The Royal Barbados Police Force has been called into a trade dispute between a local engineering and construction firm and a chemicals company in China.
The Barbadian company, Snap-On Engineering and Construction Services Incorporated, at Cottage Plantation, St. George, is alleging that Shenyang Weiba Chemicals Trade Company Limited, it paid for $100,000 in herbicide and received a shipment of mostly water.
Today, Chief Executive Officer of the St. George-based business, Michael Power, told reporters that on July 4, last year, he ordered about 8,000 litres or 40 drums of 55 gallons each of bromoxynil and ioxynil herbicides on behalf of the state-owned Barbados Agricultural Management Company Limited.
“When the product arrived here in the country, it was totally different to the product that we ordered,” Power revealed. “We carried out investigations by … having analysts (at) the Government lab do specific tests for us on the product, and the product proved to be completely different to what we ordered.
“We ordered ioxynil and bromoxynil, and the product we received, was a mixture of glycol, which is a water-based compound, almost 70 per cent water.”
Barbados TODAY obtained a copy of the analysis report from the Government Analytical Services at Culloden Road, which revealed in part that a “gas chromatography/mass spectrometer analysis, indicated that the sample consists of water (48 per cent) and ethylene glycol (52 per cent). Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometer analysis confirmed that bromoxynil and ioxynil, are absent”.
Power said the contract with BAMC was worth about $320,000 and his company has so far spent more than $100,000 in such expenses as tests, customs duties and back-and-forth documentation in seeking to recover its money. “As a result, we have taken up the issue with the local Chinese Embassy here in Barbados. We had several meetings and discussions with them; and during the past six to seven months, there has been a lot of dialogue with them, which has now turned almost futile, in that we have not been able to recoup our expenses or time or our reputation which we have placed on the line in ordering this product for one of the largest agricultural entities in Barbados, which is the BAMC,” declared the business executive.
He said due diligence checks had been done before the order was placed.
“We had made contact with various companies over the net; three US companies, two Canadian companies and then we finally came up and selected one out of China, which we asked the Chinese Government to do their due diligence on; and they … came back and told us that the company is registered, and met all the ISO standards and they were ‘alive’,” asserted the local importer.
“And we proceeded, based on that information, to conduct the business with them in that respect.”
He also said he had sent correspondence to Barbados’ Ambassador in China, Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford, since December 2012, and was still awaiting a response.