SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA – October 10th, 2012 – Since a little over a year ago, all purchases made via the Internet must pay import taxes. The measure has not been well received by international couriers, buyers, and even the Citizens Rights Council (Defensoria de los Habitantes), but the Treasury Department (Hacienda) says they continue to stand firmly by their decision.
The Treasury department clarified that the tax exemption granted every 6 months on products that come from outside Costa Rica, will apply only to those products that are sent by a physical person (such as a family member or friend) abroad, and whose value is less than $500, and the products can not be destined for commercial use.
Previously, anybody who purchased products online could receive a tax exemption on products of up to $500 every 6 months, even if purchased from an online retailer such as Amazon.com.
Defensoria de los Habitantes requested Hacienda to restore the tax exemption policy that was suspended as of November 24th, 2011, arguing that the new rules violates the rights of consumers and couriers.
Hacienda, however, appears to have no intention of reversing their decision.
“We stand firm on our position, “ said Gerardo Bolanos, general customs director at Hacienda.