Rejected Chinese Fertilizer will NOT be re-tested

Rejected Chinese Fertilizer will NOT be re-tested, reaffirms Agriculture DG

by Zulfick Farzan 15-11-2021 | 12:05 PM

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka's Director General of Agriculture Dr. Ajantha Silva has stressed that Sri Lanka has NOT agreed to re-test the twice rejected Chinese Organic Fertilizer, by a third party.

On Sunday (15), the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhen Hong during his visit to Kandy said that the Chinese Fertilizer Company and Sri Lankan authorities have come to an agreement to re-test the stock of fertilizer through a third party.

However, Sri Lanka's Director General of Agriculture dismissed this comment noting that there is no provision to re-test rejected fertilizer, as per the National Plant Quarantine Act.

On the 13th of November, Director General of Agriculture Dr. Ajantha de Silva said that Chinese Organic Fertilizer samples, aboard the Hippo Spirit carrier, will NOT be retested.

He said although there were requests to have the fertilizer samples tested by a third party, there is no requirement to do so.

The Director-General of Agriculture also added that the fertilizer samples have not been handed over to a third party for testing, and mentioned that he is satisfied with the tests carried out by the National Plant Quarantine Service.

Dr. De Silva emphasized that the Hippo Spirit, carrying rejected Chinese Organic Fertilizer, currently anchored in Sri Lankan waters, will not be allowed to enter into the country.

Pathogen Detected:

On the 17th of September Sri Lanka’s Minister of Agriculture confirmed that a microorganism identified as ‘Erwinia’ was discovered in samples brought down ‘unofficially’ to Sri Lanka and tested.

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

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

This was after Director-General of Agriculture Dr. Ajantha De Silva on 28th September confirmed that Harmful Bacteria was detected in a fresh sample (2nd batch) of Chinese Organic Fertilizer.

The Ceylon Fertilizer Company Limited had got a court order to block payment to Qingdao Seawin Biotech over the shipment of organic fertilizer which was contaminated.

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

Blacklisting People's Bank :

The People’s Bank of Sri Lanka was then blacklisted by the Economic and Commercial Office of the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka for failing to make the payment according to the Letter of Credit and the contracts between the two parties.

However, People’s Bank said that is it bound by an enjoining order issued by the Commercial High Courts of Sri Lanka with regard to the trade transaction in question, which precludes the bank from processing the payment.

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

Letter of Demand:

On the 7th of November Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd., the Chinese Organic Fertilizer Manufacturer sent a Letter of Demand to the National Plant Quarantine Service.

The Letter of Demand seen Exclusively by News 1st notes that Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd., has suffered significant loss and damage in a sum of US$ 8 Million and continues to suffer further loss and damage due to loss of reputation and goodwill as well as existing and potential business, due to the negligent conduct of the National Plant Quarantine Service.

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

The Bulk Carrier - Hippo Spirit:

The Hippo Spirit is carrying tonnes of rejected Chinese Fertilizer from Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd to Sri Lanka.

On the 22nd of September, the Hippo Spirit ship carrying 20,000 metric tonnes of organic fertilizer left for Colombo from China’s Qingdao Port.

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

The Hippo Spirit ship that didn’t return to China had left Singapore declaring it would be heading to the Colombo Port.

In early November 2021, the vessel was seen some 61 nautical miles away from the coast of Weligama, in the southern region of the Sea of Sri Lanka, and later moved closer to the Port of Colombo.