Mexico has published new immigration rules, some of which apply to boats carrying passengers for hire, some of which may apply to regular old cruising boats and many of which would appear to be impractical, if not impossible, to implement.
This is not uncommon. In the past, workable modifications to proposed and new rules have been made with the help of the Mexican Marina Owners Association. In addition, some unworkable new rules have simply been ignored by officials on site.
Among other things, under the new rules Mexico apparently wants boats arriving from foreign countries to alert officials in their proposed ports of entry 24 hours in advance by electronic means. How mariners are to do this and who they are supposed to contact is not specified. Because of the confusing wording of the rules, this may only apply to vessels carrying passengers for hire. In addition, the new rules say that crewmembers won’t be allowed off boats until the boats have been inspected by Immigration. This has actually been the letter of the law forever, but never enforced.
The new immigration rules state that manuals for implementing the procedures have yet to be written or distributed to officials, which makes enforcement unlikely. Indeed, we’re told there haven’t been any changes from last year. One would also expect that Mexico would make some attempt to inform those affected in advance of implementation.
Stuff like this has happened before, and it’s all turned out fine. Stay tuned, but keep smiling.
Courtesy of www.latitude38.com