Warning - Costa Rica - Right Hand Drive Vehicle - RHD Refused Entry

OverlandSphere

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****Warning****

RHD Vehicles – Please take note, on the 10th of November a couple travelling in a RHD vehicle was refused entry into Costa Rica.

The Land Rover Club has been trying to help the couple however the initial reports are that the customs at the land borders are now enforcing a law that was introduced in 2012 Ref Article 32 (d) - Link to the law https://www.csv.go.cr/documents/10179/10845/ley-transito.pdf/7ccd5feb-bb0d-4da1-b4e1-059e2d7870e8

English Translation: https://translate.google.com/transl...bb0d-4da1-b4e1-059e2d7870e8&edit-text&act=url

We are awaiting further clarification of the situation, as we no more we will post another update…

This is the link to the original report: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OverlandSphere/permalink/1673363236214963/

I would ask that if you know of someone with a RHD vehicle and they are planning on driving in Central America that you share this post with them.

This information was provided by the the Land Rover Club in 2014... but it appears the situation has now changed.

Dear RHD overlanders,

Regarding the incident in the Costa Rican Border in April with a RHD vehicle, below is the response from Kenneth Waugh, GM of Land Rover in Costa Rica and President of the British Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce. The El Salvador LR Club will gladly assist any RHD overlander with a permit to drive through El Salvador, just write us with enough notice.

"I have confirmed that there is no restriction for RHD vehicles to be accepted temporarily and to be driven within the tourism access time (less than 90 days) on Costa Rican territory. I am requesting the Ministry of Transportation to issue the written statement and also requesting the National Insurance Company to issue the written clarification that there is no restriction to insure this vehicles during their passage. As well I am doing the written question to AIVEMA as an extra assurance that this vehicles are only temporary."
 
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OverlandSphere

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There has been an update from Costa Rica regarding the reported incident, in short they are saying that the law applies, they acknowledge it may not be correct i.e in accordance with international treaties, but until the law is changed, RHD vehicles are officially not allowed into Costa Rica.

We are unaware whether the incident has raised the awareness of customs officers at other border crossings.

We also still do not know whether this is an isolated incident or not, and will not know until other RHD vehicles attempt to enter the country.

This is being actively discussed here: Overland Sphere Facebook
 

OverlandSphere

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Another update copied from our FB Group:

RightHandDrive Costa Rica

Hey folks,
As there are many discussions about RHD, i just wanted to let you know how i crossed the boarder to Costa Rica in a RHD with a looot of luck:
I arrived on the 02.01.'16 at the nicaraguan boarder at 7:30 and it was allready overcrowded of thousends of people. If you don't take the line with all the bus-travelers and go to the other building for people with own cars it is much faster, so i arrived at the Costa Rican imigration at 9:30. Everything is easy except the Aduana when they check your car. I parked at the parking lot next to the Aduana, filled out the paper and a guy came with me to check the car. He wanted that i open every door and as he closed the last door(backside) and was about to give me the paper, he noticed in a half of a second,while the door was falling into the locks, that the steering wheel is on the wrong side. So he didn't let me pass. I argued and talked with him, and another guy, at the Aduana but they only said, that it is forbidden since 2 years and the only way to cross costa rica, is with the car on a truck, which is about 800US$. The guys at the Aduana where nice but very stricked, they let me use their phone and there was no way to bribe them. I spended the whole day asking them to let me through and with watching them checking other cars (after mine especially for RHDs!).. I slept at the boarder and tried it the next morning at 7:00, when everybody was still sleepy and haven't had finished their first coffee. So i did everything again at the Aduana, but with different people, they were wondering why i crossed the boarder allready the day before but i said it was late and the Aduana had allready closed. So the guy came with me to check the whole car, but without noticing its a RHD, eventhough he checked the drivers sidedoor. So i got the temporal import paper. The next tricky thing is the guy who checks the little paper and your license plate at the end of the boarder, but he was also very tired. So my advice is, if you really want to drive into Costa Rica with a RHD you need really a loooot of luck or try the other boarder (San Carlos)on the other side of the nicaragua lake. I have heard its smaller and not that crowded, but don't know if that is better or not. Or don't cross with a RHD...
Good luck!
 

OverlandSphere

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Costa Rica RHD update: From the British Embassy (This is official info, however customs or border officials have the power to use their own judgement on this matter and may or may not apply the same rules below consistently.)

"I have a quick update for you in regards to the topic below.

After a couple of month, the Costa Rican Authorities sadly confirmed what we already know – currently RHD vehicles are not allowed to transit through Costa Rica.

However, on the note sent to us, they confirm the relevant department is working on amending the law (pretty much creating a new regulatory instrument) in order to extend temporary permits to those RHD vehicles transiting through Costa Rica. This might take some time, according to them, but they will inform us in due course."

The above is not new, and is what we expected since the reports first came through. Original thread FB Group Thread

Has anyone got any recent reports of entering or trying to enter Costa Rica with a RHD…

Issues with RHD are reported on our map here: Left hand Drive - Right Hand Drive - Overlanding Association
 
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