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Avocado importers from Costa Rica win a legal battle against the State

The Chamber of Exporters and Importers of Perishable Products of Costa Rica has reported that the Contentious Administrative Court issued a ruling in favor of Costa Rican importers in a lawsuit against the State for the ban on Hass avocado imports from Mexico, decreed by the Government in 2015. The sentence condemns the State to pay damages to six avocado importing companies that were affected by the ban, estimated at 5 million dollars.

However, the ruling does not reopen imports of the product from Mexico, as it delegates the decision to a panel of the World Trade Organization (WTO) that is analyzing a lawsuit that Mexico filed against Costa Rica at the end of 2018.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock said it wouldn't make any statements about this issue as the sentence was not final.

"At the moment (the sentence) is under study and analysis in the State Phytosanitary Service," the Ministry said briefly. In May 2015, the Government of Costa Rica, presided over by Luis Guillermo Solís, decided to ban the import of Mexican Hass avocado because said imports posed a risk that the sunblotch plague could enter the country.

According to avocado importers, the infestation of the plague is not likely and the Government's decision was ideological and not technical.

According to data from the Mexico-Costa Rica Chamber of Industry and Commerce (Cicomex), before the ban, 12,000 of the 15,000 tons of Hass avocados that Costa Rica consumed in a year, came from Mexico.



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