The San José international airport. Photo: Aeris
The San José international airport. Photo: Aeris

COSTA RICA NEWS — Starting December 3, travellers leaving Costa Rica by air will no longer have to stand in line to pay the departure tax, which is currently US$29 dollars.

From that date, the departure tax will be included in the airfare.

The airlines will be responsible for the collection and remittances to the government, it was announced on Tuesday by the Vice-President, Ana Helena Chacón.

Since 2003 the Banco Crédito Agrícola (Bancrédito) has been collecting the tax at the international airports, a tax payable by every person leaving the country by air.

At the San José airport, for example, at peak hours (like 6am – 7am any day of the week) the lines are long.  Although the tax is exclusively collected at the airports by Bancredito, it would also be paid (in advance) at the Banco de Costa Rica. In addition, a number of hotels were authorized to collect the tax from their guests, with an additional cost of between US$4 and US$6.

Chacón explained that the inclusion in the airfare was not possible to implement before due to technical problems, mainly due to the diplomat exemption. The VP explained that the Foreign Ministry and Immigration now share a database and know who is not required to pay the tax.

The departure tax is based in law, the Ley Reguladora de los Derechos de Salida del Territorio Nacional, that went into effect on October 24, 2002.

The law establishes that the funds are to be used by the Consejo Técnico de Aviación Civil (Civil Aviation) for the maintenance, expansion and modernization of the airports and airfields in the country.

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