Costa Rica: Increase in Cost of Liquor Licenses

Retail stores, restaurants and bars are feeling the effects of a new law which regulates the sale of liquor in municipalities.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The excessive fees for licenses has led to chambers in the private sector squaring up to the municipalities, who after the law came into effect less than a year ago, are responsible for regulating the sale of liquor in each Canton district, leading to unequal conditions in each of municipalities.

Retail stores, restaurants and tourism businesses are asking for a review of the law of 1936, believing that the charges are excessive. With this change, those who previously paid $2.40 a year now pay amounts of $758 a quarter in the case of restaurants and $1,560 for liquor stores.

"The system should be that those who sell the most, pay the most. They can not charge the same to a restaurant in Los Chiles as they do to one in Escazu or Lindora " said Manuel Lopez, of the Costa Rican Chamber of Restaurants and Related Businesses (Cacore).

An example of inequality is the charge for trading licenses, because while in Montes de Oca the amount paid quarterly is $1,515 for convenience stores and $2,276 for supermarkets, in Liberia they are charged $759 and $1,515, respectively.

More on this topic

Commercial Sector Crisis Gets Worse

July 2020

Since 2017, commercial activity in Costa Rica has been slowing down, but with the closures of businesses due to the covid-19 outbreak, between March and July of this year, sales have fallen considerably.

In this context of restrictions on movement and social distancing measures, which began in March of this year, approximately 30% of shops were reported to have closed and it is estimated that just in July, sales in the commercial sector fell by 68% compared to the same month in 2019.

Costa Rica: Liquor Licenses Disproportionate

August 2013

The National Chamber of Tourism has described the amounts for licenses for the sale of alcoholic beverages as disproportionate and unrealistic.

From a press release by the National Chamber of Tourism Canatur:

Disproportionate and far from reality is how the National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR) has described the amounts for the payment of licenses for the sale of alcoholic beverages stipulated in Law No. 9047.

Costa Rica: Reform to Liquor License Act

July 2013

The reform proposed by the Chamber of Retailers introduces a fee that is calculated based on the sales of each establishment.

With this modification liquor licenses would be charged based on income and not, as currently happens, using a fixed amount, said Executive Director of the Chamber, Ana Teresa Vazquez.

Agreement to Eliminate Bonds for Liquor Sellers

June 2013

Representatives from the government and employers reached an agreement to reform the rule which requires a bond deposit of between $3000 and $75 000 on stores that sell alcoholic beverages. reports that "members of the National Association of Bars, Pubs and Businesses engaged in the sale of liquor, and representatives from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Mici) agreed to eliminate the performance bond established in Act No. 2 February 2013 ". According to Virgilio Sousa, national director of Commerce at the Mici, the proposal is starting to be drawn up by the legal department of the ministry and will be presented in the next few days before the Cabinet.

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Cámara Costarricense de Resturantes y Afines, CACORE

Organization that operates in Costa Rica.
Phone: (506) 2233-9790 - (506) 2222-0728

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