Monday, July 29, 2013

Shipping a US vehicle from Puerto Morelos to Miami

 As you may know from a previous post, I am no longer able to have a US vehicle with my new Permanent Resident visa status. So, I needed to ship my Yukon back to the U.S.

I can happily say, "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED". I wanted to share details of how I did it for those that might be curious/find it helpful. So, here's the low down...

I had a Yukon XL, with Tennessee plates, that I had driven across the border some time ago (with my FM3) and had a Temporary Import Permit which allowed me to keep the vehicle in the country as long as my visa status stayed current.

In order to ship your vehicle to the US, there are 2 entities which you will need to deal with to organize your shipment. The first is the shipping company. The second is a US Customs Broker. 

When I received my Permanent Residency status, I could no longer have the vehicle in Mexico. I contacted Hyde Shipping. Hyde has a weekly container ship that leaves from the port in Puerto Morelos. They put me in contact with their office in Cancun: (998) 884-3876. Hyde Shipping can ship US as well as Mexican-plated vehicles. However, the requirements are different for Mexican vehicles, so the same process/fees will not apply.

First, they requested the dimensions and weight of my vehicle. I was able to look up these specs online. With that information, they could quote me a price. My vehicle, which is the equivalent of a GMC Suburban, was $1305.00 USD to ship through them.

Once I approved the quote, the Cancun office requested several documents, which I was able to provide through email. They had me complete an application, the vehicle title, and copy of my passport.

It was at this point that I contacted my US Customs Broker to get their paperwork rolling. I worked with Lourdes from the offices of Paul M. Voight, Customs Broker: 954-768-0944. She requested the same documentation that the shipping company required, a free Kelley Blue Book Report stating the value of my vehicle, along with the documentation that would be given to me from the shipping company and aduana which was given to me prior to the vehicle's shipment.

I was instructed to drop the vehicle no later than Wednesday of that week at the port in Puerto Morelos. The vehicle was to be clean, empty (no personal items), with less than 1/4 tank of gasoline. I spent about 3 hours at the port where the vehicle was inspected, admitted, and then I drove it (barely) into a container for shipping. They gave me several documents which would be required to receive the vehicle on the stateside. Most importantly, they removed the Temporary Import Sticker from the window.

After leaving the port, the next step in the process was to cancel my Temporary Import Permit that I had for the vehicle with the customs (aduana) office. After leaving the port, I drove to the aduana office, located in Puerto Juarez, north of Cancun -- near the ferry docks to Isla Mujeres. Passing the ferry docks, continue north. The aduana kiosk is located inside the Captain of the Port building. They required my Title, IDs, Imporation Permit, and detached sticker.

Now --- here's the sticky part --- Technically, since I already had Permanent Residency, my vehicle was already illegal. I should have been required to request a letter from Aduana in Mexico City granting the illegal vehicle safe return. For some reason -- and much to my joy --- the aduana agent did not request this letter, and I surely wasn't going to bring it to her attention. Honestly, I was expecting her to decline the cancellation and require the letter -- which really would have thrown a wrench in the plans.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Have your vehicle shipped PRIOR to receiving your Permanent Residency. If not, don't be surprised if you are required to do this extra step.

The lovely lady at aduana handed me a certificate which confirmed the cancellation of my Importation Permit. Total time spent in her office was less than 1/2 hour.

I then scanned/emailed this cancellation to Hyde Shipping. In return, they sent the bill of lading and other docs which I needed to provide to the US Customs Broker. The fee for the customs broker, plus the charges on the US side totaled $695 USD.

The ship headed to Port Everglades in Miami, Florida the following Monday. It arrived in Miami on Wednesday. In the meantime, I flew to Miami to receive my vehicle on a horrible, but cheap/direct flight on Spirit Airlines. Thursday was the 4th of July, so my vehicle was a bit delayed in being released from Customs on the US side. The vehicle was released from US Customs and available for pick up on Tuesday morning of the following week. (Had it not been for the holiday, it may have been ready on Friday afternoon or Monday.)

Happy Shipping!!

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Amber Pierce-Schulz is the Broker/Owner of Mayan Riviera Properties, specializing in Puerto Morelos Real Estate and Puerto Morelos Vacation Rentals. We are members of AMPI and Federally Certified Realtors.