July 2015 Foodman CPAs & Advisors

The OECD set out a clear path for Costa Rica’s accession to the Organization, reinforcing the OECD’s commitment to further extend its global membership.  On 8 July 2015, the 34 OECD Members adopted the Roadmap for the Accession of Costa Rica to the OECD Convention setting out the terms, conditions and process for its accession. This follows the decision taken by the OECD Council on 9 April 2015 to open accession discussions with Costa Rica.

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said: “Launching the accession process of Costa Rica underlines the Organisation’s commitment to broaden its global outreach. Our joint objective is to work together to bring Costa Rica’s policies and practices closer to OECD best policies and practices. This process, through which standards and best practices are adopted, is as important as membership itself and will help improve the lives of all Costa Ricans. It will be mutually enriching, as it will also allow the OECD to learn from Costa Rica’s experience in various policy areas.”

Costa Rican officials will now begin to engage with OECD Committees composed of experts drawn from Member countries in areas such as: Investment, Bribery in International Business Transactions, Corporate Governance, Financial Markets, Insurance & Private Pensions, Competition, Tax, Environment, Chemicals, Public Governance, Regulatory Policy, Statistics, Economics, Education, Employment, Labour & Social Affairs, Health, Trade, Export Credits, Agriculture, Fisheries, Science & Technology, Digital Economy Policy and Consumer Policy.

The first step in the process will see Costa Rica submit an Initial Memorandum setting out its position on approximately 260 OECD legal instruments (see www.oecd.org/acts). This will in turn lead to a series of technical reviews by OECD experts, who will collect further information from Costa Rica through questionnaires and fact-finding missions.

As part of the accession process, the OECD will evaluate Costa Rica’s implementation of the Organisation’s policies, practices and legal instruments. Its Committees may make recommendations for adjustments to legislation, policy or practice to bring Costa Rica closer to OECD instruments or best practices, serving as a catalyst for reform.

There is no deadline for completion of the accession processes. Final accession will depend on the candidate country’s capacity to adapt and adjust to meet the Organisation’s standards. Once all the Committees give their opinion, a final decision will be taken by all OECD Member countries in the governing Council.

Created in 1961 as the successor to the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation, which administered the Marshall Plan at the end of WWII, OECD serves as an economic, environmental and social policy forum for its 34 member countries, as well as partners worldwide, on the world’s most important global challenges.

The OECD’s current members are: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Other countries currently on the path to accession since May 2013 are Colombia and Latvia. The roadmap for Lithuania was also adopted on the 8 July 2015.  Activities related to the accession process of the Russian Federation are currently postponed.