Court order blocking payment for Chinese fertilizer shipment extended
Posted on November 5th, 2021

Courtesy Adaderana

The Colombo Commercial High Court has extended the enjoining order issued against the Chinese company that shipped fertilizer containing harmful bacteria to Sri Lanka, its local agent and the People’s Bank.

This interim order, which prevents the payment to the Chinese firm on Letter of Credit, was accordingly extended until November 19.

A petition filed by the Ceylon Fertilizer Company (CFC) was called before Commercial High Court Judge Priyantha Fernando today.

During the court proceedings, the attorneys representing the respondents of the petition have requested the judge to grant an additional period of time for them to file objections.

Additional Solicitor General Susantha Balapatabendi, who appeared on behalf of the CFC, told the court that China-based Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd. had shipped a fertilizer consignment, which is a partial shipment worth more than a billion rupees that was procured through a tender process initiated by the Agriculture Ministry.

Although the said Chinese firm was required to ship sterile organic fertilizer under the tender contract, it had admitted in its shipping advice that the consignment may contain microorganisms, he further told the court.

The National Plant Quarantine Services (NPQS), which tested the sample sent to them, had confirmed the presence of organisms, including certain types of harmful bacteria, the Additional Solicitor General said, adding that, in this context, the Chinese firm in question has failed to complete the accepted terms of the tender.

The CFC first secured an enjoining order on October 22 against the Chinese firm in question, preventing the People’s Bank from making any payment under a Letter of Credit opened in favour of Qingdao Seawin Biotech.

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