Costa Rica: Conditions to Import Mexican Avocados

Hass avocados from Mexico can be imported in containers, provided that they come certified as fruit containers that are free from the sunspot disease or from areas certified as free.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The proposal put forward by the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) to the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures at the WTO, where the conflict between Costa Rica and Mexico is being resolved, establishes that the fruit may be imported in any of three circumstances: the fruit is sent with a certificate that guarantees that it does not have sunspot, with a certificate that comes from areas free of the disease, or where there is compliance with rules agreed bilaterally by the two countries.

In addition to these conditions is the fact that the SFE may, when it deems it necessary, carry out internal analysis to determine that the fruit does not have the disease.

See also: "Avocado and the high cost of protectionism" and "A year without Mexican avocados" 

The president of the National Chamber of Exporters and Importers of Perishable Products, Rándall Benavides, told Nacion.com that "... the problem lies in carrying out analysis in Costa Rica, as a rejection here could cause losses of between $60,000 and $70,000 in a single shipment. Therefore, they are requesting that the laboratory tests be done only in the country of origin, in this case Mexico, and not at the destination."

"... The Minister of Foreign Trade, Alexander Mora,   said that "... the measure sent to the WTO is Costa Rica's best possible proposal."The other would be to suspend the May 2015 agreement altogether, which is not possible, according to the phytosanitary authorities," explained the foreign trade minister. "

Now the WTO committee has until December 22 to receive comments from those interested in the subject. 

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More on this topic

Avocado: Some Lose, Some Win

September 2019

Since Costa Rica suspended the entry of Hass avocado from Mexico, countries such as Chile, Peru and Nicaragua have taken advantage of the situation to increase their exports to the Costa Rican market.

The dispute that is still unresolved dates back several years, when in May 2014 the Costa Rican authorities decided to ban the import of avocado from Mexico, arguing the existence of the disease called sunspot.

Mexican Avocado Dispute Increases

November 2018

Because of the problem of the barriers that Costa Rica has imposed since 2014 to the entry of avocado from Mexico remains unsolved, the Mexican authorities asked the WTO to refer the case to an arbitration panel.

The blockade of the Mexican avocado does not end. The Ministry of Foreign Trade (Comex) reported that Mexico requested the WTO to establish a panel of arbitrators to solve the dispute.

The Avocado Paradox

February 2018

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.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock announced with great fanfare that it has started an advice giving program to a group of Hass avocado producers in Tarrazú, so that they can start to export the fruit to European countries.

Costa Rica: Disguised Protection of Local Avocados

September 2016

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.

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