The Maritime Zone
The first 200 meters from the high tide waterline on the beach is called the Costa Rica Maritime Zone.
In theory, there are no such thing as a “Private Beach” in Costa Rica, at least the first 50 meters. Some oceanfront properties have been “grandfathered” in, maybe 5%, so a few do have a title, but those are few and far between.
The Maritime Zone Has Two Sections
The first 50 meters is a Public Zone which is government owned. This Public Zone also includes all areas in which mangroves exist. The Public Zone offers access to everyone.
The second area known as the Concession Zone is the remaining 150 meters past the 50-meter mark.This is available for Concession, Costa Rica Concession property commonly has a duration of 20 years.
A concession property is basically a “land lease” the property is granted to the lessee for a specific period of time (20 years?). An owner of a concession may build subject to the Plan Regulardor’s zoning designations, obtain the required permits from the Golfito Municipality and you’re good to go.
Three National Offices Are Responsible For The Maritime Zone
- The Local Municipality: Protects and preserves the Maritime Zone and also is responsible for Concession Tax collection
- The Minae: Protects the ecological aspects of the Concession Zone.
- The Costa Rican National Tourist Institution (ICT): Responsible for the Zoning Designations in the Concession Area
Taxes On A Costa Rican Concession
The local Municipality (Golfito Municipality for the Pavones area) is in charge of collecting taxes on the concession. Quite a few people have applied for their Concession in the Pavones area and are waiting to be approved and processed by the Golfito Municipality. The Golfito Municipality are saying concessions are coming to the area soon. This is due to a mandate from the government in San Jose.
If one currently has yet to acquire a Concession from the Municipality, there is no tax liability.
The Costa Rican Maritime Zone And The Plano Regulador
The Plano Regulardor is a map of the zoning sections of the coast (There are many different Plano Regulardors depending on which coastal section it encompasses). The Costa Rica National Tourism Office (ICT) is in charge of the Plano Regulardor Zoning. Pertaining to a specific area, a Plano Regulador will be different…..Always check with a Qualified lawyer on the specifics and zoning of the Plano Regulardor in question.
One cannot process a concession without a Plano Regulardor in place.
Who Can Obtain A Costa Rican Concession On The Coastline?
Costa Rican National
Costa Rican Corporation with 51% of the shares owned by a Costa Rican National
Residents with 5 years accrued
Transferring Possession Of A Concession
A concession can be sold, a Costa Rican concession is owned by a Costa Rican Corporation which can sell its shares to a new owner of the Corporation thus transferring the Concession within the Corporation.
When buying a concession always consult a good, qualified lawyer.
Lifetime Of A Costa Rican Concession
A Costa Rican Concession is renewable and is valid for a term of five to twenty years. The Local Municipality has the responsibility to notify you to renew your Costa Rican Concession directly or through the El Diario Oficial (Official Costa Rican Newspaper)
Having a Costa Rican Concession Property is a legal way to enjoy living within 50 meters of the ocean in Costa Rica.