DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

DS: Costa Rica — Measures Concerning the Importation of Fresh Avocados from Mexico

This summary has been prepared by the Secretariat under its own responsibility. The summary is for general information only and is not intended to affect the rights and obligations of Members.

  

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Current status

 

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Key facts

 

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Summary of the dispute to date

The summary below was up-to-date at

Consultations

Complaint by Mexico

On 8 March 2017, Mexico requested consultations with Costa Rica with respect to certain measures imposed by Costa Rica that allegedly restrict or prohibit the importation of fresh avocados for consumption from Mexico.

Mexico claimed that the measures appear to be inconsistent with:

  • Articles 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.8, 6.1, 6.2, 7, 8, Annex B(2), (5) and (6) and Annex C(1) of the SPS Agreement; and
     
  • Articles I:1, III:4, X and XI of the GATT 1994.

 

Panel and Appellate Body proceedings

On 22 November 2018, Mexico requested the establishment of a panel. At its meeting on 4 December 2018, the DSB deferred the establishment of a panel.

At its meeting on 18 December 2018, the DSB established a panel. Canada, China, the European Union, El Salvador, Honduras, India, Panama, the Russian Federation and the United States reserved their third-party rights.

Following agreement of the parties, the panel was composed on 16 May 2019.

On 15 November 2019, the Chair of the panel informed the DSB that in light of the substantive and procedural complexities of this dispute, the panel expected to issue its final report to the parties by the second half of 2020. The Chair noted that the report would be available to the public once it was circulated to the Members in all three official languages, and that the date of circulation depended on completion of translation.

On 29 May 2020, Mexico and Costa Rica informed the DSB that they had agreed to Procedures for Arbitration under Article 25 of the DSU in this dispute. Such procedures were entered into by Mexico and Costa Rica to give effect to the communication JOB/DSB/1/Add.12 (“Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement Pursuant To Article 25 Of The DSU (MPIA)”) and with the objective of setting a framework for an Arbitrator to decide on any appeal of any final panel report issued in this dispute.

On 18 November 2020, the Chair of the panel informed the DSB that in view of the situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, including the ongoing travel restrictions and the health risks associated with travelling to meetings, the panel, after consulting the parties, had decided to postpone the remaining meetings and, given the substantive and procedural complexities of this dispute, it now expected to issue its final report to the parties early in the second half of 2021. The Chair apprised the DSB that the report would be available to the public once it was circulated to the Members in all three official languages, and that the date of circulation depended on completion of translation. On 8 July 2021, the Chair of the panel informed the DSB that in view of the situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the substantive and procedural complexities of this dispute, the panel expected to issue its final report to the parties in the last quarter of 2021.

 

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