Saturday 27 February 2021

Tico Truckers Protest Against Foreign Competition

Truckers heading to Casa Presidencial to demand the government to impose a 20% tax on foreign truckers and they go through the Riteve inspection, to even things out.  Photo Alonso Tenorio. La Nacion
Truckers heading to Casa Presidencial to demand the government to impose a 20% tax on foreign truckers and they go through the Riteve inspection, to even things out. Photo Alonso Tenorio. La Nacion

(QCostarica) About a hundred truckers descended on Casa Presidencial (Government House) in Zapote, Friday morning demanding the imposition of taxes on foreign truckers.

Marco Murcia, leader of the truckers union, said that Costa Rica companies hire foreigner transport companies because it is cheaper for them.

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“What we are asking is a tax of 20% of the Central American truckers to balance things out,” said Murcia.

According to Murcia, the current situation leaves them at a disadvantage, because the foreign companies do not pay taxes  or social security contributions (the Caja) in Costa Rica; nor their vehicles are subject to the vehicular inspection (Riteve).

Murcia stressed that their (foreign carriers) lower costs enables them to charge from US$200 to US$700 less than Tico carriers.

In addition to the tax, the Costa Rica truckers are demanding foreign trucks undergo the Riteve inspection as well. “…it’s for all or none,” said Murcia.

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Deputy Minister of the Presidency, Ana Gabrial Zuñiga, said the trucker’s protest this morning is not justified, given there is an ongoing dialogue with the union.

“Despite the comprehensive and timely response by the Presidency to the requests (of the carriers) and having agreed to dialogue at Casa Presidencial, (they, the truckers) decide to hold a collective action that is affecting traffic and inconveniencing a lot of people and is totally unjustified,” said Zuñiga.

According to the Ministry, in recent months there has been progress in streamlining customs procedures, the roads in Paseo Canoas (Panama border), the development of fines to foreign truckers not following regulations and coordination with the Customs Police in dealing with complaints.

Source: La Nacion


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