Costa Rica Applies Requirements on Honduran Avocados

Arguing that through molecular biology tests the presence of the Avocado Sunblotch viroid was detected in shipments from Honduras, Costa Rican authorities decided to impose requirements on the entry of the fruit produced in Honduran territory.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Fernando Araya, Director of the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE), confirmed on May 25, 2021 that "... from this moment on, when samples are taken for analysis by the Molecular Biology Laboratory of avocado shipments from Honduras, these will be retained and will be released once a negative result for Avocado Sunblotch viroid (ASBVd) is obtained. The above in compliance with the responsibility to prevent the introduction and spread of pests that threaten food security and economic activity based on agricultural production."

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The official statement specifies that the action is taken through Resolution No 024-2021-NR-ARP-SFE, which was notified to the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the World Trade Organization, WTO, and ratified by that body through Emergency Notification G/SPS/N/CRI/238.

Araya added that "... a change in phytosanitary requirements for shipments of fresh avocado fruit from Honduras is confirmed, since by means of pest diagnosis (molecular biology) the presence of Avocado sunblotch viroid (ASBVd), known as Mancha del sol, not present in our country, was detected."

The International Plant Protection Convention IPPC recognizes the importance of combating pests and diseases of plants and plant products, to prevent their introduction and spread across national borders, the document concludes.

Research by CentralAmericaData specifies that Honduran avocado exports have been on the rise in recent years, as in 2016 they amounted to just $53 thousand, in 2017 they rose to $254 thousand, in 2018 they climbed to $753 thousand, in 2019 they rose to $3 million and in 2020 the exported amount totaled $4.4 million.

When reviewing the reported sales data in 2020, official figures detail that 98% of the total exported from Honduras was destined for Costa Rica.

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