“Casas de empeño” or “compra y ventas” (pawnshops) will be restricted from opening for business between 7:00 pm and 6:00 am after legislators approved a bill regulating the activity of these businesses.

New approved bill regulating pawnshops in Costa Rica prohibit opening between 7 pm an 6 am

The main objective of the law is to provide municipalities greater controls to guarantee people’s security, but above all, to discourage the reception of stolen objects in these premises.

“The fundamental thing of this project is the time restriction to the pawnshops, to avoid that unscrupulous people make use of these establishments for trade of stolen objects”, said the deputy Gustavo Viales.

“The fundamental thing of this bill is the time restriction of pawnshops, to avoid that unscrupulous people make use of these establishments for trade in stolen goods”, said the legislator Gustavo Viales, the proponent of the bill.

Another one of the new obligations is that pawnshops will have is to keep a daily register of those who come to sell the articles and it will be the responsibility of the business to verify their identity.

In case of failure to comply with the provisions, the owner of the compra y ventas may be subject to an equivalent fine of up to six base salaries* (¢2.7 million colones) and in the case of recidivism, the municipality may revoke the commercial license without any compensation.

“We will continue to promote and promote bills that guarantee greater security and set regulations to reject criminal acts,” added Viales, who chairs the Comisión de Seguridad y Narcotráfico (Security and Drug Trafficking Commission).

*Base salary for 2019 is ¢442,200 monthly