Costa Rica: Political Changes in Phytosanitary Controls

The departure of the director of the SFE could improve dialogue between authorities and agribusiness after months of confrontation over the imposition of non tariff barriers.

Friday, June 3, 2016

The minister of Agriculture called for the resignation of Francisco Dall'Anese, after the previous director of the SFE did not abide by the recommendation of the Ministry to suspend the additional measure of Inspection of Containers of pineapples at ports.

In a statement issued by the Ministry, the chief Luis Felipe Arauz said 'I, as Minister, asked her to resign. It is absolutely false that the deputy minister signed any certificates that were not inspected. She asked for, and I supported,  a return to the system of inspections in packing plants and in the field, in this way strengthening controls in order to improve the issue of INTs in pineapples'."

Nacion.com reports that "...From yesterday afternoon, explained Arauz, controls on pineapple exports at the port were suspended and measures were streamlined in order to reinforce SFE staff carrying out inspections in the field with six officials from the MAG as well as a plan to train inspectors from companies in coordination with the United States Department of Agriculture. "

See also: "Costa Rica: A Year Without Mexican Avocados"

In relation to the conflict over the ban on imports of avocados from Mexico, the minister was clear that the situation remains the same. "...After repeating several times that the dispute was only on the issue of changes in pineapple controls, minister Arauz said that support is being maintained for other controversial measures taken by the now former director of the SFE, such as the issue of Hass avocados."

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More on this topic

More Phytosanitary Controls on Agricultural Exports

June 2016

Pineapple exporters claim to have lost $2.3 million since the authorities started making additional inspections of containers at ports of departure.

Arguing that in April an increased presence of insects was detected in containers of pineapples exported to the United States, the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) has tightened control measures, which are no longer limited to inspections on farms and packing plants, but also include an extra inspection at ports of departure.

Costa Rica Authorizes Agricultural Exports to China

September 2015

The required health and phytosanitary protocols were signed in order to authorize the export of tuna, fresh pineapple and prawns.

From a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Trade:

San Jose, September 29, 2015. As part of the visit by Minister Zhi Shuping, maximum chief of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the PRC (AQSIQ) required health and phytosanitary protocols were signed, authorizing the export of tuna and fresh pineapple from Costa Rica to China, and negotiations for the entry of Costa Rican shrimp to that market were concluded.

Aguacate in Costa Rica: Mexico Presents Proposal

September 2015

Establishing areas free of the sunblotch pest and certify them according to international standards is what Mexico has proposed in order to sell avocados to Costa Rica once again.

The proposal submitted by Mexico to the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica and the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) includes the establishment of certain areas of fruit cultivation which are certified to be free of the pest.

WTO Alerted Over Costa Rica's Restriction on Avocados

July 2015

Guatemala and Mexico have triggered a mechanism of "commercial concern" over restrictions on the importation of Hass avocado imposed by Costa Rica.

There will be a period of 60 days for Costa Rica to respond to the concerns presented by the delegations from Mexico and Guatemala in the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures at the World Trade Organization.

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