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March 29, 2023

Costa Rican Executive Branch publishes regulations on law to promote investment competitiveness outside the Greater Metropolitan Area

  • A series of six Executive Decrees outline regulations for a Costa Rican law promoting investment competitiveness outside of the Greater Metropolitan Area.

  • The new regulations will be of interest to companies that are looking to make new investments and wants to apply for the benefits of the FTZ regime outside of the GAM.

The Costa Rican Executive Branch recently published in the Official Gazette six new Executive Decrees intended to regulate provisions of a law aimed at promoting investment competitiveness outside of the Greater Metropolitan Area (in Spanish, Gran Área Metropolitana or GAM) (the Law). Specifically, the Official Gazette published Executives Decree Nos. 43934-COMEX-H and 43940-MP-COMEX-H-MAG-MEIC-MICITT-MGP-MINAE-JP-S-MIVAH on 15 March 2023 and Executive Decree Nos. 43905-COMEX, 43935-S-COMEX, 43936-MP-COMEX-MTSS-MEP-MDHIS-S and 43937-MP-H-COMEX on 16 March 2023.

The Law promotes investment in the regions outside of the GAM to increase employment and productivity in these regions.

The Law extends the benefits of the Free Zone Regime (FTZ) contained in Law No. 7210 to companies that make new investments in the country outside the GAM, as long as the projects are new and the companies making the investments are at least partially exempt from income tax.

In part, the newly published regulations: (1) define additional activities to be performed under the FTZ (i.e., human health services centers and sustainable adventure parks); (2) outline the parameters of new initial investments for companies located outside the GAM; (3) establish deadlines for completing the initial investment amount; (4) explain the application requirements and procedure for entering the FTZ; and (5) detail payments to the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER).

Further, the regulations contain guidelines applicable to companies classified by Law No. 10.234 as human health centers that are installed outside the GAM under the protection of the FTZ and general provisions on the application of incentives to effectively promote investments outside the GAM.

Companies that are considering making new investments in the country should review the requirements and specifications of this provisions to determine if they qualify for the benefits of the FTZ regime outside of the GAM.


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 LLP (United Kingdom), Latin American Business Center, London

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


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