Raising taxes exclusively on Colombian products is one of the measures that Panama could take until Colombia starts to comply with the WTO ruling.
The Panamanian government has asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) for authorization to use trade measures against Colombia, worth $210 million, equivalent to the effects that the imposition of Colombian tariffs had on the Colon Free Zone.
In Costa Rica since the government suspended imports of Mexican avocados in May 2014, the average wholesale price of the fruit went up by 19% in 2015 and 16% last year.
Since the country stopped the imports of mexican avocados because of the alleged presence of the sunblotch plague, the price of this fruit in the local market has kept on rising.Although avocados are now imported from seven different countries, total imports have fallen 25% since then, and the average price has recorded since then an annual increase of 18%.
The Ministry of Economy has decided to impose a new tax of almost 7% on sugar imported from Brazil, in response to a lawsuit brought by the union of local producers.
With this new protectionist measure the government is trying to put an end to a conflict that arose in 2015 between the Agricultural Cane League (Laica) and the importer Maquila Lama, when this company denounced a proposal to amend the regulation on sugar fortification claiming it attempted to restrict trade of imported grain.
The Panamanian government has announced that until the dispute over tariffs is resolved, it will keep in abeyance the agreement signed with Colombia to buy two ships for $30 million.
As part of the trade dispute caused by the tariffs imposed by Colombia on imports of Panamanian footwear and textiles, the Varela administration has announced the suspension of a contract signed in October with Cotecmar, a company linked to the Colombian Defense Ministry.
Delays of up to 23 days are being reported for carrying out the processes to register and bring in the first two shipments of avocados from the Dominican Republic.
Costa Rican importers and government officials have denounced the fact that the Dominican Republic took 23 days to process the first shipment that arrived in the country via Puerto Limon, and 20 days for the second shipment.
The situation is seen internationally as a crude protectionist maneuver by a government divided internally between respecting the obligations in signed free trade agreements and an outdated protectionist stance on the part of of uncompetitive national production sectors.
The Solis administration has postponed negotiations with Mexico for the lifting of the ban on imports of avocados from that country, while awaiting new phytosanitary studies.
The delay in phytosanitation studies by the Ministry of Agriculture has stalled the process for starting imports of avocados from the Dominican Republic.
Even though it has been a month since the Chamber of Exporters and Importers of Perishable Goods asked to be able to start the process of importing avocados from the Caribbean island, a delay in carrying out a study on the part of the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) has prevented this from happening.
A local problem between Honduran farmers and pasteurizing plants due to the price at which they purchase milk could be the reason behind the block on Nicaraguan dairy products.
Trinchera.com.ni reports that according to the National Federation of Ranchers and Farmers of Honduras (FENAGH), closing the border to milk and dairy products from Nicaragua will continue until there is a resolution to the problem between pasteurizing plants and dairy farmers, who have denounced the low prices paid for the product in plants.
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.
Complaints are being made over the sampling process used to verify product quality which is causing delays, forcing goods to be kept at the border for up to 15 days.
The union of the dairy sector in Nicaragua says that the waiting time for the results of the quality test is not supposed to be more than 8 days, but when samples are sent which were taken from El Amatillo to San Salvador, the process is much longer.
In light of the recent problems in the dairy trade between Nicaragua and Costa Rica, the Central American exporters union advocates eliminating barriers and facilitating trade.
Elsalvador.com reports that "...Taxes on perfumes in customs offices in Honduras, problems with entry of frozen goods into Costa Rica, meat and dairy going from Nicaragua into Honduras, beef and chicken from Panama to Costa Rica and impediments to the free marketing of milk and dairy products between Costa Rica and Nicaragua are some of the problems that are hampering business growth in the region. "
Nicaraguan health authorities have restricted access to products elaborated by the Costa Rican company Dos Pinos and two other companies for failing to obtain health certification for their processing plants.
In a circular apparently issued by the company Dos Pinos, the entity may have indicated to its customers that due to non-renewal of health certificates for the industrializing plant they may not be able to continue expending their products until the situation has been resolved.This is the version stated by Laprensa.com.ni, who also explained that the Country manager at Dos Pinos in Nicaragua, Oswaldo Gonzalez Quijano said in the document"... The measure taken by the Government of Nicaragua 'has no technical basis'."
Arguing the imposition of non-tariff barriers, Centrolac has filed with the Central American Court of Justice a claim against Honduras because it prevented Nicaraguan milk from entering the country.
Although the Honduran government insists that restricting the entry of milk from Nicaragua is strictly in adherence to sanitary measures, Nicaraguan producers and exporters maintain their position and are demanding that the government take retaliatory measures against Honduras. Therefore, the company Centrolac presented on May 10 a lawsuit with the Central American Court of Justice, denouncing the closure of borders and accusing the country "... of contravening Community law".