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.

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