SUTEL (Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones) is Costa Rica’s telecommunications regulator.
Costa Rica does not require local representation but does require in-country testing and certification of products using cellular technologies. Certain equipment may operate within restricted bands, such as 902-928 MHz.
Per Resolution RCS-358-2018, applicants for homologation certificates for cellular devices must deliver the required documents to SUTEL in person. LARCG can take care of document delivery as well as the importation of testing samples (typically three samples are needed). We can use international test reports for the homologation of non-cellular devices.
Approved cellular products must feature a label (official mark of approval), either internally on each device or as an e-label accessible through the device’s menu. Market surveillance enforces labeling requirements.
SUTEL approval typically takes at least four weeks. For products that do not require SUTEL approval, the agency will provide a No Homologation letter (useful for avoiding issues with customs).
Products requiring SUTEL approval include:
Type A plugs, rated at 15 Amps, are used mainly in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America and Central America. This is a Class I, non-grounded, non-insulated plug that operates on AC current and is known as NEMA 1-15. The plug has two 1.5 mm thick blades which measure 15.9 – 18.3 mm in length and are spaced 12.7 mm apart. The neutral blade is 7.9 mm wide, while the hot blade is 6.3 mm wide.
This plug almost always operates between 100 – 127 volts and is only compatible with socket type A.
Type B plugs, rated at 15 amps, are used mainly in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America and Central America. This is a class I grounded, non-insulated plug that operates on AC current and is known as NEMA 5-15. The plug has two 1.5 mm thick blades which measure 15.9 – 18.3 mm in length, and are spaced 12.7 mm apart. It also features a 4.8 diameter round, or u-shaped earth pin measuring 3.2 mm which acts as a ground. This plug almost always operates between 100 – 127 volts and is compatible with type A and B sockets. Grounded type B outlets are still rather uncommon in some parts of Central and South America.
However, it is not uncommon for people to cut off the earth pin to achieve compatibility with two-pole non-grounded sockets.