, Costa Rica – Consumer Access to Justice

Costa Rica – Consumer Access to Justice

In the Official Gazette La Gaceta No. 76, dated May 3, 2023, Law No. 10360, “Law on Access to Justice for Consumers”, was published. This law significantly amends Law 7472, the Law on Promotion of Competition and Effective Consumer Protection, as follows:

Firstly, it grants the National Consumer Commission (CNC) the authority to declare null and void any abusive clauses in adhesion contracts, except for contracts in the financial sector. Regarding the enforcement of resolutions, the following provisions are established to grant executive title status to the sanctions and orders issued by the CNC:

  • Resolutions that impose fines will be enforceable through a certification with the value of an executive title, issued in favor of the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic, for execution on behalf of the State.
  • Fines and resolutions that order the return of sums of money can be backed by a certification issued by the CNC, which will constitute an executive title.
  • Resolutions that consist of orders to deliver, repair, or replace goods in favor of consumers can be executed through a judgment enforcement process in civil court (according to the Civil Procedure Code).
  • When the suspension of installment sales is ordered, the execution of guarantees provided in favor of the Ministry of Economy, Industry, and Commerce (MEIC) will be declared in the same act.

Regarding the administrative procedure, the period for filing claims is extended from two (2) to six (6) months. This period can be extended for an additional six months if the consumer demonstrates to the CNC that the reported provider/business did not satisfactorily resolve the issue within the first six months. Additionally, to expedite consumer complaints and their handling, the law establishes an obligation for merchants to designate at least one representative and an email address to receive notifications when a complaint is filed against them. This contact information will continue to be used for future notifications related to new cases against the same business. Merchants are required to ensure compliance with this obligation and to keep the email address active and/or updated for such notifications. Otherwise, automatic notification will be applied.

For the amount of the penalties established, the reform uses the base salary of an Office Clerk 1, as determined by the Superior Council of the Judiciary, as a reference.

Finally, Article 59 is amended, removing two criteria for determining sanctions and adding one aggravating and one mitigating factor:

  • Negligence in timely remediation by the sanctioned party, as an aggravating factor.
  • Comprehensive and timely compensation to the affected consumer, as a mitigating factor.


For more information, please contact info@central-law.com

Gian María Berello
Costa Rica

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