Less Bureaucracy to Boost the Economy

As one of the measures that the Costa Rican government plans to implement is that it will no longer be necessary to have all the requirements to open a business certified, and only an affidavit will be necessary.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The government will implement a regulatory moratorium that will prevent the creation of new procedures, requirements or procedures to obtain permits, licenses or authorizations, which will apply until May 2022, according to an official source. This would be one of the guidelines that are part of the government's actions to lead the country to economic recovery.

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From the MEIC press release:

-A guideline, issued this Wednesday, avoids the creation of new procedures and reduces requirements and procedures for obtaining permits, licenses or authorizations.
-President of the Republic also signed a decree that streamlines the procedures before public entities through the affidavit.
-Measures seek to improve the efficiency of the State for the benefit of citizens, the business sector and the public.

The Government will implement a regulatory moratorium that will prevent the creation of new procedures, requirements or procedures to obtain permits, licenses or authorizations, which will apply until May 2022.

This mechanism, which is part of the actions defined to generate conditions that encourage production, seeks to order the activity of public entities, said the Minister of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), Victoria Hernandez, explaining that this directive does not constitute an elimination or suspension of procedures that are already in force.

The only exceptions will be given when the procedure to be established is because of a legal mandate, a national emergency so declared, responds to environmental reasons, public health or public interest (with the endorsement of the Presidency of the Republic) or, if it is demonstrated that the benefit of such regulation is greater than its non-existence.

Hernandez pointed out that these measures arise from the analysis and evaluation of Directive 20-MP-MEIC, called "Immediate Actions for the Simplification of Procedures in the Government of the Bicentennial," whose results allowed the institutions to update information in the National Catalogue of Procedures (CNT), in order to demand only those procedures based on a published norm.

At the beginning of the current administration, the CNT recorded 1,609 registered procedures, which were reduced to 1,232 as the main effect of the directive.
One of the actions taken to improve the efficiency of institutions and facilitate processes for citizens was the signing on Wednesday of Executive Decree No. 41795-MP-MEIC: "On the Streamlining of Procedures in Public Entities through the Use of the Sworn Declaration", by the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado and Minister Hernández.

"This decision, which seems simple, is fundamental to change the way in which the procedures have been conceived for a long time, moving now from a scheme concentrated on prior controls, with excessive requirements and documentary reviews, to another with mechanisms for subsequent verification," detailed the president during an act held at the Presidential House.

The decree also seeks to streamline the resolution of management of citizens and businesses and effective compliance with institutional response times.

"It is important to emphasize that the use of the sworn declaration mechanism is not a denial of the faculties of the State to give authorizations, licenses or permits. In contrast, it seeks to strengthen the mechanisms of surveillance and subsequent verification," said Hernández.

The aim of this measure is to improve the conditions for companies to obtain their permits and start operations and not to punish them with long waiting times. An example is the work developed between the MEIC and the Ministry of Health, reducing from 91 to 7 working days the period of issuance of the Group A (high risk) and Group B (moderate risk) Health Permit.

In the case of Group C Operating Sanitary Permits (low risk), they are resolved immediately.

This new process also reduced the resolution deadlines, generated standardized inspection guides and tools and defined a maximum period of two months after the granting of the permit to comply with the inspection. In addition, criteria have been defined for the issuance of sanitary order or closure, among other measures.

"These measures are strong signals of our commitment to generate better conditions for the operation of new companies. It is important to stop the establishment of more procedures and prioritize our actions in eliminating unnecessary processes, implement impact studies of current regulations, strengthen the instruments of subsequent verification and encourage our institutions to innovate in order to make the life of the user easier," concluded Hernandez.

The minister recalled that there are mechanisms, such as the Comptrollers of Services of each institution, as well as email infotramites@meic.go.cr for citizens to participate and denounce processes that can be considered a waste of time.

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