Barriers Preventing Entry of Mexican Avocados

In Guatemala, two importing companies claim not to be able to bring in this type of fruit imported from Mexico, because the Ministry of Agriculture requires them to present a phytosanitary certificate that their suppliers do not issue.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Because the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA) of Guatemala, requires a phytosanitary export certificate which must indicate that avocados coming into the country are free of the Sunblotch virus, since May 11 importing companies have not been able to bring in the product.

See "Crop Monitoring in Central America"

The Director of Plant Health at the MAGA, Jorge Gómez, explained to that " ... they can not eliminate the restriction because it is a virus that does not exist in the country. 'The problem is that despite the fact that the product being brought in is for consumption, here there is a bad habit of using avocados for seeds. And we have the risk that the virus can get in.'" 

The article adds that " ...The Mexican authorities have already officially requested that the phytosanitary restriction be eliminated, and the MAGA indicated that for this a risk assessment must be carried out."

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Almost three years after the beginning of the restriction of avocado imports from Mexico, citing supposed phytosanitary issues, the Solis administration is now promoting exports of Costa Rican varieties of the fruit, while the local market suffers from shortages.

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Avocadoes in Costa Rica: An Interfered With Market

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The ban on Mexican avocado has led to an increase in imports from Chile, raising its wholesale price by more than 30%, and will cause shortages when locally produced supplies have been exhausted.

Protectionism for the Costa Rican production of avocados introduced by the Solis administration, arguing phytosanitary measures, achieved results that benefited local producers, such as increasing the price of the product and a decline in import volumes (13,061 tons in 2013 vs . 11,187 in 2015). But what is good for the local producer, is bad for consumers who are forced to pay more for the fruit, as well as seeing their right to choose what to consume violated, and eventually being prevented from simply consuming anything at all because there is no supply.

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