Tuesday 26 September 2023

Less Bureaucracy to Boost the Economy

Government declares a regulatory moratorium until May 2022 on the creation of new procedures and reduces requirements and procedures for obtaining permits, licenses or authorizations

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As one of the measures that the Costa Rican government plans to implement is that it will no longer be necessary to have all the requirements to open a business certified, and only an affidavit will be necessary.

Expedientes (files)

The government will implement a regulatory moratorium that will prevent the creation of new procedures, requirements or procedures to obtain permits, licenses or authorizations, which will apply until May 2022 (end of the term for the current administration), according to an official source.

This would be one of the guidelines that are part of the government’s actions to lead the country to economic recovery.

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From the MEIC press release (in Spanish):

The Government will implement a regulatory moratorium that will prevent the creation of new procedures, requirements or procedures to obtain permits, licenses or authorizations, which will run until May 2022.

This mechanism, which is part of the actions defined to generate conditions that encourage production, seeks to order the activity of public entities, said the Minister of Economy, Industry and Trade (MEIC), Victoria Hernández, explaining that this guideline does not constitute an elimination or suspension of the procedures that are already in force.

The only exceptions will be when the procedure to be established is due to a legal mandate; to a national emergency so declared; respond to environmental reasons, public health or public interest (with endorsement by the Presidency of the Republic) or, if it is shown that the benefit of such regulation is greater than its non-existence.

Hernandez pointed out that these measures arise from the analysis and evaluation of Guideline 20-MP-MEIC, called “Immediate actions for the simplification of procedures in the Government of the bicentennial”, whose results allowed the institutions to update information in the National Catalog of Procedures ( CNT), in order to demand only procedures based on a published standard.

At the beginning of this administration, the CNT recorded 1,609 registered procedures, which were reduced to 1,232 as the main effect of the guideline.

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As part of the actions to improve the efficiency of the institutions and facilitate processes for citizens, this Wednesday was also signed Executive Decree No. 41795-MP-MEIC: “On the Streamlining of Procedures in Public Entities through the Use of the Sworn Statement”, by the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado and Minister Hernández.

“This decision, which seems simple, is fundamental to change the way in which the procedures have been conceived for a long time, moving now from a scheme concentrated in previous controls, with excess requirements and documentary revisions, to another one with mechanisms for subsequent verification”, Explained the president during an act held at the Presidential House.

The decree also seeks to expedite the resolution of the actions of citizens and companies and the effective compliance with institutional response times.

“It is important to note that the use of the sworn declaration mechanism is not a waiver of the State’s powers to issue authorizations, licenses or permits. On the contrary, it seeks to strengthen the surveillance and subsequent verification mechanisms,” said Hernández.

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This measure aims to improve the conditions for companies to obtain their permits and start operations and not be punished with extended waiting times. An example is the work carried out between the MEIC and the Ministry of Health, achieving a reduction of 91 to 7 working days for the issuance of the Operating Permit for Group A (high risk) and Group B (moderate risk).

In the case of Group C Operating Sanitary Permits (low risk), they are resolved immediately.

With this new process, the resolution deadlines also decreased, standardized inspection guides and tools were generated and a maximum period of two months was defined after the granting of the permit to comply with the inspection. In addition, the criteria for issuing a health order or closure, among other measures, are defined.

“These measures are strong signals of our commitment to generate better conditions for the operation of new companies. It is necessary to stop the creation of more procedures and prioritize our actions in eliminating unnecessary processes, implement impact studies of current regulations, strengthen the instruments of subsequent verification and encourage our institutions to innovate to make the user’s life easier,  concluded Hernández .

The minister recalled that there are mechanisms, such as the Comptrollers of Services of each institution, as well as email iinfotramites@meic.go.cr for citizens to participate and denounce processes that can be considered a waste of time.

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