The nation’s customs agency, the Servicio Nacional de Aduanas, will be getting a data base that will establish the likely cost of imports. The system will be used when customs inspectors believe that the product has been undervalued for duty purposes.
The government acted after complaints from trade organizations such as the Cámara Textil Costarricense. The decree was signed by Luis Liberman, acting president, and Fernando Herrero, minister of Hacienda. The system will use international prices to assess duty on imports in much the same way that the customs inspectors use automobile blue book figures to determine import tax on vehicles.
Undervaluing imported items can result in big savings for businesses. Until now the duty was assessed on the amount shown on the product’s invoice. However, evasion was possible. One well-known expat used to create his own invoices and had the original invoices replaced at the point of shipment. That process is even easier now with the use of desktop publishing.