QCOSTARICA — It was supposed to have been Wednesday, November 1, the traditional start of the Marchamo collection period. Then it was pushed to Thursday at the latest. And then Friday morning at 6:00 am.
The INS Marchamo website was available for some minutes past 6:00 am, but then went to “coming soon”, then”the service will be available in a few minutes”.
The official word, if one can believe that, from the INS is that “a few minutes” is more like around noon this Saturday.
On Friday, for the short time the website was available, owners of vehicles could check what they owe for this 2024 Marchamo before the website was taken offline after finding “significant inconsistencies” in the amounts of the vehicle property tax.
According to the INS technical team, these inconsistencies went beyond reading the files and implied a loss of integrity of the vehicle fleet data, which meant that the accuracy of the information could not be guaranteed.
“This Friday at 1 pm e received the data again from the Ministry of Finance, the INS immediately began the procedure to verify the quality of the information, in coordination with officials from said Ministry.
“At 4:10 pm this Friday, after the necessary validations, the INS received the final file, in this way the analyses were satisfactorily concluded, to begin the stages prior to loading into the insurer’s systems. The corrective measures they applied led the INS to conclude at 5:39 pm that the documents passed the validation tests and at 5:54 pm the INS began the loading process again,” the tech team detailed in a press release.
Unofficial sources said a “tilde” (accent mark) in the system code could have been responsible for the continuing problem.
This was confirmed later in the day by the Minister of Finance (Ministerio de Hacienda), Nogui Acosta.
“We have already identified what the situation was: the INS system is not accepting special characters; in particular, there is a field in the database that is ‘type of body’, and this has an accent mark. That is the situation that arose and, therefore, at the time the charge was generated, the value of the property tax on the vehicles appeared at zero,” explained Acosta.
According to Hacienda, there are 1,745,625 vehicles that must pay the Marchamo, the so-called right of circulation.
Despite the INS assurance of a “noon Saturday” start date, there is still no certainty as to when the INS will resume the collection and consultation.
The INS reported that 1,050 people paid the Marchamo with the wrong information before the website was taken down.
The INS assures that those who were able to pay in the brief minutes that the system was operating, it was the correct payment.