Question: “The SAGARPA website is not activated. What is a process for US citizen to buy US flagged vessel, which is already in MX?”
Answer: We reached out to columnist and maritime attorney David Weil and here is what he had to say.
“If at all possible, the boat should be transported back to the U.S. prior to change of ownership. The problem concerns the Mexican Temporary Import Permit (TIP)…All vessels larger than 4.5 M are required to have a TIP regardless of the intended length of stay. Mexican Customs will consider a vessel without a TIP to be illegally in the country and subject to fines and/or confiscation. It is illegal to sell a Temporarily Imported Vessel in Mexico or Mexican Territorial waters. The proper procedure calls for the seller of the boat to cancel his or her TIP and transfer title outside of Mexico. The new owner would then apply for a new TIP in the name of the new owner prior to bringing the boat back into Mexico…Some of these procedures may be avoided with “help” from local authorities but this is where things could get dicey.”
The Maritime Administration changed its approval process for the Request for Transfer of Ownership, Registry, and Flag or Charter, Lease, or Mortgage of U.S. documented vessels (MA-29) to include a notification to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The application process goes:
- Determine the vessel’s gross tonnage and prepare a Cashier’s Check, Certified Check, Company Check or Money Order Payable to “Maritime Administration”
- Complete the Vessel Transfer Application.
- Determine the Presence of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) at Regulated Concentrations on Vessels (Ships) to be Reflagged. Consult EPA’s “Technical Guidance for Determining the Presence of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) at Regulated Concentrations on Vessels (Ships) to be Reflagged” to make a well-informed self-certification.
- Mail completed application(s), supporting documentation, and payments to:
- Department of Transportation
Maritime Administration MAR-630
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
W25-314, West Building
Washington, DC 20590
- Publish a notice of the application request to the Federal Register.