Executives from Nicaraguan slaughterhouses have complained that Guatemala has had phytosanitary restrictions in place for two years on beef imports, arguing that this has caused huge losses, both in terms of money and business connections.
Annual losses due to the obstacles by Guatemalan authorities amount to $10 million, said Ramiro Lau, Executive Director of Matadero Central, S.A., MACESA to Elnuevodiario.com.ni.
"Guatemala argues that Nicaraguan meat is contaminated, it fails in terms of safety, but they are not taking in account the fact that we export to Japan, Taiwan, the United States, Puerto Rico, and many other places which are in fact more stringent in their standards," said Lau.
Honduras, Panama and Costa Rica are other countries that have prevented the entry of shipments of beef from Nicaragua, for similar reasons, creating $30 million losses for exporters.
Industry executives argue that the real reasons behind these measures is to protect the interests of the local industries against strong competition. Managers are demanding that the government intervene promptly with the authorities in Guatemala or resort to dispute settlement mechanisms established in the isthmus.
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As with the case of beef with other countries, Honduras has placed phytosanitary restrictions on 20,000 pounds of sausage from Nicaragua, which is being disputed by exporter Delmor S.A.
The general manager of Delmor S.A., Zacarias Mondragon confirmed that his company stopped exporting to the Honduran market because of the imposition of phytosanitary restrictions a year and a half ago by the authorities of that country.
Panama, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico continue to hinder the importation of beef from Nicaragua.
The President of Canicarne, Onel Perez, said that since January 2010, Nicaragua has not exported beef to Panama under the agreed quota within the Free Trade Agreement, reported Elnuevodiario.com.ni.
Health authorities now require any exported rambutans to obtain a certificate stating that they are free of the pests Coccus Moestus and Pseudococcus Landoi.
The National Service of Agrarian Health (Senasa) of Peru has imposed the phytosanitary requirements on imports of any rambutan fruit from Costa Rica, to ensure an adequate level of protection and minimize the risks of entry of quarantine pests into the Andean nation.
The agricultural ministry announced that there is no reason to remove the additional requirements for the export of beans deployed in October 2010.
The National Dry Bean Commission and the Association of Producers and Exporters of Nicaragua have reported these non-tariff barriers, arguing that they are unjustified and are causing serious economic losses to processors and marketers, who have been forced to cancel contracts with international buyers.