Clearing into Mexico from El Salvador

Note: If you want to apply for your Temporary Import Permit (TIP) prior to your arrival in Mexico you must have either a US or Canadian address. If you don’t, then you will have to apply for your TIP at your first port of arrival in Mexico. Most Customs officials are not aware of these limitations and ignorant of how to deal with TIP applications on arrival. Cruisers have reported having significant problems when clearing in.

Published 10 years ago, updated 4 years ago

Jan Klintegaard reports on his recent experience.

Our experience in Mexico.

We cleared out of El Salvador to Puerto Angel in Mexico. The Port Captain here was very friendly but told us, that we either should go back to Huatulco, or continue to Puerto Escondito for clearance. Puerto Angel is NOT a Port of Entry, so he issued a Zarpe to Puerto Escondito for free and we were allowed to stay for two days without any paperwork.

At arrival in Puerto Escondito, the Port Captain called Custom and Immigration to come from the airport. They had a long discussion and we were told, that Puerto Escondito is NOT a Port of Entrance either. They asked us, friendly, to pass the information to the cruising community.

Also, they were very upset about we have been in Mexico for several days without proper clearance because of the Port Captain in Puerto Angel. But they cleared us for this time only and it took almost the whole day.

First, they inspected the boat very fast, then I went to the bank, waiting in line for almost three hours to pay 20 USD per person in Visa fee, then on the Internet, to pay 50 USD in Import Permit for the Vessel. The original Permit will be sent by mail to your home address (only addresses in USA or Canada is possible) and must be returned to the boat as soon as possible. (this can be done ahead of arrival to Mexico, so you have the Permit in hand when arriving). After that, we went to the Airport, where the last paperwork was done by Immigration and Custom. The receipt from the internet was OK to issue a Temporary Import Permit for the Vessel, but they pointed out, that the Original MUST be on board when clearing out of the Country.

Also, an import permit for our dog was issued for free at the Quarantine office.

After Clearance, we will just have to call any Port Captain on VHF ch. 16 to report our arrival and on departure, he will issue a Zarpe for the next port for free.

Jan Klintegaard

s/y Anaconda

Editor’s Note:

Cruisers have reported that applying for a TIP at the following West Coast ports is pretty straightforward: Huatulco, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, La Paz & Ensenada.

Related content

Puerto Angel

Huatulco (La Crucecita)

Puerto Escondido Baja


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