Shipping to Costa Rica

Get up-to-date local information about export procedures and restrictions, demurrage and detention, container drop-offs and more.

Customs House Brokerage

Local contact options

Customs is part of the Ministry of Treasury, where the General Administration is located. Those who can make statements from Dua are the customs agents. The customs agent is the one that declares to the Treasury. Auxiliaries of the public function: fiscal warehouses, customs agents, freightforwarders, etc. MAERSK in Costa Rica outsources to customs agents as a service.

What is required to complete Customs House Brokerage?


Mandatory documents required:

  • Commercial invoice(s)
  • Certificate of origin
  • Technical notes
  • Packing list(s)
  • Cargo description to complete Classification Number / HS code


Additional documents (where applicable) *

  • Copy of the Bill of Lading
  • Licences
  • Non Tariff Regulations Certificates
  • Certificates of Origin



Mandatory documents required:

  • Fiscal /Commercial invoice(s)
  • BL
  • Technical Note
  • Packing list(s)
  • Cargo description to complete Classification Number / HS code


Additional documents (where applicable) *

  • Copy of the Bill of Lading
  • Documentation that verifies compliance with Non-Tariff Regulations and Restrictions


  • Q: What is the Pricing / Cost of these services?

A: Pricing is dependent on the service package you choose. Please contact our office to discuss which option is right for you.

Product DUA Tariff Application Included services
CHB Transit $65.00 Per Container Caldera terminal include, port cost, container reception. Limon terminal include marchamo and ISPS security
CHB Import $150.00 Per BL Import CHB declaration & handling
CHB Export Scrap Metal $70.00 Per Container CHB handling, external cost at terminal of Caldera, messenger
CHB Export Wood $70.00 Per Container CHB Handling
CHB Exports Fruits and Vegetables frozen $90.00 Per CHB of 1 container CHB handling, MAG inspection with authorities MAG, FAD. Subject to additional cost per container of $15 + MAG inspection and Courier
CHB Exports Fruits and Vegetables fresh $120.00 Per CHB of 1 container CHB handling, MAG inspection with authorities MAG, FITO, FAD. Subject to additional cost per container of $15 + MAG inspection and Courier
  • Q: What can hold up my Customs Clearance?

A: Failure to comply with sanitary and phytosanitary regulations, breach of security, non-payment of tariffs and taxes, being within the risk profile of the Ministry of Treasury.

  • Q: What is “Aforo rojo”?

A: A physical and documentary review of the merchandise by Customs.

  • Q: What is the benefit of using Maersk CHB in Costa Rica?

Simple coordination by being Maersk the point of contact for the cargo shipping as well as for CHB related queries.

Saving time by eliminating the time associated in communication between the customer and the customs broker. The communication will be handled directly by Maersk.

Fast and easy process Fast clearance process and detail visibility that helps to react in case of any exception.

Easy pricing with a flat rate according to monthly volume, or if required, ad-hoc rate for specific projects.

Compliance by assuring the correct declaration before customs.

Local invoice with the local charges and expenses, as well as the CHB

Backing of the MAERSK brand

  • Q: What is a classification number HS Code?

A: Unique international code that classifies merchandise at the customs level.

A classification number is a unique 8-digit code that relates to a specific product and determines the amount of Duty payable and the Non-Tariff Regulations required to clear the cargo.

  • Q: Why do I need to provide a classification number HS Code / detail cargo information?

A: It is used to apply the correct tax rate, apply the preferential treatment if it exists, to check the technical and sanitary requirements.

The correct tariff classification of the merchandise arriving in the country is critical to identify the Non-Tariff Regulations and Restrictions that must be complied with. The description of the merchandise and the technical information are required to determine the correct classification.

 Q: How will I know when my shipment has cleared customs?

A: When I get an ¨aforo verde¨(¨levante¨ of the merchandise) by the Customs.

Our team will send an email with the related documentation, notifying the customs clearance.

  • Q: Who can I contact regarding my Customs Clearance?

