeles had told me this moment might never happen.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Excellent article! I’m sure the information will benefit many frustrated cruisers. We were fortunate and lucky that our boat had spent most of its 30 years in Alaska so no TIP cancellation issues for us BUT I will add that I did attempt to secure our TIP at the San Bernardino, CA consulate before we left in December 2017. They didn’t have a clue how to help me unless I needed it for an automobile. Ultimately, I gave up and hired Discover Baja to procure it for me which worked great.

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James, This is a huge service for those thinking about going to Mexico. The only other tip (pun intended ) is unless you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you will be returning to Mexican waters with the same boat within the 10 year window, you should strongly consider cancelling it as you leave the country. To get a new one is easy and only $50. To try to get a new one after yours has expired is well…enough said!

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Roberta, if it helps just one cruiser not have to go through what we did (or worse), it’s well worth the time! Thank you for noting that San Berdoo couldn’t help you with vessels — it was on an official Mexico SAGARPA list of US Mexican Consulates that can handle boats. I have removed it from the post until we hear a success story from someone else, and readers should beware that other consulates listed there may not be able to issue your TIP. I can only personally confirm that the Banjercitos I visited in Sacramento and Los Angeles were able to issue TIPs for vessels. Dear reader, if you have had (or not had) success getting a TIP issued at a consulate that hasn’t been mentioned in the comments yet, please chime in!

Allison, first of all thank you so much for your level headed calm when I called you after my Los Angeles Banjercito visit (I talked to Allison before I sat down for my #19 Pastrami on Rye). We weren’t entirely doomed after all! Thanks also for the TIP tip – I updated the original post to more heartily encourage cruisers departing Mexico to save themselves and future owners a world of pain by closing out their TIP when they leave.


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