According to figures from the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica, about 842,000 Costa Ricans and foreigners are working in the informal sector.
This group of people represents 42.7% out of the total employed people and it is a phenomenon mainly associated to small and medium enterprises.
Informality is related to poor-quality jobs, lower wages than minimum wage, and little stability for workers.
Yolanda Fernández, president of the Commercial Entrepreneurs Union, explained that due to the informal economy, there are losses in other key areas related to the efficient operation of government institutions.
The Chamber of Commerce also warned that informality promotes smuggling.
In recent years, the illicit trade of several products (tobacco, liquor, medicine) has grown globally to become an activity of interest to international, organized crime. The country loses up to ₡ 55,500 million every year in tax revenues,
According to Euromonitor, smugglers gather 22% of the national liquor market.
In addition, numbers from the American Chamber of Costa Rican Commerce informed that 35% of the Costa Rican population admits to have bought smuggled goods, and 53% admit to have made an illegal purchase or practice.
Traders requested authorities to take measures in order to register and legalize informal companies.