Another Ruling in Favor of Protectionism

In Costa Rica, the Supreme Court has rejected an appeal of unconstitutionality against the prohibition imposed by the government on carrying out promotions in the rice retail trade.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The argument put forward by the magistrates when rejecting the appeal of unconstitutionality filed by Corporación de Supermercados Unidos  (Walmart) was based on the fact that "... that type of promotion undermines the measure on price fixing. These are commercial practices that tend to evade or circumvent such pricing, the ruling said."  

Complaints against these types of promotions were raised by the national rice sector, which argued that the practice of adding free items to goods is often done with imported rice which has prices lower than the local grain. See: "Limitations on trade in Costa Rica"

Mariela Pacheco, Walmart's Corporate Affairs Coordinator, told Nacion.com that "... the ratification by the IV Chamber of the MEIC measure hurts consumers, as they will not be able to receive additional free products when they buy rice."

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More on this topic

Rice: Walmart Denounces Lack of Controls

June 2019

The supermarket chain accuses the Ministry of Economy of Costa Rica of not carrying out adequate controls to avoid the practice of selling rice with another product added as a gift, known as bandeo.

The practice reported by the supermarket chain before the Contentious-Administrative Court on June 20, in which the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC) is accused of not controlling it, is known as "bandeo" and is prohibited by a decree that has been in force since April 4, 2017.

Costa Rica: Ruling on Rise in Industrial Fuels

May 2017

The Constitutional Chamber has rejected the appeal filed by deputies against the presidential decree that prevented a 72% increase in LP gas prices and 35% in bunker fuel.

From a statement issued by the Chamber of Industry:

"The Chamber of Industries of Costa Rica has welcomed the rejection by the Constitutional Chamber of the case of unconstitutionality brought by the Deputy of the PUSC Luis Vásquez and other Deputies against the Sectoral Policy of the Executive Power regarding the prices of industrial fuels, corresponding to Executive Decree 39437 of the MINAE, signed in January of last year. This defeats once more the specter of an excessive and disproportionate increase in fuel prices which our industry uses to compete in the world and with the world.

Trade Restrictions in Costa Rica

April 2017

The government's decision to forbid the addition of other products as a perk included with sales of rice is another clear example of its efforts to protect an increasingly competitive sector.

The Solis administration has banned, by means of an amendment to the Regulation on the price of milled rice, the addition of other products as a perk included with sales of the grain, a practice known among retailers as "bandeo". 

Costa Rica: Tax on Cement Production

March 2016

The Constitutional Court has rejected the appeal made by Holcim which protested against the 5% tax on the sale of cement produced in some provinces.

The Swiss company Holcim Capital won an appeal against the Law on 5% Tax on the sale of the cement produced in three provinces: Cartago, Guanacaste and San Jose, considering it "discriminatory" and harmful to their competitiveness.

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