A Canadian buyer has sought refund on an order of medical masks from two Bangladeshi suppliers, claiming that the suppliers delivered non-medical and poor-quality products.
Busrel Medical, a Canadian company and a subsidiary of Busrel Inc, alleged that it ordered medical masks worth $10 million from two Bangladeshi companies — Moontaha Sourcing Ltd and Silverene Apparels Ltd — and after the companies supplied only 5 per cent of the total order, the products were found to be of non-medical standard and poor quality, sources said.
Busrel Medical, the official supplier of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec and Alberta provinces of Canada, sought support from the government of Bangladesh to resolve the commercial dispute that had been going on for two months.
The government has assigned the investigation to the Export Promotion Bureau to resolve the issue.
The committee sent separate letters to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and the Bangladesh Garment Buying House Association to know whether the companies were members of the trade bodies.
According to the sources, the Canadian company claimed that after the masks were rejected by hospitals and Health Canada, it requested the Bangladeshi suppliers to refund its money but the suppliers were insisting that the buyer continued to buy the substandard masks.
The Canadian High Commission in Bangladesh recently sent a letter to the commerce ministry alleging that the Bangladeshi companies did not deliver the shipment worth $10 million in line with the orders placed by Busrel Medical, the sources said.
EPB vice-chairman AHM Ahasan said on Saturday that they had formed a committee to resolve the issue and he hoped that the committee would submit its report soon.
‘So far as I know, the suppliers have agreed to refund the money as they failed to supply the products,’ he said.
Md Sahadat, owner of Moontaha Sourcing Ltd, said that if the buyer declined to buy the products, the payment would be refunded.
He said that Moontaha Sourcing Ltd and Silverene Apparels Ltd received $10 million for masks and supplied products worth $2.1 million.
‘It is not true that we supplied substandard masks. The Canadian company approved our sample and then we delivered the products. Most probably, the buyer has found an alternative source for the product at a cheap rate and is not interested to continue doing business with us,’ Sahadat said.
BGMEA president Rubana Huq said that Silverene Apparels Ltd was a member of her trade body and she had convinced the supplier to return the client’s money.
She said that in order to resolve the dispute, the BGMEA had held virtual meetings with both the alleged supplier factory and the Canadian buyer where representatives from the government, the Canadian high commission and the bank concerned were present.
‘The EPB is working on the issue and we are now waiting for the EPB report,’ Rubana said.
BGBA president Kazi Iftaquer Hossain in a letter to the EPB on July 19 said that the two Bangladeshi companies involved were not members of the association and the trade body was concerned over the involvement of local garment companies in not having supplied surgical masks as promised.
He said that such unethical activities were tarnishing the image of local textile and readymade garment industries on the international market.
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