In the arbitration process a ruling was made in favor of Panama's bar on import registrations for juices that did not meet the requirements for fruit content.
The problem began in November 2015 when Panama decided to restrict the entry of nectarsfrom Guatemala for failing to comply with labeling rules and the minimum amounts of fruit that such drinks must contain under Panamanian rules.
Fresh fruits, processed fruits, concentrates and fruit juices, coffee and cocoa are the main products with potential for export to China.
From a statement issued by Procomer of Costa Rica:
San José, November 18, 2016. Fresh fruits, processed fruits, concentrates and fruit juices, as well as coffee and cocoa are the main Costa Rican products that have potential for export to the Republic of Korea; a developed country with sophisticated and demanding consumers, in terms of innovation and quality.
Guatemala is considering requesting arbitration against Panama for the import restrictions applied to nectars from November 2015 on Guatemala and other countries in the region.
The problem, which started in November 2015 with therestriction on the entry of nectarsfor failing to comply with the rules establishing the minimum content of fruit that these drinks should contain, still remains nine months later. At the request of the Guatemalan companies that have been affected, the government is evaluating all alternatives in order to eventually go to arbitration.
The Salvadoran government has attributed the closure of the plant to changes in the technical regulations applied by Mexico on imports of these products and the imposition of "discretionary criteria" by some authorities in that country.
From a statement issued by the Ministry of Economy of El Salvador:
The close of the Mexican company JUMEX is the result of trade measures taken by Mexico
The Mexican juice maker has announced the closure of its production due to a reorientation of investments at the regional level.
The company announced through a press release the closure of operations starting from February 26 in the Central American country, where it set up in 2009 and in which invested about $20 million. After closing the factory, the company will keep only the marketing and distribution of products in the country.
Panama Fruit has announced the beginning of operations of its new storage and processing plant for pineapple and orange juice, located in the province of Cocle.
Panama Fruit explained that in the plant they will be processing pineapples and fruit that farmers can not sell in the local or international market. The president of the Panamanian company, Pedro Fabrega said that fruit which is not sold on the market due to "lack of color or size", will be used to make juices.
As of July 1 the arbitration panel ruling which came down on the side of Costa Rica will be put into practice, and from now on all Costa Rican exports to the Salvadoran market will enjoy the preferences stated in the DR-CAFTA.
From a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica: