Local time : (UTC -6)
Main office :
REXCARGO COSTA RICA, SA
Rex International Building
Real Cariari O500N300
La Asunción de Belén Heredia 40703
Tel: +506 22097000
Airports and Customs Ports
Puerto Moín (Limón)
Juan Santamaría Int'l
COMMERCIAL SHIPMENTS: The commercial invoice must be signed by the sender and is required “in original” to request customs clearance. The commercial invoice must be IN SPANISH (In the case of invoices issued in a different language, a translation will have to be rendered by the consignee).
A proper commercial invoice must contain AT LEAST the following information:
- Full name and address of the sender and consignee
- No. Identification of the Importer and / or tax identification of the consignee. When in doubt, consult a RexCargo specialist.
- Date and place of loading,
- Country of Origin of the goods.
- INCOTERM (2020)
- Package quantity,
- Marks, numbers and Package types
- Contents of each package, with details and description of each item, including the tariff code.
- Net weight of each type of article and net weight of each package in kilograms
- Unit price and total value of each item
- CIF value (or FOB with transport specification – and other charges)
Before settlement, the recipient will be required to sign on the back of the invoice a declaration of acceptance of the information contained in said invoice and, as applicable, a declaration of additional value. An import license may be required for certain products. When in doubt, consult an import specialist at REXCARGO.
- Value USD 25.00 or less: pro forma invoice.
- Value over USD 25.00: (handled as Commercial Shipments )
Each process of import, export and/or international transit of goods will require the issuance of a Single Customs Declaration (DUA) form. For imports of commercial merchandise, these declarations may be presented to customs on behalf of the importer only through a duly accredited customs agent.
The dispatch process depends on the type of cargo and the means of transport.
- FCL and perishable, high value, Live Animals and other sensitive shipments may opt for an “advance settlement” carried out at the port of entry upon arrival. Such a request will be processed provided it is submitted at least one (1) business day prior to the arrival of the shipment at the first port of entry. The advance clearance process is an exclusive discretionary remedy of the customs authorities and, therefore, there is no guarantee that all requests will be granted.
- LCL and regular air cargo will have to be transported to a customs area for the declaration of entry and arrival of the manifests.
Storage and handling charges may apply for consolidated cargo. Consult with a RexCargo import specialist for country / mode specific details.
Times for Customs Clearance
STANDARD CLEARANCE: If the import documents and permits are in order, this process can be carried out between two (2) to six (6) hours after the entry of the file in the customs system.
FREE ZONE or FREE TRADE ZONE: Free zone shipments are not “Cleared”, but are transferred from a port or a facility under customs control to the facilities of the free zone, as appropriate, this process is usually faster than a standard clearance.
SMALL PACKAGES (COURIER): Any shipment with a CIF value of USD five hundred ($ 500.00) US dollars. or less can be released expeditiously as long as all documents are in order, transported under a “express delivery” manifest and declared as such prior to arrival. For more information on this modality, contact a REXCARGO specialist.
Documentary and physical inspections: If a shipment is “flagged” by customs for physical or documentary inspection, a “reasonable” delay can be expected, usually no more than a few hours.
The importer and the station of origin will be informed of this (in the case of shipments generated by RexCargo correspondents abroad) and the process can be monitored through WebTracker.
Customs Duties and Taxes
All commercial shipments are subject to sales tax or VAT and most shipments are subject to import duties. The percentage of import duty to be applied depends on the nature of the goods. Shipments from countries where a free trade agreement applies may be exempt from some or all import duties. See the free trade agreement section below.
Shipments for Free Trade Zone or free trade companies are exempt from taxes and duties unless the shipment consists of material that will not be used or consumed within the authorized free trade zone. Generally, duty and tax free zone shipments consist of Promotional Material such as caps, T-shirts and others of that type. Consult with the REXCARGO specialist for more details.
Import duties can be viewed online at the following link for the Tariff Analysis Service Online (TAO) provided by the WTO .
REXCARGO will charge for services at destination in accordance with the previously agreed tariff.
- “MASTERS” WITH CHARGES “COLLECT” WILL BE REJECTED UNLESS THERE IS A PRIOR WRITTEN AUTHORIZATION OF REXCARGO.
