The Free Trade Zone Regime is a special tax regime in Costa Rica in which companies can operate with special benefits if they meet certain requirements. The requirements are related to: minimum amounts of investment, number of employees, types of industry and geographical location. 

  1. According to data from PROCOMER, the government entity responsible for administering this regime, Costa Rica has more than 360 companies operating under this program, during 2018 these companies created 12,961 new direct jobs. The most important clusters that do business under this system are: the service companies cluster - financial analysis, regional centers, software and IT development and engineering and design, and 
  2. the life sciences cluster. This last one has more than 60 companies that produce medical devices Class I to Class III. 

Currently, two bills are being discussed in Congress with implications for this regime:

  •  Reform of the free zone regime law to ensure compliance with the international standards and criteria established by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in the "inclusive framework" of the "action plan to combat erosion of the 
  • This bill adds a requirement to companies that want to operate under category C of services and eliminates all subjection to export results and eliminates sales restrictions in the local market. 
  • Authentic interpretation of subsection d) of article 20 of the law of the Free Trade Zone Regime, Law No. 7210 of November 23, 1990 - File 21294. This project clarifies the concept of territorial tax and equates it with the real estate tax, making it clear that companies under the scheme should not pay it. 

Costa Rica has more than 360 companies operating under this program, during 2018 these companies created 12,961 new direct jobs