ZURICH (Reuters) -A World Trade Organization panel has largely sided with Mexico in a dispute with Costa Rica over import restrictions on Mexican avocados, a report released on Wednesday showed, with Costa Rica saying it accepted the decision.
The panel found that the sanitary risk assessment presented by Costa Rica lacked sufficient scientific basis. Some of Mexico’s additional claims were dismissed or were not reviewed by the panel.
Mexico had complained in 2017 that Costa Rica was improperly restricting the import of fresh avocados, and a dispute settlement panel has been considering the case since 2019.
Costa Rica’s government said in a statement following the decision that it accepted the outcome, and that it would be “analysing possible alternatives” to be able to comply with the decision.
Costa Rica’s agricultural and livestock minister, Renato Alvarado, said he had given instructions “to prepare the necessary adjustments to the phytosanitary protection measures related to avocado imports, in order to comply with our obligations in the framework of multilateral trade.”
Mexico’s government said in a statement that it will continue to defend the interests of its industry and “will seek full compliance of Costa Rica’s international obligations.”
(Reporting by Michael Shields in Zurich; Additional reporting by Alvaro Murillo in San Jose and Kylie Madry in Mexico City;Editing by Andrew Cawthorne, Lisa Shumaker and Diane Craft)