On Thursday the European Parliament ratified the agreement made with South America in 2009, which allows to Latin Americans to obtain a gradual reduction of tariffs on imports of this fruit in the old continent.
The approval of the Parliament was necessary for the final validation, even though the agreement was already in force. The next and final step in Europe is its adoption by the 27 member countries of the European Union.
For 16 years the EU and Latin American exporters have had problems, because the old continent had preferential tariff with producers in Asia, the Caribbean, and Pacific.
On December 15, 2009, both parties announced they had reached a compromise of eight years, which would cut tariffs for Latin American banana imports from 176 Euros to 114 Euros per ton in 2017. In contrast, Latin America pledged to withdraw its complaint against Brussels in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and to stop demanding further cuts to Doha round for global trade liberalization.
Over 70% of bananas sold in Europe come from Latin America (especially Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama), while 20% comes from Asia countries, Caribbean, and Pacific, the rest is from the EU itself.