Costa Rica: Guidelines for goods imported under tariff preferences

Costa Rica: Goods imported under tariff preferences

A decree (42799-H)—known in English as "Guidelines for the application of the provisions of international trade treaties and agreements in force in Costa Rica, relative to the import of merchandise under the protection of tariff preferences”—provides the technical and administrative provisions intended to facilitate the application of international trade and tariff agreements.


Under the decree, it is now possible to submit copies of certificates of origin when allowed by the applicable international trade agreement. The future development of mechanisms related to electronic certification of origin has been confirmed.

The decree clarifies that the national customs system (Sistema Nacional de Aduanas—SNA) will not require authentication of commercial invoices, certificates or certifications of origin. Also, in certain situations, the SNA will not deny the preferential tariff treatment of goods and that when the ownership of the merchandise has been transferred by an endorsement or an assignment of rights, the preferential tariff treatment will be applied on behalf of the holder of the shipment, even if the certificate of origin indicates the name of another importer (other than the current holder).

The decree also:

  • Includes considerations for when there are differences in the tariff classification due to amendments to the harmonized tariff schedule
  • Indicates the time period and terms for correcting certificates of origin
  • Determines which mechanisms are to be used to request a refund of customs duties
  • Sets forth the parameters that customs control documents must satisfy

Read a February 2021 report (Spanish and English) [PDF 164 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Costa Rica

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