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."

You may be interested in "Central America: Avocado Sales Increase in Importance"

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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More on this topic

Concern about Possible Trade Retaliation

May 2021

Following Costa Rica's decision to impose requirements on the entry of avocados grown in Honduras, Costa Rican businessmen believe that these unilateral measures could generate trade retaliation for the country.

Arguing that molecular biology tests detected the presence of the Avocado Sunblotch viroid in shipments from Honduras, the Costa Rican State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) decided to start taking samples to analyze Honduran avocados.

Avocado: Costa Rica-Mexico Conflict Resolution Delayed

February 2019

Mexico asks to inspect Costa Rican farms to determine if it is true that the sustain is not in the crops, to which local producers oppose.

In December 2018, the phytosanitary and livestock authorities of Costa Rica and Mexico agreed on a procedure to end almost four years of trade conflict, which arose from the barriers imposed on the entry of avocado to the Costa Rican market.

Avocado: End of the Dispute Between Costa Rica and Mexico?

February 2019

Authorities from both countries agreed that Costa Rica would accept avocado from Mexico, as long as it has a phytosanitary certificate indicating that the shipment is "symptom-free."

The State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) of Costa Rica, managed to agree in December 2018 with the new Mexican authorities, the procedure to end almost four years of trade conflict, which emerged from the barriers imposed on the entry of avocado to the Costa Rican market.

Barriers Preventing Entry of Mexican Avocados

May 2018

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.

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.

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