New Import Tariff for Rice

In Costa Rica, the government has decided to establish an additional tariff of 11.67% on imports of brown rice, for purchases exceeding 6,367 tons.

Monday, September 24, 2018

With this new protectionist measure taken by the government, which will apply from September 21 to December 31 of this year, the current tariff will increase from 35% to 46.67%.

After the government argued that "... the increase in imports of brown rice, is generating an increase in national inventories of rice, resulting in repeated and growing surpluses in the domestic market," it proceeded to implement the protectionist measure called Special Agricultural Safeguard (SGE).

See "Central America: Rice Imports Up 29%"

According to the decree published last week in La Gaceta, the Commission that investigated the issue recommended that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) " ...Apply a Special Agricultural Safeguard on imports that are made once the volume of activation of 6366.83 tons has been surpassed, counting from January 1, 2018; on tariff items 1006.20.00.0091 and 1006.20.0099 from third markets, with an additional duty of 11.67% on the tariff in force for these subparagraphs."

In relation to the government decree, Juan Ricardo Fernández, president of the Association of Free Consumers, told Nacion.com that " ... the measure will affect consumers. No doubt that will require a much higher price to be set (...) it shows the Government's contempt of the lower classes of this country."

See also "Rice in Central America: $265 million in Imports"

The decree details that " ... the Investigative Commission formed by the MAG gave a hearing to any interested party for a period of 5 working days so that they could express what they felt was appropriate in relation to the appointment procedure. That being said, during the aforementioned period, no request for a hearing was received and the necessary information was collected for the competent authorities, and said body proceeded to issue the "Final Resolution" communicated to the head of Agriculture and Livestock".

In regards to this issue, Fernandez added that "... they did not know about the audience that was opened up to receive comments on the subject."

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More on this topic

Protectionists Back to the Burden

July 2019

Arguing that local production must be protected, Costa Rican sugar manufacturers demand that, in addition to the 45% common levy already charged on imported sugar, an additional tariff must be imposed.

The request was made by Liga Agricola Industrial de la Caña de Azucar (Laica) to the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), as businessmen claim that there is an exponential growth in sugar imports in recent years, which has put in check the Costa Rican sugar cane sector.

Costa Rica: Import Tariff Eliminated for Rice

January 2018

The tariff will go down from 62% to 35%, as a temporary increase established by the Solis administration in 2015 was revoked.

Nacion.com reports that "...Through a precautionary measure, the Court of Appeals for Administrative and Civil Matters of the Treasury suspended the rice safeguard measure that was established in February 2015, which means that rice can now be imported without incurring the additional taxes that had been established for this grain. "

Costa Rica: Import Tariff Raised for Rice

September 2017

The Solis administration has raised the import tariff on brown rice to 47%, arguing "a disproportionate increase in its import volume".

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock has decreed a special safeguard for imports of brown rice, effective from 6 September to 31 December 2107.  Imports from the US, Chile, Mexico and Central America were exempted from the measure.  The measure involves raising the tariff to 46.67%. 

Costa Rica: NO to Higher Tariff on Rice

October 2014

The Economy Ministry has rejected a request by producers to temporarily raise the tax on imported grain, but has not ruled out doing so from December 2014.

From a statement issued by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC):

The Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), through Resolution 051-2014-DM has decided, after a thorough technical analysis in which it was determined that there exists a causal relationship between an increase of the imports of husked rice contemplated and the threat of harm to the domestic industry, not to apply provisional safeguard measures on imports of the product concerned.

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