A North American Free Trade Agreement panel is requiring Mexico to use newer price data to justify continuing an antidumping duty on U.S. red and golden delicious apples.

Red and golden delicious apples from the U.S. Northwest have faced an antidumping duty in Mexico since 2002. In October 2005, Mexican authorities imposed duties of 44.77% against those varieties. That was just slightly below a duty of 46.58% that had been in place from August 2002 through May 2005.

Because Mexico used eight-year old data to justify the 2005 tariff and perhaps other reasons, the U.S. asked a NAFTA panel to investigate the tariffs, according to the a U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service report. The panel’s decision, the FAS said, sends the matter to Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy.

This time, the NAFTA panel said Mexico must focus on price data only from 2004-05.

Mexico is required to issue its decision by Dec. 15, the FAS report said. Meanwhile, the tariff on the apples continues without change for the time being, according to the report.

NAFTA investigates duties on U.S. apples in Mexico