sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Yachts impounded in Mexico - the agony goes on...
Yachts impounded in Mexico - the agony goes on...

'Coral Marina, photo by Adam Stuckey'    .

American cruising sailor Tom Spencer has told his personal story of the arrival of tax investigators into the Coral Marina in Mexico last November. He said he didn’t think much about it , but noticed that inspectors were checking all the boats in the marina. He didn't dream that was was taking place would have such far-reaching and damaging repercussions.

What was taking place would soon confound all visiting cruising sailors, some of whom had been visiting Mexico in their boats for many years. Mexican tax authorities impounded more than 300 foreign-owned yachts, and some of them remain tied up by under the embargo today, infuriating owners.


Richard Spindler, publisher of Latitude 38, a monthly magazine for sailors, also had his yacht impounded and led a publicity campaign aimed at freeing the boats.

'I had one gentleman come by the boat and ask to see some papers,' Spencer told Kansas Evening News. 'I said, ‘What do you want to see?’ He said, ‘Where’s the serial number of the boat?’ I said I didn’t know, just look around.'

The problem, Spindler said, is that the Mexican government agents had little knowledge of sailing boats, unaware that those built before 1972 were not required to have hull identification numbers. Even after that date, vessels built in Europe or Asia often don’t have such a number.

The impounding of 337 mostly foreign-owned sailboats and yachts at 11 marinas around Mexico on Nov. 26 has affected not only hundreds of American and Canadian boat owners but also marinas, crews, dry docks and, more broadly, Mexico’s reputation as a safe and reliable destination for boat lovers.

Nearly half the vessels have subsequently been freed. But at least 190 remain impounded, tied up in red tape and confusion in raids that initially seemed aimed at rooting out tax cheats and boat thieves.

Like many retired American sailors cruising Mexican waters, Spencer had difficulty communicating in Spanish with the federal tax agent the morning he came asking questions. But some things needed no explanation. Mexican marines posted at each wharf 'had their big rifles out,' and tax agents seemed to mean business.

Spencer started to worry. He contacted the person who surveyed his cutter rig when he bought it back in 1999, asking where he could find the Hull Identification Number, equivalent to a VIN on an automobile.

'He said it’s probably on the starboard side of the hull,' Spencer recalled.

It was too late. Spencer’s 48-foot boat, Symphony, like 336 other mostly foreign-owned sailboats and yachts, was legally impounded, unable to leave harbor.

'There were four dinghies that they also impounded,' said Arnulfo Espinoza Rodriguez, the dock master at the Coral Marina. They were the exception. Most of the seized boats were large vessels, a few worth millions of dollars, but 'the vast majority are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.'

Many boat owners were not at the marina that day. Since the marina is on the Pacific coast of the Baja Peninsula, only 70 miles south of the U.S. border, owners often leave vessels docked here while living elsewhere.

Moreover, boat owners are not required to pay tax or duty if they have a 10-year Temporary Import Permit, which costs around $50.

Marina owners naturally grew incensed at the harm the seizures were doing to their industry, and the lengthy delays in releasing impounded boats. Some boat owners are known to have left in the dead of night, not willing to stay around at Mexico's pleasure.

Many boat owners won't speak out about the problem, fearing reprisals. 'Until the boat is safe and in my hands I will not breathe a sigh of relief nor will I speak to anybody about my experience,' one Canadian owner said recently.


by Sail-World Cruising round-up


  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=119936

2:30 AM Sat 8 Mar 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World









2014 Detroit Cup - Sam Gilmour leads by Dobbs Davis, Detroit, Michigan




Audi Melges 20 U.S. Nationals - Oleander takes early lead by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,










Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Riding the AC45 - VIDEO by Crosbie Lorimer, Hamilton Island










America's Cup: Five Challengers sign-on for 35th Match by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,


Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad talks Time and Money (Part II) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,


















AWT Quatro Desert Showdown at Punta San Carlos by American Windsurfing Tour,














MS Cup - Three days until the start
America's Cup: Rod Davis - Time for a change after ten years with team *Feature
ISAF seeking hosting bids for Nations Cup
Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds - Luvisetto and Alexadr Boite victorious +Video
IFDS World Championships - Action shots by Tim Wilkes
Maxi yacht rendezvous this September in Sardinia
World Yacht Racing Forum 2014: 'Growing the business of Yacht Racing'
Clipper Race: 2015-16 edition of world's longest ocean race 70% full
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland - Swish smash 5th World Record
Leaderboards take shape at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games 2014
IFDS Worlds - Hot competition on first day of racing
Challenging Conditions - CORK OCR
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 for the US Sailing Team
2014 Melges 20 World Championship - Countdown begins
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 3
America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team *Feature
Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3
Roble and Wilson still number one match racers in the U.S.
2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 images by Jude Robertson
Volvo Ocean Race: Forget the f-word - Team SCA profiled   
52 Super Series - Fleet grows, 2015 dates revealed   
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Teams from 9 nations on the podium   
IFDS Worlds - Former president presented with ISAF awards medal   
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Improvements aplenty in Byte CII fleets   
America's Cup: New Zealand loses top coach to Artemis Racing   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Day 9 - Swish on record pace   
2014 CORK Olympic Classes Regatta - Day 3   
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 2   
2014 IFDS World Championship: Opening Ceremony images   
Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery   
Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships   
Hamilton Island Race Week: Everywhere there's smiley people   
IFDS World Championships - US Paralympic hopefuls ready for racing   
Sopot Match Race - Poland's Tour debut deemed a triumph   
Vineyard Race celebrates 80th running of the East Coast classic   
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games: Young sailors begin racing on Lake Jinniu   
AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Victory for Morgan Noireaux   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Day 8: Test of endurance   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT