Phytosanitary Controls or Non-Tariff Barriers?

Costa Rica is not allowing the entry of potatoes from the U.S. and customs in Miami have increased controls on ornamental plants coming from Costa Rica.

Friday, November 1, 2013

It has been assumed that the increased controls on ornamental plants occurred after the State Phytosanitary Service (SFE) of Costa Rica suspended the issuance of phytosanitary requirement forms for importing U.S. potatoes.

Diego Gil, president of the Chamber of Producers of Plants, Flowers and Foliage commented that this resulted in the rejection of six containers with a value of $20,000 each.

Marco Alfaro, head of Phytosanitary Control Department explained that they stopped issuing the forms because a bacterium known as zebra chip was found inside two containers from the North American country. "In addition, there was the presence of soil in tubers in another two containers ...", reported

"The Department of Agriculture of the United States has not suspended any imports of horticultural or ornamental plants, despite constant interceptions of pests which warrant quarantine. (In addition), it has not acted against Costa Rican products in response to the market closure of U.S. potatoes," said in the U.S. Embassy in the country.

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