Vessels Checking In and Out of La Paz

Boater's Guide

Click here for the Mexico tourism boater's guide. The guide is not an official government document but may help you with the process of entering Mexico by sea. Some steps may be a little different in different areas.

Domestic Check In and Out

You are required to contact the Port Captain's office when arriving and departing the port area of La Paz, including any movement within the bay.

1. Vessels in the Anchorage

If you are arriving or departing from the anchorage hail the Port Captain on VHF Channel 16. He will ask you to switch to channel 14 and then ask such things as boat name, persons on board, and ask where you are going to or coming from. The Port Captain does not speak English. In addition to the Port Captain's office you will also have to pay the fee to API for entering or exiting the port.

2. Vessels in a Marina

Notify the marina you are in that you are entering or exiting the port and they will notify the Port Captain for you. They also take care of all API fees. Check with your marina regarding your responsibility.

International Check In

If La Paz is your first port of entry in Mexico you must follow these steps:

  1. Check in with Immigration. They will issue tourist visas for captain and crew, stamp your crew list, and give notice to the Department of Agriculture for the vessel inspection. This inspection may or may not take place.
  2. Next pay your port entry fee to API. When at the API office specify that you want a Certificate stating that no fees are owing to API (not just a receipt). The Port Captain may insist on this Certificate.
  3. Then go to the Port Captain’s office to obtain clearance and pay the port fee. Be sure to bring your crew lists and papers showing compliance from Immigration and API.
  4. All vessels are required to obtain a Temporary Import Permit no matter how long they intend to stay in the country. This can be done on line or by going to the office in Pichilingue.

International Check Out

If you depart from La Paz to an international destination you will need to obtain clearance from the Port Captain. Download, print and complete the following forms:

  1. Declaration of Health
  2. Crew List (print 3 originals)
  3. Port Check Out Form
  4. Zarpe

Next visit the following agencies in any order with the Port Captain last:

1. API

API is located on the Malecón at the municipal pier. API fees include entering and exiting the port as well as anchoring fees. See our API page for a description of fees charged. Fees are paid by the honor system but bring marina receipts just in case. When at the API office specify that you want a Certificate stating that no fees are owing to API (not just a receipt). The Port Captain will insist on this Certificate.

2. Health Department

Take a filled out Declaration of Health form to Dr. Alejo Mendez's office on Revolución #822 between Salvatierra and Torre Iglesias (approximately 2 blocks south of the Port Captain's office). A security guard will direct you to Dr. Mendez's office, keep asking if you get lost. Dr. Mendez is available  Monday to Friday  from 9 am to 2 pm. This is free of charge. It is possible to obtain this clearance the day before you check out with the Port Captain.

3. Immigration

The immigration office is on the 5th of February between Forjadores & Durango. Office hours are Monday through Friday 9 am to 1 pm. You will need your passport & tourist visa and the passports and visas for all crew members exiting the country with you. You will also need three original filled in crew lists. Print three copies of the blank Crew List form and fill out the three originals. They might also require the vessel registration or documentation and the vessel's Temporary Import Permit (TIP). You may be asked for photocopies of your passports, boat documents and TIP for their records. There are no fees at the Immigration office.

4. Port Captain

The Port Captain's office is located on Revolución #1935 between Guerrero & Militar. Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 2:30 pm. Bring the completed Port Check Out Form and Zarpe. You will be charged a check out fee depending on the weight of your boat. In 2016 the fee was $256 pesos for a vessel 3 to 20 tons and $385 pesos for 21 to 100 tons. If you check out after hours the fee is $770 pesos regardless of vessel tonnage. The Port Captain does not accept cash. You may pay by credit card or pay at a bank with the form provided and return to the Port Captain with proof of payment.

The Port Captain will need the following:

  1. Certificate from API stating no fees are owed
  2. Declaration of Health signed by the Health Department
  3. Passports of Captain and Crew
  4. Three original stamped Crew Lists from Immigration
  5. Current Vessel Documentation or Registration
  6. A fully completed Port Check Out Form and Zarpe
  7. Payment of the Port Captain check out fee

Once You Have Received Your Final Check Out From the Port Captain
You Have 48 Hours to Leave the Country

Thanks to Norma of Mana Kai and Cindy of La Paz Yachts for this valuable "International Check Out" information.

Please be aware that crew flying into Mexico via Tijuana and walking across the CMX bridge do need to stop into immigration to obtain their tourist visa.

If you find a procedure that is incorrect or has changed since this printing please email the club.