Guide to Costa Rica Market Access for Electrical and R&TT Products

March 29, 2019

 

The general regulatory framework for electrical and electronic products imported to Costa Rica is based on Energy Efficiency and Telecom Approval.

 

Telecommunication Approval applies to the products that utilize radio frequency and cellular technologies, such as:

 

  • Cell phones

  • Radio and Wireless Equipment

 

The Costa Rican Superintendency of Telecommunications (SUTEL) is the body that grants and regulates telecom and wireless approval. SUTEL is certification and accreditation body which certifies, accept certificates, enforce the law, control borders, executes market-surveillance, etc. SUTEL also acts as a technical body responsible for ensuring the efficient use of radio spectrum and monitoring and controlling the telecommunications legal system.

 

Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Telecomunicaciones (MICITT) defines the National Plan for Radio Frequencies (PNAF) for unlicensed bands equipment.

 

The Homologation process is mandatory and regulated by Resolution № RCS-358-2018 of 10.12.2018. Prior to starting the Homologation process, the applicant must comply with the requirements to be registered with the General Quality Directorate (DGC) of the Superintendency of Telecommunications (SUTEL). Then the applicant will be registered in the SUTEL, a web tool for the homologation process.

 

For the devices, which have successfully completed the homologation process, a certificate of homologation will be issued by the DGC.

 

The approved device should bear a corresponding physical mark (affixed to the internal part of each approved device) or a digital mark (displayed clearly and with a readable font size on the terminal screen when accessed from the device options menu). Example of a physical mark:

 

XXXXX-2018 corresponds to the SUTEL identification code for the mobile telecommunication equipment

 

Energy efficiency approval applies to:

  • Fluorescent Lamps

  • Refrigerators and Freezers

 

Costa Rica’s Ministry of the Environment and Energy (MINAE) provides the guiding vision and sets goals for the national electricity sector through policy documents. It must also approve plans for new generation plants according to environmental criteria. The Vice-Ministry of energy of MINAE is the institutional head of the national energy agenda charged with generating the guidelines, ensuring compliance with the regulations related to productive activities in the energy sector, and ensuring the legal powers granted to MINAE in order to promote the evaluation, measurement and monitoring of works, activities, and projects in this field.

 

The Department of Consumer Protection of MEIC works with the MINAE to ensure that the energy consumption information displayed by manufactures is correct and enforce regulations.

 

The Institute of Technical Standards of Costa Rica (INTECO) is recognized as the National Standards Body. In the area of energy efficiency, INTECO publishes and sets the minimum standards for energy efficiency and determines the efficiency rating of a product based on the information it receives from ICE’s testing laboratory in addition to the certification of appliances.

 

Costa Rican Accreditation Entity (ECA) is the main body that accredits testing and certification bodies in Costa Rica. It includes ICE’s testing laboratory and INTECO.

The law № 7447 of 1994 “Rational Use of Energy” along with subsequent regulations and amendments, requires that manufacturers, importers, and distributors provide clear information related to energy efficiency of their products. It also specifies that the label must be easily visible on the product.

 

This law requires 13 label specific aspects to be displayed including a specific name, appliance volume, and two forms of energy usage per year. However, this law does not specify a standardized testing procedure. There are the Standards INTE for specific products which established the label requirements.

 

Decree № 29820-MINAE-H-MEIC approved Technical Regulation № RTCR 376:2000: Technical Regulations for Fluorescent Lamps, which establishes energy efficiency requirements of various types and sizes as well as labeling and marking requirements.

 

On August 30, 2017, the Costa Rican Government published Decree № 40510, which approved RTCR 482:2015 “Electrical products. Household refrigerators and freezers using hermetic motor-driven compressors. Energy efficiency specifications”. The document came into force on March 1, 2019.

 

This Technical Regulation establishes the maximum electricity consumption levels and sets energy efficiency requirements for manufactured domestically or imported household refrigerators of up to 1104 L (39 cubic feet) and freezers of up to 850 L (30 cubic feet) using hermetic motor-driven compressors.

 

For conformity assessment with this Technical Regulations, importers should use one of the conformity assessment models established in Decree No. 37662-MEIC-H-MICIT of 2012 “Procedure for Demonstrating Product Conformity Assessment in Technical Regulations”.

 

Prior to customs clearance, the equipment must confirm the compliance with requirements of this Technical Regulation, through a Certificate of Conformity issued by a Certification Body accredited by the National Accreditation Body of Costa Rica (ECA) or by Accreditation Body recognized by ECA, according to the international multilateral agreement with IAF.

The information has been prepared by the GMA Consult Group team.

 

GMA Consult Group provides a full cycle of international type approval and global market access services for IT, Telecom and industrial electrical products in all countries throughout the world. With proven expertise in worldwide regulations, compliance, certification, and conformity assessment, GMA Consult Group can help your company speed up the access to any market with almost zero efforts from your side.

 

Need your own guide to the world of certification and approvals? Don't hesitate to contact us via info@gma.trade.

 

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