TIPA's Dante Galeazzi Announces April 15 Meeting on Preparing for End of Tomato Suspension Agreement
- by Melissa De Leon
PHARR, TX - To say it’s a busy time for the Texas International Produce Association (TIPA) is, as Dante Galeazzi puts it, ‘The understatement of the year.’ With the May 7 deadline to end the 2013 Tomato Suspension Agreement quickly approaching, the association has organized an open meeting with Customs Attorney Dick Shostak Monday, April 15, to prepare those in the business for what to expect.
“We put the invite out to anybody that deals with tomatoes. You could be an exporter, an importer, a broker, a customs broker—we open this to everyone who wants to come because this is going to impact the entire industry,” Dante shares. “While TIPA does serve the interests of specific clients, we are ultimately here to improve and work on behalf of all the fresh produce industry.”
TIPA’s President and CEO took time in the middle of driving between one produce appointment to the next to tell me how he and his team are looking to help the industry tackle the inevitable challenges of these coming changes.
“We have now entered a period where duties seem likely. Even if a new agreement is struck tomorrow, regulations stipulate a 30-day comment period from when the new agreement is struck to the time it goes into effect,” Dante explains. “So between the termination of the 2013 Agreement on May 7 to the enactment of a possible new 2019 agreement, it appears there will be some period where duties will be imposed on Mexican tomatoes.”
And that, Dante emphasizes, is if the suspension agreement is renegotiated. To ensure tomato operators of all kinds are prepared and understand more about the valuation process, TIPA and Customs Attorney Shostak will open the doors to the Pharr Events Center Monday morning to any industry members who wish to attend.
The meeting will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 3000 N Cage Blvd. (Pharr’s Events Center) in Pharr, Texas.
“Regardless of what happens, we need to be prepared for a world where there could be duties. We wanted to bring this gentlemen in so our industry, especially the brokers and importers, can understand how customs typically seek to determine values, and how companies can prepare their businesses, and their tomato shipments, to be in compliance with duties,” Dante concludes.
AndNowUKnow will continue to report on this as it develops further.