    A: Please contact MAERSK Costa Rica.

  • Q: Who will invoice me for my Customs Clearance?

    A: Maersk, will depend on the brand. But if it is a Dua or Warehousing service, where the BL does not belong to any of the brand (MAERSK), then it will be Rada.
    The contact is with Maersk.

  • QI have a query regarding my Customs Clearance Invoice, who can I contact?

    A: Please contact or

  • Q: How do I set up an account?

A: • Full name of the company.

• Exact physical address of the company.

• RUC Number or Company Legal Document.

• Legal representative of the company.

• Contact person, phone and email.

• Website address.

• Postal Code.

Abbreviations & Explanations

CHB = Customs House Brokerage
VAT = Value Added Tax
HTS = Harmonized Tariff Schedule
OEA = Authorized Economic Operator (Operador Económico Autorizado)
POA = Power of Attorney
NTR = Non-Tariff Regulations
COVE = Proof of Value
VUCEM = Electronic window

What is the size of your market?

Please explain current market conditions

Market is increasing annually at a ratio of 4%.

Any specific industries / verticals that you have strengths in?

In exports refrigerated cargo, scrap and wood. In imports project charge.

Any specific industries / verticals that you think we have opportunity to play in?

Retail business y BCO.

Are you using any qualifying questions as support for sales force to understand the scope of opportunities?

If so, please list the questions you are using

1. Average amount of operations handled Imports and exports

2. Number of containers per BL

3. Port of entry to the country or exit

4. Type of DUA (Redestino / Anticipado)

5. Type of merchandise?

6. Value of the merchandise?

7. How many DUAS does BL (This applies only to Anticipated DUAS or nationalization)

8. Confirm item / average lines by DUA?

9. Confirm if the client sends database of the subheadings currently handled and technical files of the products to be classified

10. Origin of merchandise? Check if the client performs TLC or certificate of origin (This only applies when there is a free trade agreement between countries)

11. Ask about technical requirements (Technical note, MAG, Explosives) and phytosanitary of the merchandise?

12. Does the client make an advance for payments to third parties?

13. To require financing of payments to third parties confirm their estimated value

14. Is In House / In Plant required? If so, please indicate where it is required, amount and the necessary profile.

15. How long in advance documentation and information is sent to the provider for maritime and air operations.

16. Confirm KPIs that are currently operating in the operation

What is the size of your CHB team in your country?

2 FTEs.

How many offices and where are they? Please list all of the locations.

One office: San José, Costa Rica.

How many CHB employees? 

2 FTEs.

Are you offering any Trade Consulting services? (If so, please list them all)

If customers ask questions about documentation or logistics issues, one responds. But not properly as a product.

Do you have any certifications – equivalent of AEO, PIP, CTPAT, etc.?

If so, please list them all

There is a provider that has a BASC. However, MAERSK at the process level does not have.

Do you offer any visibility, tracking and tracing solutions / services to your clients?

If so, please outline


Which client segment are you selling to the most? (Large multinational companies? Mid-market? Small companies?)

Medium and small companies.

What are the pain-points that these clients have?

Different client segments have different pain points - please outline

Market knowledge, little logistic structure, low technical knowledge.

Who are your main competitors?

Servica, Tical, TLA, Humberto Alvarez, Corredores Asociados el Aguila, Servicios Neptuno, DHL, K&N, AIMI, Aimar, Expeditors, Mundotrans.

What is it that you have that they don’t?

Backup from MAERSK as a brand, customer information, important business information.

Any specific system advantages?

Not really.

Any specific services you can provide that competitors cannot or at least not on the level you can?


Why would a client change their service provider?

Because of reasons such as the ease of payment, seriousness, support, trust in us and for the rates offered.

Do you have any CHB related case studies? (If yes, please attach separately, if not please think of some good cases with clients you could highlight and provide the story line in the following format:

The customer: Customer Royal Resources (CR)

The challenge:  Too much invoices & different points of contacts administrative work.

