Payment of Exit Tax

December 2nd, 2013

The U.S. Embassy wishes to advise U.S. citizen travelers that there have been recent reports of Costa Rican authorities being unable to accept payment of the exit tax at land borders for technical reasons.  Costa Rica charges a $7 exit tax for land border crossings.  The new tax came into effect on December 2, 2013, and consists of a $5 exit tax and a $2 luggage search fee, regardless of whether the traveler has luggage or not.  Travelers are encouraged to pay the $7 fee at a branch of Banco Credito Agricola (Bancredito) or another designated payment collection point BEFORE they arrive at the border station to avoid potential last minute difficulties crossing into Panama or Nicaragua.  The charge is to be used to finance improvements at border crossings.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Costa Rica enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.Travel.State.Gov.  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for Costa Rica.  For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy/Consulate in San Jose is located at Av. O Calle 120, Rohrmoser. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy is 2519-2000.a