Government Signs Amendment to Regulations of the Law on Marinas and Tourist Berths to Benefit Coastal Zones

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    The President of the Republic, Rodrigo Chaves Robles, signed this Wednesday at the Presidential House the amendment to the Regulations of Law 7744 on the Concession and Operation of Marinas and Tourist Berths. “We are eliminating bottlenecks to develop marinas and tourist berths more quickly, because the generation of employment on the coasts of Costa Rica cannot wait any longer”, said President Chaves.

    From now on, the requirements are clarified and deadlines are established in all the procedures carried out by investors and developers before the Inter-institutional Commission of Marinas and Tourist Docks (CIMAT), attached to the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism. Thus, for example, when marina or berth projects are located in adjoining areas of private properties registered in favor of individuals, the planning instrument will be the preliminary project of the marina or berth. Prior to the reform, valuable projects for the country were frustrated because the planning instrument that was required was a coastal regulatory plan, although that figure did not apply in these specific cases.

    From now on, CIMAT will be able to resolve the technical feasibility for marinas and berths without SETENA having resolved the environmental feasibility, clarifying that the interested party cannot request the concession without SETENA having granted the license. This speeds up the procedures in CIMAT, which incurred in non-compliance with response deadlines while waiting for SETENA’s resolution.

    Also, article 54 of the Regulations incorporates the process of plans in the APC platform of the Federated College of Engineers and Architects, which digitizes this process and saves costs for those interested. The reform also regulates a simplified process so that the berths built before 2006 -which do not have the permits of Law 7744-, are brought into order, thus favoring many communities that need these facilities for their connectivity and for a better quality of life.

    Additionally, the reform clarifies the conditions under which a foreign vessel -that uses the services of a marina or tourist berth in Costa Rica- can remain in the country for 2 years, extendable, in which it can also apply for a temporary customs import regime. These 2 conditions that the last reform to the Law of Marinas and Tourist Berths guaranteed are already in the Regulations to the Law and make Costa Rica a very attractive place for boats to visit and to take advantage of work and income opportunities of tourists from nautical tourism.

    William Rodríguez, Minister of Tourism, stated that this reform integrates the improvement experience acquired by CIMAT in more than 20 years as a technical body in marinas and berths. “It is notable that in the case of berths, the State is seen as a developer, which allows seeking investment from state entities to carry out works of interest in coastal communities that require it”, Rodríguez added.

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