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E-commerce: Tax exemptions in Costa Rica

The fourth version of the Central American Uniform Customs Code (Cauca IV) will take effect from May 1st, 2021. As determined by the Costa Rican authorities, the exemption from payment of tariffs will only apply to shipments of family members.

Currently, the customs legislation contemplates the possibility of exempting goods up to a value of USD 500.00, this is called “small non-commercial shipments”. It is necessary to fullfill several requirements for this benefit to apply, such as being a natural person, that the goods are not for commercial purposes and that this exemption has not been requested in the last 6 months.

Specialists in the matter determine that this exemption benefit, in many cases, could lend itself to an unfair practice. Undoubtedly, experience shows that commerce has found ways to evade the payment of tax, and this could continue to occur with the entry into force of the regulation.

Carlos Gómez Fonseca
García & Bodán
Costa Rica