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Costa Rica: Free trade zone, changes to regulation

Costa Rica: Free trade zone, changes to regulation

An executive decree—no. 41346-COMEX-H—amends the regulation under the free trade zone law.


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The executive decree (published in the official gazette on 23 October 2018) is intended, in part, to reflect the recommendations of Action 5 of the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project (“countering harmful tax practices”). Accordingly, the following changes to the existing free trade zone rules include:

  • New definitions of certain terms including “authorized activity” and “qualified employees”
  • Investment level standards to allow access to the free trade zone system
  • Compliance obligations (for instance, compliance with social security requirements)
  • Requirements allowing the Costa Rican foreign trade authority (PROCOMER) access to a company’s facilities and to supporting documentation records, in particular in relation to the authorized activity, qualified employees, and operating expenses


Read an October 2018 report (Spanish and English) [PDF 79 KB] prepared by the KPMG member firm in Costa Rica

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