Costa Rica to join EU banana tariff battle

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Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Costa Rica to join EU banana tariff battle

Following Ecuador's announcement that they may pursue legal action after the collapse of the banana tariff agreement, Costa Rica is preparing to join the battle

Costa Rica to join EU banana tariff battle

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Corbana, the Costa Rican banana association, has said that countries in Latin America are set to battle the EU over the failed banana import tariff agreement.

The two parties had agreed in principle a deal to lower current banana import tariffs for Latin American bananas of €176 per tonne to €114 per tonne by 2016, at the Doha Round of world trade talks in Geneva last month.

However, wider trade talks fell through, with EU officials reportedly indicating that the banana agreement had collapsed with it.

Jorge Sauma Aguilar, CEO at Corbana, told FoodNavigator.com that Latin American countries are prepared to make a joint complaint to the EU.

It follows the news earlier in the week that Ecuador could take legal action against the EU in order to force a change to the current tariffs, which Latin American countries feel unfairly favours African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries exporting bananas to the EU.

These ACP nations, many of them former EU colonies, can export up to 775,000 tonnes of bananas to the EU duty-free each year.

Mr Aguilar called the initial agreement "a step in the right direction" for Latin America's banana exporting nations, although he expressed concerns that the banana deal may have to be completely renegotiated at the next round of Doha talks.

The latest round of world trade Doha talks, ongoing since 2001, collapsed on 29 July when nations failed to agree on a special mechanism for developing countries.

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