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Costa Rica initiates dispute complaint in WTO

By IDeas trademarks & patents - 27/01/2021

Costa Rica has requested the World Ttrade Organization dispute consultations with Panama regarding measures imposed by Panama that restrict or prohibit the import of products such as strawberries, dairy products, meat products, pineapples and bananas from Costa Rica. The request was circulated to WTO members on 14 January.

According to the document send to the WTO by Costa Rica, on 20 February 2020 Panama took the decision to ban imports of strawberries from Costa Rica due to the alleged detection of oxamyl residues in shipments of Costa Rican strawberries that exceeded Panama's maximum levels for this substance. Panama has maintained the ban on imports of this Costa Rican product, causing the market to close down completely.

Panama then decided not to renew the sanitary approval that allowed various Costa Rican plants to export to Panama milk products; beef; pork; processed poultry meat; cured beef, pork and poultry products (including ham, sausages, mortadella, bacon, chorizo made of pork, chicken and turkey, pâté, pepperoni, salami, legs, ribs, loin of pork, roast beef and beef loin); prepared beef, pork and chicken, chicken and turkey breast, pork rind and dry chorizo; and fish food, which expired on 30 June 2020. Panama stated that instead of renewing the previous approvals, it was, in this case, necessary to conduct a new evaluation and approval procedure "from scratch", which involved re-recognition of the Costa Rican sanitary system, and new on-site sanitary inspections and audits.

"Despite Costa Rica's long history of exporting milk products; beef; pork; processed poultry meat; cured beef, pork and poultry products; prepared beef, pork, chicken and turkey; and fish food to Panama, and Costa Rica's sanitary status not having changed in the slightest, Panama decided to maintain an import ban on these Costa Rican products without giving any prior notice, and to date has not taken any steps to allow for the resumption of trade in these products," Costa Rica states in its request. "Each and every one of the measures decided by Panama appears to be inconsistent with obligations assumed by Panama under several WTO agreements," it adds. 

By IDeas trademarks & patents - 27/01/2021
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