Tolls to be Charged at Costa Rica’s Borders

As part of the border posts improvement plan, the Government is proposing a toll, charging $25 per export declaration and $5 per person.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The charge would be implemented at the border crossings at Peñas Blancas, Sixaola, Paso Canoas and Las Tablillas (Los Chiles).

Proceeds will be used to pay back the $80 million loan granted by the Inter-American Development Bank to finance the construction, equipping and improving processes at these border posts and to create a fund to maintain them. Some 4% would be paid to the municipalities where the crossings are located.

"Despite involving an additional exit charges for goods and people, the plans were supported by the private sector.

Mario Montero, executive vice president of the Costa Rican Chamber of the Food Industry (Cacia), explained that as long as the fee improves efficiency, the private sector will not complain," reported

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Privatization of Costa Rican Border Posts

January 2013

The Foreign Trade Ministry announced on Wednesday morning a schedule for the "Modernization of border posts for 2013" reported that "After being abandoned for more than two decades, the border posts with Nicaragua and Panama will be granted to private companies, although $40 million more are required to complete works before closing the deal.

Chaos at Customs Border Post

April 2012

The Costa Rican customs office at Penas Blancas, on the border with Nicaragua, is going through social and commercial chaos pending reforms in infrastructure and procedures.

Delays in the passage of trucks carrying goods are causing major losses to exporters, although business chambers have not conducted any specific studies, said Mario Montero, executive vice president of the Costa Rican Chamber of the Food Industry (Cacia).

Peñas Blancas Improvement Plan Starts

August 2011

The action plan is designed to address the state of emergency that has been declared on the border between Costa Rica and Panama.

A press release from the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Trade states:

“The five month action plan will involve increasing the number of traffic officers, implementing an electronic collection system for fumigation charges, extending opening hours until midnight, contracting a design for the primary zone, implementing a system of international transit of goods, widening the highway to four lanes, and starting the remodeling of the immigration building. ‘Technological tools exist today that allow us to complete formalities in advance. To promote use of these, and to make the Peñas Blancas border crossing a place to pass through and not to do paperwork, we will establish before the primary zone a checkpoint that will to give priority to exporters who arrive with their paperwork already processed’, said Vice Minister, Fernando Ocampo.

Complaints About Customs Inefficiency

July 2011

Costa Rican representatives from the production sector agree that lack of infrastructure at border crossings is causing delays.

The dissatisfaction is highest among industry representatives referring to customs in Peñas Blancas, where the trucks are taking between 12 and 36 hours to cross the border.