(Sept. 4) The Dispute Resolution Corp., Ottawa, closed its Mexican operations Aug. 31, but the change won’t affect the group’s Mexican members, said president and chief executive officer Stephen Whitney.

Mexico launched its version of the DRC in October 2002, but nearly five years later it accounted for only 40 of the organization’s 1,200 members.

Whitney said that dispute resolution duties have always been handled through the Ottawa office, and the purpose of the Mexico City office was to market and promote the DRC in Mexico, build membership and develop a dispute resolution system for trading within Mexico.

However, Whitney said the majority of DRC Mexico members are exporters, and the DRC has not been a factor in the country’s domestic market. He said a lack of infrastructure — specifically recognized grades and standards and a destination inspection service — was the primary obstacle.

“About 70% of all disputes we handle relate to product condition,” Whitney said. “We rely very heavily on destination inspections to tell us what product looked like in the marketplace. That’s totally lacking in Mexico.”

Whitney said Mexican members will continue to have access to services through the DRC’s Ottawa headquarters. He said the DRC will continue efforts to build membership in Mexico, focusing on exporters.