Chinese fertilizer shipment challenged: court order preventing payment from being revoked

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The Colombo High Commercial Court ruling on extending or revoking the interim order preventing payment of the letter of credit to the Chinese company that shipped a disputed batch of organic fertilizers to Sri Lanka is expected to be released on 06 January.

As a result, the relevant court ruling, which bars payment to the Chinese company on letter of credit, has been extended until next month.

A petition filed by Colombo Commercial Fertilizers Ltd. was examined before High Commercial Court Judge Pradeep Hettiarachchi this morning (December 23).

The Ceylon Fertilizer Company (CFC) had previously obtained two injunctions from the Colombo High Commercial Court against Seawin Biotech, its local agent and the state-run People’s Bank, preventing payment of the letter of credit.

The first court ruling against the Chinese company in question was obtained on October 23, preventing the People’s Bank from making any payments under an open letter of credit in favor of the Chinese company.

In previous proceedings, Additional General Counsel Susantha Balapatabendi, who appeared on behalf of the CFC, told the court that Chinese company Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd. billion rupees which were purchased through a tender process initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Although the said Chinese company was required to ship sterile organic fertilizers under the tender contract, it admitted in its shipping notice that the shipment could contain microorganisms, he said. further declared in 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 attorney general said, adding that, in this context, the Chinese firm in question had not fulfilled the accepted conditions of the offer.

Under the terms of the contracts, payment for the controversial shipment of organic fertilizers was to be made by means of a letter of credit issued through the People’s Bank.


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