Internet Shopping Drops in Costa Rica

The number of online purchases has dropped since the Treasury placed restrictions on tax exemptions at the end of 2011.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The total number of packets handled by courier companies during the first half of 2013 was 19,313, far from the levels seen in the same period in 2011, when they totaled 26,089, but better than in 2012, when there were 13,879.

The information, provided by the Customs Department, shows the drop in online shopping since the Ministry of Finance changed the legal interpretation of the exemption of such imports in late 2011.

"There has been a decline in the number of procedures performed by delivery companies because people were only willing to import when they didnt have to pay tax," said the Director General of Customs, Gerardo Bolaños.

Official figures highlight that the customs controls resulted in tax revenue growing by 40% in 2011 compared to 2010, while in 2012 it grew by 10%.

According to Carlos Herrera, general manager Aerocasillas, changes in exemptions have affected businesses providing post office boxes abroad. "We are able to certify that the total level of packages handled by us in Costa Rica is still well below 2011 levels, which has forced us to reduce the size of our local operations and our revenues," he said.



More on this topic

E-Commerce: Tax Exemptions in Costa Rica

March 2021

Once Cauca IV comes into force, Costa Rican consumers will be exempted from paying duties on Internet purchases made abroad by Costa Rican consumers that do not exceed $500.

The fourth version of the Central American Uniform Customs Code (Cauca IV) will take effect as of May 1 and according to Costa Rican authorities, the exoneration of duties will only apply to family shipments.

Internet Shopping Increases in Guatemala

October 2013

So far in 2013, internet sales amounted to $80 million, 23% more than in 2012.

This was explained by Jorge Gomez, Guatemalan representative in the Latin American Business Courier Confederation. During 2012 Guatemala's eCommerce activities reported revenue of $65 million.

Guatemalans Buy 63% More Online

August 2012

Total online purchases made by Guatemalans during 2011 exceeded by 63% those of 2009.

The information comes from the latest survey by Visa, which includes purchases made by all companies with all credit cards, not only with VISA.

This year the projections are that Guatemalans will buy about $242 million worth of goods online, which would mean an increase of 30%.

More Internet Purchases by Guatemalans

August 2012

As of July 2012 there have been some 250,000 online buying and selling transactions, 10% higher than in the same period in 2011.

This increase in online electronic shopping goes hand in hand with internet penetration (about 2.3 million have internet access) and the use of plastic money (4.5 million credit and debit cards are circulating in the country).

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