April 23, 2014

Costa Rica Legal Highlights (Volume I 2013)

Latin American Region Environmental Report, Volume I 2013 

Implementing Regulations for Costa Rica’s 2010 National Waste Law Adopted

On March 19, 2013, Costa Rica published Executive Decree 37567-S-MINAET-H/2013 (the "Decree"), the general implementing regulation of its Law for Integral Waste Management (No. 8839/2010; the "Law"). The Decree creates an interagency body to oversee implementation of the Law (Arts. 5-7), establishes the framework of a National Waste Management Policy (Arts. 13-17), and sets forth waste management plan requirements on a national (Art. 18) and local scale (Art. 20). Waste generators are required to submit waste management plans according to specifications set forth in the Decree. (Arts. 23-24 and Annex II) Both generators and waste managers, among other actors, must meet annual reporting requirements to maintain a centralized database intended to monitor Costa Rica’s waste management. (Arts. 30-32) The Decree also implements Costa Rica’s commitments under Basel Convention, providing a detailed set of procedures for the prior authorization of transboundary waste movements. Prospective exporters and importers of regulated wastes must apply to the Ministry of Health to notify and obtain the consent of the proposed receiving and transit countries. (Arts. 55-61) The Decree also introduces the concept of "sectoral waste plans," which are defined in part as a voluntary mechanism for compliance with the Law’s take-back obligations that apply to products classified as special management wastes. (Art. 26) Sectoral waste plans share the same general features as other waste management plans; however, the Decree does not clearly indicate the circumstances under which this option would apply, nor the party that would be expected to submit the sectoral plan.

Costa Rica Amends Fuel Transport Regulation

Costa Rica has amended Executive Decree Nº 36627-MINAET, General Regulation on Fuel Transport (Reglamento para la Regulación del Transporte de Combustible), modifying the operating permit process and the specifications for fuel transport equipment. The requirements for obtaining an operating permit now include specific instructions for tank trailers transported by more than one transporter. (Arts. 1, 2) As of 2014, replacement fuel delivery equipment must be no more than ten years old, and as of 2018, no more than five years old. Likewise, replacement tank trailers designed to contain liquid hydrocarbons or those designed to transport gas cylinders cannot be older than 5 years. (Arts. 2-3).

© 2014 Beveridge & Diamond PC

About the Author

Russell Fraker, Environmental Attorney, Beveridge Diamond Law Firm

Russell Fraker is an Associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.  His practice encompasses environmental regulatory issues associated with facilities and products, both domestically and internationally.  He has significant experience with air, waste, contaminated site, biosafety, and product stewardship laws.

Proficient in Portuguese and Spanish, Mr. Fraker has worked in several Central and South American countries.  As a member of the Firm’s Latin American practice group, he advises clients on regulatory issues in the region, with...


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