If you purchase real estate in Costa Rica you will be required to sign a sworn affidavit before a Notary Public in Costa Rica. In the sworn affidavit the purchaser shall indicate the following information about the transaction:
(a) The amount of funds involved in the transaction.
(b) The form and the method of payment being used to finance the purchase.
(c) The amount of property transfer taxes, documentary stamps and recording fees that are involved in the transaction.
(d) The account number where the funds are coming from and the date, time of any deposits made or any checks being issued and related to the transaction.
Why is this being required ?
Costa Rica has been pressured by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF / GAFI) which is a non-governmental organization created by G7 countries (United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom) to fight money laundering and terrorism financing. To satisfy the FATF/GAFI recommendations the Costa Rica legislature modified and expanded its money laundering law. As such the law now requires that all participants in the real estate sector ( real estate agents, real estate companies, lawyer, notaries and accountants) implement money laundering compliance legislation.
When is this requirement in effect ?
The law has been in effect since June of 2017. The recording office began rejecting property transfer deeds that did not make reference to the sworn affidavit indicated in the law. This created havoc in the system and the recording office (National Registry) has since reversed itself on that position and is no longer rejecting documents. However, the law is in effect and the sworn affidavit is required so it is best to discuss this in advance with your real estate closing Attorney if you are contemplating purchasing property in Costa Rica.
For more information about this law watch the following video.