San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Can Retirees Import Autos Tax Free?

I am wondering, can pensionados (foreign retirees with residency in Costa Rica) bring in a car duty free?

Richard Stephens

Ceres, California, USA

Pensionados used to enjoy the privilege of bringing cars into the country without paying import taxes, according to Finance Ministry spokeswoman Ana María Alvarez. However, the law that allowed this was repealed in the early 1990s, and now foreign retirees must pay taxes to Customs like everybody else, she said. The Customs Administration is part of the Finance Ministry.

For information on taxes for importing cars, contact the Finance Ministry at 284-5000 or see its Web site (in Spanish) at the Car-Tic@ (Auto Valor) link, you can type in information about the car make and model you wish to import and get an estimate of the amount of taxes you might be charged by Customs.


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