Costa Rica Updates Honduran Avocado Import Requirements Due To Sunspot Detection

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The State Phytosanitary Service of Costa Rica (SFE) updated the requirements for the entry of avocados from Honduras after authorities detected sunspot disease, a quarantine disease not present in the country caused by the Avocado Sunblotch viroid (ASBVd), in 5 different expeditions.

Now Costa Rica will require all avocados in Honduras to undergo molecular biology lab analysis to rule out the pest. The cost of the test will be borne by the importer and the shipments will be held pending the results of the test, Costa Rican authorities said. If the viroid is detected, shipments will be returned.

Costa Rica has already informed the World Trade Organization (WTO) of this new requirement.

Honduras is currently the main supplier of Hass avocado to Costa Rica, after the country banned the entry of this fruit from Mexico, the world’s largest exporter, and eight other markets (Australia, Spain, Ghana, Guatemala, Israel, South Africa, Venezuela and the state of Florida, United States) in 2015 to prevent sunspot disease from entering the country. The measure may therefore pose a problem of supplying the market.

The 2015 measure sparked a trade dispute with Mexico, the resolution of which is currently in the hands of a WTO panel of experts.

Last year, Costa Rica invested $ 3.64 million in purchasing avocados from Honduras, while total fruit imports amounted to $ 12 million.

In the first four months of this year, imports from Honduras totaled $ 3.9 million, or 77.5% of all fresh avocado imports, which totaled $ 5.03 million, according to data from the statistical portal of the promoter of foreign trade (Procomer).

Source: nacion.com

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