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Canaries and Costa Rica coordinate efforts to help their banana growers

The president of the Canarian Executive, Fernando Clavijo, and the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Minister, Alexander Mora, who was on an official visit to the Canary archipelago, stated that the Canary Islands and Costa Rica have asked the European Union to work together to create the conditions so that there is a greater certainty in the application of the Banana Stabilization Mechanism , which empowers the EU to suspend the preferential tariff established in trade agreements with Central American countries and with the Andean countries of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

The aforementioned suspension is established for those specific countries that exceed the annual volume of imports set in their respective trade agreements. The application of the temporary suspension of the preferential customs tariff may not exceed three months or beyond the end of the year. Since this is a power of Brussels, both the representatives of the producers and the government authorities of the Canary Islands and Costa Rica agreed on the importance of urging Brussels to clearly define its enforcement rules and the respect of the import thresholds set on bananas.

Costa Rica is the Central American exporter of bananas to the EU that registers the highest added value in its production, derived mainly from better social, labor, and environmental conditions, just like the Canary Islands. Costa Rica and the Archipelago face great challenges because of the uncertainty in the application of the Banana Stabilization Mechanism in the EU market. The competitiveness of both producers depends on improving the yields and sustainability of their production with good work practices and respect for the socioeconomic conditions of the people involved in the production and marketing cycle.

The producers and the Canarian Executive have been pointing out for some time that the imports of bananas into Europe exceed the established limits and the damage that this situation implies for the Canarian banana sector. They have urged Brussels to apply the safeguard clauses and the stabilization mechanisms planned and agreed on by the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council last December.


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