Trade Restrictions in Costa Rica

The government's decision to forbid the addition of other products as a perk included with sales of rice is another clear example of its efforts to protect an increasingly competitive sector.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Solis administration has banned, by means of an amendment to the Regulation on the price of milled rice, the addition of other products as a perk included with sales of the grain, a practice known among retailers as "bandeo". 

This rule only applies to rice, which is the only product whose price is set by law in the country. 

See also: "Excessive State Intervention in the Economy" and "Costa Rica: Local Rice Becoming Increasingly Uncompetitive".

From a statement issued by the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica:

The Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica wishes to express its concern and complete disagreement with the entry into force today of the amendment to the Regulation on milled rice prices. 

We believe that this action by the government limits the initiatives used by some businesses to help improve access to basic necessities for low-income people.

More on this topic

Contradictions in Costa Rica's Foreign Trade

February 2016

The private sector is demanding homogeneity in the foreign trade strategy, since the situation today is that there is "one protectionist minister and another who works for free trade."

In the words of José Manuel Quirce, president of the Chamber of Importers of Costa Rica (Crecex), the Solis administration needs to focus on "...

Guatemala-Canada TLC is Stalled

February 2016

Fifteen years after the first approach was made, the countries have not reached an agreement on the conditions of entry of products such as textiles, meat and sugar.

Since 2001, Guatemala and Canada have been trying to close negotiations to create a free trade area between the two markets.

Sugar: Free Trade Loses A Battle

November 2015

In Costa Rica the virtually monopolistic Industrial Sugar Cane Agricultural League is supporting a recent decree that protects blocking imports of sugar by forcing sugar fortification to be done it its place of origin.


A statement issued by the Industrial Sugarcane Agricultural League (LAICA) abounds in views on the relevance of sugar fortification -which nobody questions-, and on the supposed benefits that the company brings to the Costa Rican consumers, including " stable prices. "

Pacific Alliance and Costa Rica

February 2014

Colombia, Peru, Chile and Mexico approved the inclusion of Costa Rica to the Partnership Framework Agreement, the first step towards total integration into the block.

From a press release issued by the Presidency of Costa Rica:

Under the VIII Summit of Heads of State of the Pacific Alliance, the President of the Republic, Laura Chinchilla Miranda, along with her counterparts in Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, Chile, Sebastián Piñera Echenique, Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto and Peru, Ollanta Humala Tasso signed a Declaration on the Accession of Costa Rica to the Pacific Alliance.