Costa Rica Doesnt Take Advantage of the Trade Agreement with EU

The requirements for sanitation and traceability are preventing the livestock sector from taking advantage of quotas for meat exports duty free to Europe.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Although the Association Agreement between Central America and the European Union established a quota of 4,800 tonnes per year of rice and a quota of 1,533 tonnes per year of meat, which could enter Europe without incurring tariffs, neither sector has been able to take advantage of them completely.

The executive director of the Corfoga Corporation, Luis Diego Obando, explained to Nacion.com that "... the central problem lies in the strong health requirements that the EU requires: for example, it requires individual traceability, that is to say, a producer puts all of the information on a label where you can determine with certainty which farm it comes from, which animal it is, the date of departure of the animal, the date of slaughter and other information. He acknowledged that it is not yet possible to meet this requirement in Costa Rica He added that there is a pilot system that is running to be able to have that kind of individual traceability."

In the case of rice, the low levels of grain consumption in Europe make it less attractive for export. Nevertheless, "... Eduardo Rojas, president of the National Association of Industries of the Arrocero Sector (Aninsa), said that they are reviewing the part on the phytosanitary requirements, the type of rice consumed there and have preliminarily found that there is a population that consumes a lot of rice of the type that is produced in Costa Rica."

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