Parameters to Request the Granting of a Concession in a Maritime Zone

by / Saturday, 11 July 2015 / Published in Entertainment, Latest posts, Lifestyle, Tech
If a private person or a legal corporation wants to purchase a property at the beaches of Costa Rica, whether it is to build a house, hotel, resort or business, first it should be informed about the requirements to obtain a concession in the maritime zone. To have a concession means that the person doesn’t acquire the property, but obtains a permit for using it, that allows the exploitation and enjoyment of the land, according to the parameters established by the local regulatory plan.
In this matter we have to consider the Law 6043 About the Maritime Terrestrial zone (Diario Oficial La Gaceta; March 16 of 1977), which is responsible of regulating the inscription and use of the Costa Rican sea front properties.The Law 6043 establishes on its Article 9 that “the maritime zone is the range of two hundred meters wide along the entire length of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the Republic, whatever its nature, measured horizontally from the line of the high tide and the land and rocks that the sea leaves uncovered during the low tide”.

Way in which the maritime-terrestrial area is divided:

– Public: 50 meters wide strip from the ordinary high tide, and the areas that are exposed during the low tide (including islets, cliffs, mangroves and estuaries). The occupation of the public zones is strictly prohibited.
– Restricted: Strip located on the remaining 150 meters. Let’s remember that maritime zones cover 200 meters along the coasts.Restricted zones may be given in concession on periods ranging from 5 to 20 years and there is the possibility to renew them at maturity.

Who’s responsible for taking care of the zones given in concession?

The duty to study the projects, give the concessions, administrate them, watch over them to ensure its proper use and that of its natural resources, and charge a fee (canon) for the lease, is in charge of the municipalities, however, the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) is the institution that gives the final approval to the concession.

The ICT is also responsible to declare the tourist or non-tourist areas at the maritime zones. At this point it is important to clarify that only private people or companies from Costa Rica may develop tourism projects in maritime spaces, as well as those foreign companies whose 50 percent of its capital belongs to Costa Rican citizens.

Restrictions when approving a concession on public land

Article 47 of the Maritime-Terrestrial Law establishes, in general, the people or companies that cannot receive a concession:

– Foreigners who haven’t reside in the country for at least five years
– Companies (sociedades anónimas) with bearer shares
– Companies or entities domiciled abroad
– Entities founded in the country by foreigners
– Entities whose shares, quotas or capital (more than 50 percent) are in hands of foreigners.

The management of a concession requires the work of legal experts

Before applying to a maritime zone concession, a rigorous research of the land is vital, as well as an exhaustive review of all the parameters, requirements and other details included in the Law 6043.

Besides, all the Costa Rican municipalities handle a different regulatory plan, so the paperwork to apply for each concession can vary.

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