Costa Rica reforms marine law to develop coastal zone economy

Costa Rica reforms marine law to develop coastal zone economy

The president of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chaves, signed on Wednesday a reform of the regulations of the Law of Marinas and Tourist Berths, with the aim of attracting more investors and developing the economy of coastal areas.

The proposal removes obstacles to developing marinas and berths and, at the same time, allows procedures and requirements to be clearer and can be carried out more quickly, which, according to the authorities, will generate more jobs on the coasts.

“People who are engaged in sport fishing, people who come in boats and sailboats spend a lot more than an ordinary tourist. In Costa Rica, it has been very difficult to build and remodel marinas and berths, but we seek simplification of procedures to facilitate these investments and the generation of jobs in a sector as important and as affected by the pandemic as tourism, “said Chaves at the conference after the Governing Council.

The projects must be processed before the Inter-institutional Commission of Marinas and Tourist Berths (CIMAT), attached to the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, an entity that will have to resolve the technical feasibility without the National Environmental Technical Secretariat (SETENA) having resolved – for the moment – the environmental viability, this with the aim of expediting the procedures.

In addition, the projects of marinas or berths that are located in areas adjacent to private properties registered in favor of individuals may present a preliminary draft of the proposal as a planning instrument, without there being a regulatory plan as was previously done.

“Getting this regulation that is part of the regulatory improvement to be able to foster the development and economy of coastal areas that are quite depressed (…) Today we can say that we have a document that will allow agility and that coastal and marine areas are developed, “said the executive director of the Association of Marinas and Tourist Berths, Grethel Fern√°ndez.

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The official added that this industry produces approximately 25 million dollars a year per marina and that this amount can be exceeded with the new regulation.

The new regulation also clarifies the conditions under which a foreign vessel using the services of a marina or tourist berth in Costa Rica can remain in the country for two years extendable.

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