- Charges “collect at destination” (Collect Fee) will accrue a 3% surcharge payable by the consignee.
- Disbursements to third parties accrue a 4% rate payable by the contracting party.
In all cases, carriers and co-loaders will charge destination charges for services such as:
- Documents delivery
- Customs formalities
- Transfer of shipments
- Fiscal Warehouse
- Terminal handling charges
- General Management
These fees are generally not contemplated in the negotiation at origin and can become an “unpleasant surprise” for the consignee or the sender (depending on the Incoterm ). These destination charges (especially those of the Bonded Warehouse) in some cases can be as high as international freight charges and therefore must always be considered when shipping cargo to our network.
REXCARGO strongly recommends that prior to shipment, the RexCargo import specialist is consulted to verify the list of approved carriers and “co-shippers” in order to propose an alternative or at least visibility regarding destination charges. It is always better if destination charges are “negotiated” at origin and that REXCARGO is informed of the agreed fees prior to the arrival of the shipment.
Free Trade Agreements
Central America is made up of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, while Panama has traditionally been considered part of South America.
Over the years, Central American countries have signed a series of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, as well as preferential tariff treatment agreements with many countries.
If you believe that your products are eligible for preferential import tax treatment, please consult with a REX CARGO import and export specialist.
You can also check the status of the Free Trade Agreements and tariff preference agreements HERE.
Certificates of origin
A Certificate of Origin (CO) is a very important international trade document that certifies that the goods in a particular shipment have been obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a given country in accordance with the rules of origin negotiated between the participating countries. in trade agreements. The COs also constitute a declaration by the exporter.
With the presentation of this document, the importer in the country of destination may request that a preferential tariff treatment be granted to the goods.
There are two certification systems and within each treaty in particular, it is established which of the two should be applied and how:
- Self-certification issued by the exporter, producer or importer (if applicable)
- Controlled certification that is issued by an officially designated authority.
All Central American countries have negotiated individual and collective free trade agreements with other countries or regions.
It is very important to bear in mind that adherence to the “footnote” of a Free Trade Agreement is key to maintaining its benefits and in the case of certificates of origin, in almost all cases, the actual format of the document is establishes as an integral part of the agreement and therefore, to be acceptable, it must comply 100% with the reference format incorporated in the agreement.
Certificates of Origin (CO) are an integral part of the official agreement and therefore, in many cases, there is a default “template” or “Format” that has to be used. Failure to comply with the template specification in an “exact” manner may result in the removal of preferential treatment for a particular shipment. It is also worth bearing in mind that the review of a CO can occur several years after importation and therefore, the refund of the exempt amount, as well as heavy fines, may be applied retroactively if a CO is invalidated. If you have questions about this or any other topic related to COs or free trade agreements in general, please consult an import and export specialist at REX CARGO.
Restrictions and Prohibitions
Restrictions (import permits / licenses) apply to:
1. Live animals – Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (In the case of Protected Species, a permit from the corresponding CITES authority is also required)
2. Plants and Plant Material – State Phytosanitary Service, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock
3. Pharmaceutical and / or Medical Products, Devices and Supplies – Ministry of Public Health
4. Human Remains – Ministry of Public Health
5. Chemical Products – Ministry of Public Health
6. Medications and Vaccines – Ministry of Public Health (Human and / or Veterinary)
7. Products of Animal Origin – Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (not processed) / Ministry of Public Health (processed)
8. Food – Ministry of Public Health
THE FOLLOWING GOODS ARE FORBIDDEN:
Slaughter animals, untanned hides, meat (fresh, chilled, frozen or dried) from countries where foot-and-mouth disease or rinderpest occurs.
Articles capable of transmitting any disease, pest or harmful weeds, potatoes, narcotics, yeast, non-alcoholic drinks containing saccharin, used clothing, coffee or seeds and sugar cane, alcohol in containers of more than 1 liter, opium and derivatives, essences for use in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages, foreign lotteries.
Consign ALL the “Masters” to:
REXCARGO Costa Rica, SA
EPA Belén O300 N300
Rex International Building
La Asunción de Belén, Heredia
Costa Rica 40703