money-transferQCOSTARICA – Need to send or receive money overseas? Take note of the proposed changes in banking regulations, where all electronic transfers of US$1,000 or more will have to be justified by customers and registered by banks.

Currently, this requirement only applies in cases in excess of US$10,000.

Article 19bis of Ley 8204 of the regulation that is being considered indicates that any transfer to from other countries in local or foreign currency, which equals or exceeds US$1,000 dollars, must include full details of the person, a short descriptions of the source of the funds and the identification of the processing bank or financial services official.

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Click here for the Regulations Enforcement of Law 8,204 (in Spanish) by the Conassif

Javier Cascante, general superintendent of financial institutions, said the change is being promoted in order to respect international recommendations. He told that “… ‘In fact we, with the US$10,000 ceiling, were well above what is recommended’.”

Guillermo Hernandez, former prosecutor specializing in the fight against money laundering, considers the reduction of the amount exaggerated. “The issue here is that the Law  8,204 only sets the threshold of US$10,000,” said Hernandez.

Annabelle Ortega, executive director of the Chamber of Banks, said that banks already ask their clients a brief description of the origin of resources. “The difference now is on supporting documentation requested from financial institutions,” said Ortega.

According to Gabriela Burgués, lawyer specializing in securities and financial law, banks can act by closing accounts of clients who refuse to provide information.“Not only should they (the banks) act when there is suspicion of money, they should also against negative customers,” said Burgués.


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