Trade Dispute Between Costa Rica and Brazil?

The Brazilian government claims that the 6,8% increase in the tax on sugar imports from the south american country is in violation of a WTO anti-dumping agreement.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The decision by the new Minister of Economy to raise the tariff on sugar imports from Brazil by 6.82%, ignoring the technical criteria that indicated an absence of dumping, is already having consequences. See: "Sugar War in Costa Rica Restarts". reports that "...The Brazilian government sent a letter of protest to the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), in which he described the increase as 'alarming' ... ".  The summary sent via the Brazilian Embassy in Costa Rica and which was authorized by the Foreign Ministry in Brasilia states: "...'The Brazilian government has assessed that the decision taken by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC) contains formal and substantive violations of the WTO Anti - Dumping Agreement'. "

"... Such measures can be reported or challenged in the WTO, although Brazil never directly referred to this possibility in the summary given to the press. According to Brazil, a rule was disrespected, which stipulates that an 18 month investigation should be made before taking a measure of this kind. [The letter] added that, allegedly, the final decision of the MEIC does not adhere to the recommendations of the investigating authority to close the case without imposing an anti-dumping measure."

More on this topic

Costa Rica: Tax on Brazilian Sugar Reduced

February 2017

Days after the Brazilian government noted that the additional duty of 6.82% violated the WTO anti-dumping agreement, the Solis administration has reduced it by half.

The Ministry of Economy partially upheld the appeal filed by the sugar importer Maquila Lama and decreased the additional tariff to 3.67%, on top of the 46% already paid on sugar imported from Brazil.

Panama: Tougher Sanctions for Colombia

February 2017

Raising taxes exclusively on Colombian products is one of the measures that Panama could take until Colombia starts to comply with the WTO ruling.

The Panamanian government has asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) for authorization to use trade measures against Colombia, worth $210 million, equivalent to the effects that the imposition of Colombian tariffs had on the Colon Free Zone.

Governments who Favor the Few at the Expense of the Many

February 2017

A change of minister in Costa Rica will aid in increasing the cost of sugar via an import tariff hike, harming consumers and the food industry, and increasing protection for the powerful sugar lobby.


The decision taken by the new chief of the Ministry of Economy reflects a clear interest in meddling in a process that should be resolved at a technical and non-political level. The decision to declare whether or not dumping occured in a particular market and what measures should be taken in response, corresponds to the office of Trade Defense, and should be free from any possible political bias.  

Sugar War in Costa Rica Restarts

February 2017

The Ministry of Economy has decided to impose a new tax of almost 7% on sugar imported from Brazil, in response to a lawsuit brought by the union of local producers.

With this new protectionist measure the government is trying to put an end to a conflict that arose in 2015 between the Agricultural Cane League (Laica) and the importer Maquila Lama, when this company denounced a proposal to amend the regulation on sugar fortification claiming it attempted to restrict trade of imported grain.

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