Planning an International Boating Trip? Read This Before Crossing the Border

It’s every boater’s dream to sail off into the sunset and explore the world around on their vessel. While traveling national waters is straightforward, there are some additional considerations to keep in mind in when traveling into foreign waters such as Mexico. In this article, we’re going to give you some pertinent tips to bear in mind so that your boating excursion isn’t riddled with inconveniences and surprises. Before setting out on an adventure, be sure to protect your belongings and yourself with a comprehensive Boat Insurance policy, crafted specifically to address your unique set of exposures.

The basics.

“One of the biggest considerations for international cruising is getting all your papers in order well before you leave home port,” says David Kennedy, Boat US Government Affairs manager. “U.S. Customs and Border Patrol [CBP] regulates all foreign-flagged or U.S. cross-border vessel movement, including private recreational vessels.” CBP requires certain “paperwork” — whether printed or electronic — and that includes documents for your vessel, your passengers or crew, and you as the master. It’s imperative for skippers to check for themselves the requirements for reaching their chosen destinations and returning. That includes knowing the latest rules and regulations, he explains to Boat U.S.

As these international considerations can change at a moment’s notice, it’s important that all boaters are prepared.

Sailing to Mexico.

To start, each passenger on the boat needs to have their own valid passport. In addition, the following items are necessary before entering the country’s foreign waters:

  • Proof of ownership of the boat
  • Temporary Import Permit (TIP)
  • Hull identification number
  • Permit decal visible on the boat
  • FMM visitor card
  • International Clear In document for each person on board. There is a $15 fee that needs to be paid for each person up front via credit card on the government website, Banjercito.
  • Fishing license if there is fishing gear onboard.
  • Insurance- general liability, automobile (if you’re planning on towing it anywhere in Mexico), and hull coverage. Mexican law requires that the insurance provider is a local one, or that works with specific Mexpro providers. Be sure to inquire about stay limits and how much coverage you need for your specific boat before entering Mexico.
  • Never bring firearms into the country- it’s illegal! This goes for ammunition, as well.

Before setting out, be sure to check government websites for a complete list of required documents and insurance policies to carry. Note that this list of items is specific to Mexico, and traveling to other international waters will have varying requirements.

About Mariners Insurance

Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts, and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (800) 992-4443 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.

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