Government to lodge a complaint with the Basel Convention Office over ‘agricultural waste’ imported to Sri Lanka

Government to lodge a complaint with the Basel Convention Office over ‘agricultural waste’ imported to Sri Lanka

Government to lodge a complaint with the Basel Convention Office over ‘agricultural waste’ imported to Sri Lanka

Written by Staff Writer

25 Dec, 2020 | 8:48 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st): The Government has decided to lodge a complaint at the Office of the Basel Convention over the Agricultural waste imported to Sri Lanka from Ukraine.

Issuing a communique regarding the matter, the Ministry of Environment said, importing agricultural waste from one country to another is strictly prohibited under the Basel Convention.

28 containers of agricultural plant waste had been imported from Ukraine recently by declaring it as whole coriander seeds.

Authorities have identified the exporter as a Ukrainian company named Agronika Trade.

Eight containers had reached the country on the 10th of December, while the remaining consignments had arrived on the 21st of December 2020.

The imported stocks have been valued at Rs. 75 million exclusive of taxes.

The Sri Lanka Customs told News1st it would not divulge the identity of the eight importers who had brought down the consignments.

The importers had informed the customs that they had been procuring coriander seeds from other countries and that an intermediary had recommended the purchase of the commodity from Ukraine due to its low cost.

Speaking about the matter, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said the veracity of the claims made by the importers will be investigated.

“We will investigate and find out whether the Ukrainian firm had deceived the local importers or whether it was the local importers who have deceived us,” the Environment Minister said.

News1st made inquiries into the company named Agronika Trade that was identified as the exporter by Sri Lanka Customs.

Attempts to reach the Ukrainian establishment through the contact number and email address provided on its website did not elicit an immediate response.

The 24 containers seized by the customs are at the Colombo Port, while 4 containers are lying at the examination yard of Sri Lanka Customs.

 

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