Free Zones

Free Zones in Costa Rica are primary areas for offshore tax and customs operations.  These are restricted areas with no resident population, authorized to serve as such by the Government’s Executive Branch. Free Zones are intended to accommodate operations engaging in input and raw material imports, manufacturing and assembly or marketing of export goods and provision of export-related services.

Ease of operation, tax incentives, first-rate communications, electric power, utilities, and highly-qualified labor are the elements underlying the dynamic development of free-zone companies.

The Free Zone System is a set of incentives and benefits granted by the Costa Rican government to companies making new investments in the country, as stated in the Free Zone System Act and its Bylaws.

Beneficiary companies under the System can engage in park management as well as in handling, processing, production, repair, and maintenance of export / re-export goods and services.

Basic requirements to join the System include new initial investment on fixed assets of at least US$ 150,000 for companies inside industrial parks, and US$ 2,000,000 for those outside.

Companies meeting the requirements below can join the System,

  1. Export processing industries engaged in processing or assembling raw materials to produce export / re-export finished goods.
  2. Export trade companies (not producers) engaged in handling, repacking, or redistributing non-traditional export / re-export products and merchandise.
  3. Service industries or companies exporting to natural or artificial persons abroad or serving to Free Zone companies, as long as these services are directly linked to those companies’ production processes.
    Banking, financial, or insurance companies inside Free Zones will not be allowed to benefit from the System.
  4. Park-managing companies engaging in installing companies under the Free Zone System and to park management and maintenance.
  5. Companies or organizations engaged in scientific research to enhance technology levels of industry or agribusiness activities and Costa Rica’s foreign trade.
  6. Companies operating shipyards and dry docks to build, repair, or service ships.


Audit Manual for Free Zone Companies  [PDF]

Bylaws  [DOC]

Free Zone Regime Law  [DOC]

List of Companies  [XLS]