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Costa Rica Import Regs.: Labeling Requirements

Questions and answers about prohibited imports, labeling requirements, customs valuation as well as tariffs & taxes of Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Import Regs.: Labeling Requirements

Postby bridgat » Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:00 am

There are no general requirements in Costa Rica for marking the origin of general merchandise. The marks and label must conform with legislative requirements and indicate the data required to identify and use the material or product concerned correctly, including the information prescribed in the legislation, regulations and official provisions in effect.

* Costa Rican food labeling regulations follow the Codex Alimentarius, and require the following specifications:

- all domestic and imported food products contain labeling in Spanish
- product name
- list of ingredients in quantitative order
- nutritional content
- name and address of importer
- expiration or best-used-by date (Note: Although expiration dates are required to be on all food product labels, Costa Rican importers are of mixed opinion regarding their utility, and the Government of Costa Rica is inconsistent in enforcing this requirement.)
- metric weight

* Special labeling requirements additionally apply to pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, veterinary preparations, vaccines, poisonous substances, and mouthwashes.

* Phytosanitary (USDA/APHIS) certificates are required for importing bulk grain and horticultural products.

* Zoosanitary (USDA/FSIS) certificates are required for importing fresh and frozen meats.

* Most processed food products (canned, boxed, pre-cooked) do not require phytosanitary or zoosanitary certificates, but exporters should check with their importers who are ultimately responsible for knowing local regulations.

* A new requirement in 2002, the Costa Rican Institute of Social Security requires a bar code system be incorporated in all purchases of medicines and medical supplies. This new requirement affects approximately 1500 local and foreign suppliers of the CCSS, which must modify labels in order to include the bar coding.
bridgat
 
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