(Dec. 8) The World Trade Organization has again sided with the U.S. and Ecuador in a banana tariff battle with the European Union.

The WTO Appellate Body upheld a May decision against the EU’s banana import regime, which allowed duty-free imports from some countries, but not from Latin or South America. The dispute settlement panel in May found the EU out of compliance with a 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, which the EU immediately appealed.

Although the case was filed in 2007, the banana dispute is the longest running in WTO history, originating in 1947, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Since then, the EU has disputed rulings on the issue.

“This is but the latest in a series of WTO decisions considering the EU banana regime as incompatible with international trade rules,” said Dennis Christou, vice president of marketing in North America for Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. NA Inc., Coral Gables, Fla.

Banana companies are waiting for the EU’s response to the ruling.

Christou said it is too early to comment on what this means for Del Monte.

“However, Del Monte is well positioned to adapt competitively and abide with any new EU duty/tariff rules, as was the case since 1993,” Christou said.