Describes standards, identifies the national standards, accreditation bodies, and lists the national testing organization(s) and conformity assessment bodies.
The Costa Rican Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC) is responsible for the development and implementation of standards and regulations that local and foreign companies must follow to sell their products in the local market. These regulations are mostly related to labeling, usage instructions and open competition. They also issue safety related regulations.
The Costa Rican government accepts U.S. commercial and product standards. An accreditation system has not been implemented in Costa Rica due to the lack of adequate laboratory equipment and funding. In some cases, U.S. and domestic companies doing business in Costa Rica use the International Standards Organization (ISO) designation in their promotional campaigns.
As of March 2021, The Technical Standards Institute of Costa Rica (INTECO) who represents ISO in Costa Rica, reported that 98 companies have been granted ISO 14001 certification for environmental responsibility. Certified companies currently include banana producers, hotel operators in ecologically sensitive areas and other agribusinesses. INTECO also reported that 316 companies have met ISO 9001 requirements of quality management, 98 are certified with ISO 18001 in information technology and 223 are certified with ISO 22000 in Food safety management systems. Certification to ISO standards is voluntary. The Government of Costa Rica does not require that foreign companies must be certified with ISO (9000 and 14000) standards to export to Costa Rica.
The Instituto de Normas Tecnicas de Costa Rica (INTECO) https://www.inteco.org/en_US/is an independent association that was started in 1987. It is a private, non-profit body with representatives from the public and private sectors of the Costa Rican economy.
INTECO seeks to consistently improve standards-related activities with the goal of promoting the quality of goods and services manufactured or offered for sale within the country.
The Government of the Republic recognizes INTECO as the National Standards Body. INTECO began quality system registration activities in 1995, under agreement with AENOR. In 1999, INTECO introduced environmental management system registration, also under agreement with AENOR. The product certification service is offered to INTECO’s clients independently.
NIST Notify U.S. Service
Costa Rica, as a Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), is required under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) to notify to the WTO all proposed technical regulations that could affect trade with other Member nations. Notify U.S. is a free, web-based e-mail subscription service that offers an opportunity to review and comment on proposed foreign technical regulations that can affect your access to international markets. Register online at the to the WTO all proposed technical regulations that could affect trade with other Member nations. Notify U.S. is a free, web-based e-mail subscription service that offers an opportunity to review and comment on proposed foreign technical regulations that can affect your access to international markets. Register online at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s webpage.
The Instituto de Normas Tecnicas (INTECO) is the only entity accredited in Costa Rica that can certify that companies are following standards-related requirements:
Institute of Technological Norms of Costa Rica (INTECO)
San Pedro, Montes de Oca, Barrio Gonzalez Flores, de Muñoz y Nanne 400 Mts. Norte, contiguo al Laboratorio de Materiales de la Universidad de Costa Rica.
P.O. Box 10004-1000
San Jose, Costa Rica
Phone: (506) 2283-4522
Fax: (506) 2283-4831
The Costa Rican organization in charge of accreditation of entities is the Costa Rican Accreditation Entity (ECA). The ECA’s website contains a page showing the full list of Costa Rican testing organizations accredited by them. ECA is a non-
state public entity and the accreditations issued by then have a national level. They accredit the areas of testing and calibration in laboratories, clinical laboratories, inspection bodies, certification bodies and greenhouse gas verification bodies.
The Costa Rican Ministry of Health is responsible for the registration and authorization of import permits for food products, chemical products, cosmetics, vitamin supplements, drugs and other pharmaceutical products imported into Costa Rica. The Costa Rican Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) is responsible for the registration and authorization of import permits for fertilizers and agricultural products imported into the country. These ministries’ addresses are:
Ministry of Health of Costa Rica
Department of Drugs and Narcotics
Records and Controls
P.O. Box 10123-1000
San José, Costa Rica
Phone: (506) 2223-0333, Ext. 224
Fax: (506) 2257-7827 or 2222-1420
Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG)
State Phytosanitary Service (http://www.mag.go.cr/)
P.O. Box 1521-1200
San José, Costa Rica
Fax : 506-2260-8301
The Costa Rican Ministry of Science and Technology (MICIT) is the government agency that provides accreditation services to testing laboratories, calibration laboratories, inspection bodies, certification bodies and clinical laboratories, through Costa Rican Accreditation Entity (ECA), the standards certifying organization in Costa Rica. The Ministry and ECA may be contacted at the following addresses:
Ministry of Science and Technology (MICIT)
P.O. Box 5589-1000
San José, Costa Rica
Phone: 506-2248-1515, ext. 137 and 124
Costa Rican Accreditation Entity (ECA)
150 Norte de Edificio Torre La Sabana, Sabana Norte
Phone: 506-2258-2529, or 2258-0878, or 2258-0644
Fax: 506-2258-2529 ext.113
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.eca.or.cr/
Publication of Technical Regulations
Official technical regulations are published in the Government of Costa Rica journal, La Gaceta. Both proposed and final regulations are announced in this publication. U.S. companies interested in commenting on proposed regulations should have a representative in the country with the ability to keep the U.S. company informed of any new regulations proposed by the government. La Gaceta is part of the National Printing Office (Imprenta Nacional).
The Imprenta Nacional may be contacted at:
San José, Costa Rica
Phone: (506) 2296-9570, Ext.: 113 or 130
U.S. Commercial Service Costa Rica
Ricardo Cardona - Senior Commercial Specialist
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Costa Rica
Víctor González – Senior Agricultural Specialist;