Tariff not aligned to the segment & market reality.

The solution: Tailored solution to fulfil customer needs. We create two packages 30 USD per container without external cost or 70 USD per container including external cost.

The result: Regular volume every week potential from 10 to 20 FFEs. One Invoice, one single point of contact. We control customer operations 2/3 with CHB + Ocean.

Can you expand on any recent CHB wins? (Please list volume and CM1)

Who had the buying power on the customer’s side? (Compliance manager or Logistics manager)

The imports manager, and another manager (of a family company).

Do you have any training material for the local sales team?

If so, who was managing / providing the training?

Please provide the material in a separate attachment.

Yes, through calls and workshops from suppliers directly to us. But at the moment they do not have it.

Is there anyone who is dedicated to join sales team in commercial activities with clients?

If more than one, please list all the resources


Given the resources, is there anything you would like to develop?

Specific product capability?

Training material?

Marketing material?

Anything else we did not mention here?

Marketing material and training material.

A team for this.

Information systems for execution, visibility and contact with the client.


Route Service Name Port Name Booking Shipping Instructions DUA Container Full VGM
North Europe CRX-15C Terminal de Contenedores de Moin TUE 1200 WED 1200 THU 1700 FRI 0600 WED 1200
Mediterranean CARMED-85W Terminal de Contenedores de Moin FRI 1700 TUE 1700 WED 1700 THU 0600 TUE 1700
Asia WCCA SERVICE-U8E Puerto Caldera TUE 1700 WED 1200 THU 1700 SAT 2400 WED 1200

Demurrage and Detention

Operator Maersk
Port/Terminal Names All Ports
Valid from 1st January 2019
Valid to 31st December 2019
Charge Type Export -Detention
Commodity Codes
Transport Mode All transport modes
Service Mode All service modes
Freetime DAYS Calendar / Working Same / Next day if after
DRY 10 Calendar Same_Day
REEF 6 Calendar Same_Day
IMO 10 Calendar Same_Day
OTHER 6 Calendar Same_Day
From (Days) To (Days) Rate for 20 DRY Rate for 40/45 DRY Rate for 20 REEF Rate for 40 REEF Rate for 20' Flat & Open Top
Tier 1 11 Thereafter USD 90 USD 90
Tier 1 7 Thereafter USD 155 USD 155 USD 155



In order to request a container, a booking must be requested via If it is not possible to request the first booking via the web, a form must be filled out with the complete information detailed below. This information has to be sent to our customer service department at

  • Name, phone, address and shipper's contact details.
  • Date, time and exact address of the drop off location.
  • Container type and size.
  • Commodity (in case it is reefer cargo, please include temperature and ventilation).
  • The ventilation must be provided in cbm/hr
  • Exact weight.
  • Type of service (Container yard or Store Door).
  • Final destination.
  • Contractual customer name.
  • Service Contract.
  • Payment terms (Prepaid or Collect).

Shipping Instructions

Once you have received a booking confirmation and the container has been assigned, the next step is to complete the Shipping Instructions in our website If it is not possible to use the web page, please contact our customer service department to receive a template to complete the shipping instructions. The shipping instructions need to be sent to our customer service department at

Manual shipping instructions have a cost of $30 per BL.

Note: For website registration assistance, please contact our Customer Service Department.



  • No restrictions on dry commodities apply.
  • Perishable reefer cargos require prior approval of Customer Service Department.
  • For more information, please contact Customer Service Department (
  • Shark fin/shark meat exports are not allowed from Costa Rica.
  • hazardous Cargo Subject to approval. For more information, please contact operations department.
  • No acceptance of 20’ Reefer containers.

For all container types and as per government regulation, the maximum weight accepted is 20.5 tons for cargo in chassis of 2 axes, overweight should be moved in chassis of 3 axes.

Contact us

If you want to speak to a sales person about a new shipment or if you have a question about your existing shipment, you can email us and we will respond within the next two days. If you have a more immediate question, you can search for help online.