New Costa Rica tax makes no sense

Costa Rica has added a "roadway tax" which seems to make no sense. It is a tax that you must pay to Costa Rica when crossing the border in a vehicle into Nicaragua. Calling it a roadway tax when you are about to stop using Costa Rica's roadways is a bit absurd.

In any case, it is $5 that you must pay at an office of Bancrédito. The nearest branch is in Liberia which is about 80km from Peñas Blancas. But, don't worry, Costa Rica plans to add a Bancrédito ATM at the border within two weeks. Pardon my sarcasm but there is little traffic at the border in December, right?

From an article in GringoTico Times

Beginning on Dec. 2, the Costa Rican government began charging a $5 "roadway tax" at border crossings that can only be paid at Bancrédito branches. The problem is there are no Bancrédito offices or ATMs at the northern border.

On Monday, dozens of travelers were forced to return to Liberia to the bank's nearest branch, located some 50 miles away and a one-hour trip each way.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

First time I have heard it called a "Roadway Tax"

The Director General of Taxation for CR calls it a "tax to leave the country by land", which must be paid by everyone-including-Costa Ricans, who leave by land at a border post.

The Nica version has been $2 for years.

Last I heard was that Penas Blancas was suspending collection until the bank machines were installed.

They did this last holiday season with the proof of $100 in your pocket at entry, which was also suspended within days.


They Do Have

the BCR ATM and a little BCR branch office in a trailer right across from where you get your passport stamped.

One thing I find interesting is, the ATM's in Costa Rica and Nicaragua tell you that your card is no good when they run out of money. This happens not infrequently at the only ATM in Condega at the Palí. One of the other problems at this ATM is the kids play with it, sticking various items in the card slot, and banging on the keyboard. No one seems to have a problem with this . . .

The service guy comes out of Managua, so it's two-three day outage when it's not working. It runs Windows XP as its OS, has a serious UPS providing power to it.

CR also has the required permission to leave the country with your car, a bit of a pain. You get it in Liberia at the registro on the second floor of the big BCR building. Only takes a few minutes (depending on the line, which moves pretty fast).

Raise...$2 Another fee

December 9th, 2013 ( Unofficial sources report that Costa Rican authorities are eager to reinstate a problematic new border tax at the Nicaragua border by Sunday in order to take advantage of the large number of Nicaraguan nationals expected to head north for the holidays.

The $5 tax had to be suspended a little more than a day after being implemented the last weekend of November as hundreds of travelers unaware of the new tax had nowhere to pay the fee at the border.

The problems occurred because self-service machines that were supposed to allow travelers to pay the fee at the border were never installed.

Besides the machines, the tax can only be paid at branches of the Bancrédito bank, which forced hundreds of travelers to backtrack to Liberia – an hour’s drive south of the border, in order to pay the tax.

The ensuing chaos forced authorities to temporarily suspend the requirement to show proof of payment of the tax.

Unofficial sources now report that authorities are eager to reinstitute the tax by Sunday, as one of the busiest seasons at the border gets underway.

In addition to the $5 fee, travelers will also be required to pay a new $2 fee in order to have their baggage checked by special machines.