QCOSTARICA – Those heading south to Golfito for the savings may be surprised to find the Depósito Libre Comercial de Golfito (Golfito Commercial Duty Free Zone) closed starting October 1.
Carlos Murillo, executive director of the Regional Development Board of the Southern Zone (JUDESUR), administrator of the Golfito duty free, said on Friday on Radio Colosal, the savings will end when the duty free trade zone closes its doors at the end of business day on September 30.
However, in a report by La Nacion, vendors and dealers belied the closure and that the commercial free zone is at (financial) risk.
According to Murillo, the closing is due the Ley Orgánica de Judesur (9.356) that went into effect on June 13 of this year, that lowers the tax paid on products, hence defraying the income of JUDESUR to administer the duty free zone.
““We have a gap between income and expenses, the situation is serious. We’ve been seeing it in the two months of the law. Not being able to meet (financial) obligations without disrespecting (breaking) the law, we have only to close our doors,” said Murillo.
Meanwhile, Susan Naranjo, advisor to the Asociación Concesionarios Depósito de Golfito (Acoldelgo), said the group rejects the technical closure.
“The operation of the Deposito will not be compromised, 5,000 families depend on it economically and it is not fair to speculate,” explained Naranjo.
Murillo added that on Tuesday there will be a meeting to define the actions to prevent the closing, such as filing an action with the Constitutional Court for an injunction against Ley 9.356 and restoring the original tax scheme.
For the longest time the Golfito duty free has been a favourite by many to shop for appliances, furniture, gifts, etc. at a usually much lower price that in retail stores across the country. For many the 6 to 8 hour car ride to Golfito is more than savings, but an outing for family and friends.
Thousands of families in the area of Golfito, Osa, Corredores, Coto Brus and Buenos Aires directly depend on the operation of the commercial free trade zone.