Travelers entering Costa Rica only with their baggage are no longer required to complete the goods declaration for the Customs General Directorate, as requested since the 1970s.

The aforementioned declaration was obligatory for all passengers, although they did not enter products beyond their baggage, since June 28th, their obligation was modified through circular DGA-CIR-015-2019 issued by the Customs General Directorate.

This measure is maintained for those who bring to Costa Rica products, plants, agro-industrial goods, and others whose inspection is mandatory, explained that address of the Ministry of Finance in a statement, this Tuesday, July 9th.

The sworn traveler’s statement is made when entering the country through ports, airports, or land border posts, and in it must be consigned goods other than baggage, cash or securities, and those situations that could affect human health, animal or vegetable, the entity recalled in the statement.

Document checking at a migration post

Juan Carlos Gómez, general director of Customs, argued that the measure aims to expedite the transit of passengers entering through the different posts in the country. “The elimination of this declaration was made, mainly thinking of Costa Rican travelers and tourists who usually have to make long lines to present their declaration to customs, even when they do not bring any additional merchandise with them to their baggage”, he emphasized.

The other objective, added Gomez, is for the customs authorities to focus on the surveillance and inspection of travelers who are obliged to carry out the declaration of goods or who are suspected of transporting goods or money that were not declared.

According to the circular where the measure is modified, this obligation is only maintained for those who enter with merchandise that is not considered as baggage, according to the exhaustive list established in article 365 of the Regulations of the General Customs Law.

Those who have an obligation to make the declaration, and fail to comply with the requirement, are exposed to tax and customs sanctions according to the regulations in force in the country, Customs Office warned. The entity also clarified that those who need the tax exemption established for a certain volume of merchandise must present the affidavit completely filled and with all the requirements.

It should be remembered that, according to a national newspaper, the Deputy Minister of Finance Nogui Acosta said a few days ago, after the approval of the Law on Strengthening Public Finances, the possibility remains that travelers can exonerate items worth up to US$ 500, provided that they are not prohibited merchandise, nor of a commercial nature (personal or family only).

To apply for this exemption, it is a requirement that the recipient has not used the benefit during the last 6 months.