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January 6, 2022

Costa Rica’s Ministry of Treasury and Ministry of Foreign Trade modify the procedure that free trade zone companies must follow to sell goods to the local market

The modifications amend the procedure for free trade zone companies to sell goods to the local market. The new procedure will facilitate companies, such as those that sell medical devices, in selling their goods to the local market.

Through the Executive Decree No. 43300-H-Comex, Costa Rica’s Ministry of Treasury and Ministry of Foreign Trade amended the Article 81 of the Free Trade Zone Law Regulation to modify the procedure that companies under the free trade zone regime (free trade zone companies) must follow to sell their goods to the local market.

Clearance of goods

Before free trade zone companies can sell goods to the local market, they must use the following process for the clearance of goods:

  1. The importer of the goods must be the free trade zone company that produced the goods or the buyer of the goods and the customs declaration must be transmitted by the importer.

  1. The importer must present the commercial invoice.

  1. The importer must comply with all applicable non-tariff requirements stated in the current legislation and other supporting documentation established by law and regulations.

Sales to the local market

The modifications require the free-trade-zone company to issue the commercial invoice and the corresponding electronic voucher. The invoice must include the description and value of the goods or the service provided. These documents will support the transaction carried out for tax, customs and statistical purposes.

Other provisions

The limitations and conditions for sales to the local market established in the Free Trade Zone Regime Law apply.

The modifications do not affect the tax regime applicable for free trade zone companies that sell goods to the local market. 

These modifications will enter into force once the Executive Decree is published in the Official Gazette, which is expected to happen in the next few days.


For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:

Ernst & Young, S.A., San José, Costa Rica

Ernst & Young LLP (United States), Latin American Business Center, New York

Ernst & Young Abogados, Latin America Business Center, Madrid

Ernst & Young LLP (United Kingdom), Latin American Business Center, London

Ernst & Young Tax Co., Latin American Business Center, Japan & Asia Pacific


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