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Ecuador introduces a new code for the banana sector

Ecuador's Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) implemented Ministerial Agreement 015, establishing a new Unique Banana Code. This measure seeks to purge the database of the actors involved in marketing bananas, directly linking the management of producers and exporters with the Single Taxpayer Registry (RUC). Richard Salazar, director of the Banana Marketing and Export Association (Acorbanec), has supported this initiative, highlighting its potential to formalize the sector. Now, the RUC will serve as the main identifier, simplifying the assignment of codes to producers and exporters.

This change is a step towards transparency and control in marketing bananas, allowing producers and legitimate exporters to be accurately identified. This new methodology is expected to prevent the creation of fictitious codes, thus combatting illicit acts such as contaminating export shipments with banned substances. Historically, the sector has faced challenges regarding the activation of codes that represented hectares of non-existent crops, a problem that the MAG had already denounced in 2013.

José Antonio Hidalgo, president of the Association of Banana Exporters of Ecuador (AEBE), was thankful that this system had been implemented, a measure the industry has requested for the last eight years. The reform will facilitate a more comprehensive exchange of information between the MAG, the Internal Revenue Service (SRI), and the National Customs Service of Ecuador (Senae), promoting transparency and fair competition. This advance represents a step towards the formalization of a crucial industry for the Ecuadorian economy, which in 2023 generated $3.77 billion in exports, according to data from the Central Bank of Ecuador (ECB).

According to the industry, the next step is to reform the Banana Law to adapt it to market realities. This includes adjusting the spot price and is an essential measure for the complete formalization of the sector.


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