Mexican Avocado Dispute Increases

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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

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. Such panel will be established in the next meetings of the Dispute Settlement Body, and from that moment on, a term will be established to decide which members will be part of it.

The dispute began in May 2014, when Costa Rican authorities decided to ban the import of avocado from Mexico, arguing the existence of a disease called sunspots. See trade conflict history. See history of the commercial conflict.

The ex-minister of Comex, Alexander Mora, said to Nacion.com that "... there was always the evidence of an eventual arbitration in this matter because Mexico's position was that the only way out to avoid this procedure would be the full elimination of the measure taken by Costa Rica. The current Mexican government had to leave this matter settled before surrendering its mandate (the new administration assumes this December 1st), therefore it expedited the decision."

Read full article (In Spanish).

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More on this topic

Avocado Conflict: No Solution Yet

May 2019

Despite the fact that in December it was announced that a WTO panel would be formed to solve Mexico's complaint against Costa Rica, this was only established on May 16 and in the next few days’ meetings will begin to set the calendar for the process.

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

Avocado: Costa Rica-Mexico Conflict Resolution Delayed

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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?

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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.

Avocado Conflict: Panel of Arbitrators is Formed

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The WTO was part of the panel of experts that will resolve Mexico's lawsuit against Costa Rica, arising from the barriers imposed by the Costa Rican authorities to import the fruit.

The trade conflict emerged because of the barriers that Costa Rica imposes since 2014 to the entry of avocado from Mexico.

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