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"Frank Levarht: "Costa Rica is looking forward to it"

"FTA EU-Costa Rica paves the way for bigger melon exports"

Rica Fruta, the subsidiary of Levarht in Costa Rica is very happy with the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed on the 27th of September between Costa Rica and the EU-representatives from Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy. The FTA took effect on 1 October 2013. With the 'Generalized Systems of Preferences' (GSP) in which Costa Rica has been enlisted, Costa Rica enjoys the lower custom charges on imports to EU destinations.

For honeydew- and watermelons there won't be any custom charges. With the FTA Costa Rica has been excluded from the regulation, where European importers have to pay 8.8% customs charges taking effect from 2014. Besides the melons this also goes for the banana and pineapple sectors. "By withdrawing the import charges, it guarantees continuity for the Costa Rican fruit export and it is important for the relations between EU-members and Costa Rica," says Frank Levarht.

"Growers are very happy as well and will start to grow again. The expectation is that there will be around 750 more hectares of yellow melons planted. The extra plantings for watermelons will be a bit higher. For Cantaloupe-melons there will be 1000 hectares more," says Levarht.

"A very positive point is that there will be more shippings compared to last year and the seafreight rates will be a bit more 'normal'," concludes Frank.

For more information:
P.O. Box 67
1430 AB Aalsmeer
Tel: +31 (0) 297 386611
Fax: +31 (0) 297 386666

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