Controversial Law on Phytosanitary Controls Endorsed

The Nicaraguan Assembly approved a bill empowering the Institute of Protection and Health to impose economic sanctions on any agricultural producer who fails to comply with phytosanitary requirements at the time of an inspection.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

The business sector considers that the law known as the "Plant Protection Act" has excessive discretion, since the Institute of Protection and Health (IPSA) cannot become judge and party in relation to complaints to the competent authority, because of the probable existence of a crime.

See "Phytosanitary Controls: Discretion and Abuse"

According to article 78 of the bill, when plants or regulated articles that are infected with any pest are marketed, fail to comply with phytosanitary requirements, or fail to declare the entry into the national territory of products of health risk, "... They will be sanctioned with fines of $5,001 to $7,000 ... or with the definitive suspension of the registration or definitive closure of the establishment."

From the National Assembly's statement:

March 11, 2020. The National Assembly approved today the Plant Protection Law Initiative of Nicaragua, a new modern legal framework that will allow the protection and increase of plant health in the country, preventing the introduction and spread of pests and contributing to the sustainable development of agricultural production activity.

The new Act, which consists of 95 articles, ensures the phytosanitary conditions required for the production and international trade of national agricultural products and will also enable Nicaragua to comply with its commitments under the international agreements signed on the subject of phytosanitary issues.

During the period of discussion on the initiative, deputies of the Sandinista party assessed the need to update and harmonize the phytosanitary laws and standards to ensure food security and meet the requirements of international agricultural trade.

Deputy Walmaro Gutierrez, president of the Production, Economy and Budget Commission, stressed that this law will ensure that plant based products reach the Nicaraguan people as consumers in a clean way to guarantee health and life.

At the same time, he highlighted the dynamism of the new legislation, since the previous law is about 22 years old, while over time there have been changes in international standards on sanitary and phytosanitary measures, leaving the Nicaraguan legislation behind.

More on this topic

Phytosanitary Controls: Discretion and Abuse

March 2020

The business sector in Nicaragua believes that the bill under discussion in the Assembly, which empowers the government to fine agricultural producers if they fail to comply with approved phytosanitary standards, has excessive discretion.

A few days ago, a bill called the "Plant Protection Law" was submitted to the National Assembly.

Sanitation Controls and the Nicaragua-Costa Rica Dairy Conflict

June 2016

Health authorities in Costa Rica have confirmed that since May they have prevented the entry of products from two dairy plants belonging to the Mexican company Lala in Nicaragua.

After information was circulated about the alleged closure of the Nicaraguan market to dairy products from three companies in Costa Rica, the health authorities of this country have acknowledged that since May 2016 they have restricted the entry of Lala's dairy products , having detected ".. . several examples of "non - compliance" in the  production system of the two plants inspected. "

Dairy War Between Nicaragua and Costa Rica?

June 2016

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, 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'."

Global Phytosanitary Certification

March 2015

Approval has been given to the creation of a global system of digital certification to control pests and plant diseases which can spread during international trade.

From a statement issued by the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promotion Office (Procomer):

The Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM), the governing body of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), consisting of 181 countries, has approved the creation of a new global electronic certification system called E-Phyto, which will help stop the spread of pests and diseases via agricultural products transported in international trade, in a way that is safer and cheaper.