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Illicit Trade of Agri-Products from Costa Rica to Panama

Panamanian producers report that every week between 5 thousand and 7 thousand hundredweight of tomatoes enter the country illegally from Costa Rica, in addition to other agricultural products.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Producers in the province of Chiriquí claim that smuggling from the neighboring country is not limited to agricultural products, but also occurs with materials for production. Tomatos are the product that arrive in the greatest volume from Costa Rica, but also illicitly entering are carrots, potatoes, onions, yams and bananas, according to producers.

See also: "Crops in Central America - What and How Much"

Francisco Rodríguez, regional administrator of the National Customs Authority in Chiriquí, acknowledged to Prensa.com "... the clandestine entry of agricultural products from Costa Rica and said that this has forced them to redouble their controls."

"... Costa Rican tomatoes are sold to intermediaries at a price ranging from 30 to 35 cents, while the local fruit is traded in a range of 50 to 57 cents."



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Panama and Costa Rica: Removing Trade Barriers

Authorities from both countries met to review pending procedures related to the export and import of products such as tomatoes, beef, chicken, fish and sausages.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The bilateral agenda also addressed the issues of international cargo transport, smuggling at border crossings, streamlining procedures and efficiency in processes, as well as the provision of facilities and measures restricting the international transport of land cargo, reported the government of Panama.

The document reviews that, during the September 30 meeting "... The ministers of both countries were accompanied by technical teams in the areas of animal health, foreign trade and policy, standards, regulations and phytosanitary services, and international trade negotiations.

The authorities agreed to provide answers and pending information by Monday, October 14, as well as to present work schedules to attend plant inspections in both countries.  In this regard, Costa Rican authorities also undertook to make the corresponding visits to two Panamanian plants this October.
Regarding customs difficulties, both countries agreed to adopt measures to overcome restrictions on international transport of cargo

In mid-September, CentralAmericaData reported that the absence of toxic waste laboratories at Panama's meat processing plants is one of the obstacles preventing the product from entering the Costa Rican market.

According to representatives of the Panamanian Exporters Association (Apex), Costa Rican regulations require at least 14 toxic waste tests and Panamanian laboratories perform only 8.


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Panamanian farmers need to learn how Costa Rica farms produce more efficiently.

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