Costa Rica: No more discriminatory taxes on EU beers

Costa Rica has removed a 10% tax on imported beers which had been discriminating against EU beers, the Directorate-General for Trade of the European Commission informed. This tax had put EU beers at a disadvantage by making them more expensive than local beers.

The president of Costa Rica, Mr Rodrigo Chaves, signed the law on 15 February 2023.

With the removal of this tax, EU beers will now have equal access to the Costa Rican market, and benefit from growing EU beer exports to this Central American country. The EU has been working with Costa Rica in the framework of our Association Agreement to resolve this long-standing issue.

Until now, Costa Rica had applied a tax of 10% on the selling price of alcoholic beverages - except for Costa Rican beer. In a Joint Declaration annexed to the EU-Central America Association Agreement, Costa Rica committed to review its internal taxes concerning beer by October 2014.

In the years following this commitment, the EU regularly pushed for this review to be carried out through discussions under the institutional channels of the Agreement, in bilateral ministerial meetings, and in discussions with members of the Costa Rican Parliament. Thanks to this persistent dialogue, enough support was created in the Costa Rican Parliament and the Costa Rican administration to see the tax removed, with the Parliament voting overwhelmingly (39-11) in favor on 15 December 2022.

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