Chilean grape exporter wins landmark import price ruling case
Law firm Araya & Co, acting for fruit exporter RUTA, told www.freshfruitportal.com the ruling set an important precedent for exporters to the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Lawyer Sebastian Norris said RUTA had made several table grape shipments from Copiapó to the U.S. during the 2010-11 season.
"To reduce risks, both sides signed a contract which had a clause comparison, where the product recipient agrees to make a return of money not less than reported by the two best sellers of this exporter."
However, the price the importer paid was low compared to the market, which was why RUTA's lawyer's decided to use the comparison clause in its case.
"We applied this clause, regardless of whether the fruit was the best quality or not, according to the standards of the market to the extent that this was agreed by both parties," he said.
Norris said the decision meant exporters who belonged to the DRC would now have a precedent to fall back on should they experience U.S. importer price problems.
The ruling ordered a significant part of RUTA's US$150,000 claim be paid and demanded the importer pay legal costs. The tribunal rejected a US$450,000 counterclaim from the importer over problems with condition.