Qingdao Agrees to Take Back Rejected Fertilizers and Send New Shipment

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COLOMBO (New 1st); Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., has agreed to send a new shipment of organic fertilizers to Sri Lanka, Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said on Wednesday (24).

“The problem we have is not with the Chinese government, but with the shipping in particular. They did not get the license to bring this cargo. So we clearly told them to follow the procedure. There is an international call for tenders. We gave them the specs and they have to follow the specs, ”he told reporters at the firm’s weekly press conference.

He said the Chinese would take back the ship and send in a new shipment with samples for testing.

“We have no problem with the Chinese government or the Chinese company. Our only problem is with shipping in particular. There are pathogens in this shipment and we are not able to accept it, ”he said.

Pathogen detected:

On September 17, Sri Lanka’s agriculture minister confirmed that a microorganism identified as “Erwinia” had been found in samples brought “unofficially” to Sri Lanka and tested.

The supplier was the same, Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd.

On September 29, Sri Lanka’s Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage announced the suspension of organic fertilizer imports from China.

This was after the director general of agriculture, Dr Ajantha De Silva, confirmed on September 28 that harmful bacteria had been detected in a new sample (2nd batch) of Chinese organic fertilizer.

Ceylon Fertilizer Company Limited had obtained a court order to block payment to Qingdao Seawin Biotech for the shipment of organic fertilizer that was contaminated.

The Colombo High Commercial Court issued the order on October 22 against Qingdao Seawin Biotech, its local agent, and the People’s Bank.

Popular bank on blacklist:

The People’s Bank of Sri Lanka was subsequently blacklisted by the Economic and Commercial Bureau of the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka for failing to make payment in accordance with the letter of credit and contracts between the two parties.

However, the People’s Bank said it was bound by an injunction issued by Sri Lanka’s high commercial courts regarding the business transaction in question, which prevents the bank from processing the payment.

The People’s Bank also said that the temporary delay in processing said LC-related payment is solely due to the bank’s obligation to be bound by the country’s legal instructions, as a responsible corporate citizen.

Letter of request:

On November 7, Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd., the Chinese organic fertilizer manufacturer, sent a letter of request to the National Plant Quarantine Service.

The request letter seen exclusively by News 1st notes that Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd. as well as existing and potential activities, due to the negligent conduct of the National Plant Quarantine Service.

The LOD noted that the NPQS makes a payment of US $ 8 million within 3 days from the date hereof for loss and damage caused to Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd.

The Bulk Carrier – Hippo Spirit:

The Hippo Spirit transports tons of Chinese fertilizer discarded from Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd. in Sri Lanka.

On September 22, the ship Hippo Spirit carrying 20,000 tonnes of organic fertilizer left for Colombo from the Chinese port of Qingdao.

But the ship was diverted to Singapore after the detection of harmful bacteria in the samples of this fertilizer shipment.

The Hippo Spirit ship which did not return to China had left Singapore stating that it would be heading for the port of Colombo.

In early November 2021, the vessel was sighted some 61 nautical miles off the coast of Weligama, in the southern Sri Lanka Sea region, and then approached the port of Colombo.

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