THE Finance Ministry has postponed the implementation of its new automated online Customs system, known as TICA, at Juan Santamaría International Airport from Jan. 23 to Feb. 27. The delay is intended to give authorities more time to train Customs officials and assistants at the airport, in Alajuela, northwest of San José, according to the daily La Nación.
TICA – or Information Technology for Customs Control – was implemented July 4 at the Pacific port of Caldera (TT, July 8, 2005), and Oct. 3 at the central Customs office in San José. While the system got off to a rocky start at Caldera, the Finance Ministry now reports it has resulted in significant increases in tax collection.
The system puts the entire Customs declarations process online, and reduces the potential for tax evasion by allowing officials to track goods and ensure the proper fees are paid.
A total of 96 officials must receive training before TICA can take effect at Juan Santamaría, La Nación reported. The airport, with an average of 550 Customs declarations per day, receives more Customs traffic than any other site in the country, and collects 29% of Costa Rica’s total Customs revenue. Only the Caribbean port of Limón collects more (32%), according to the daily.