In a move to facilitate trade and reduce costs for businesses, the Ministry of Commerce on Friday issued a sub-decree that puts an end to the presence of Camcontrol in border checkpoints.
Sub-decree 27, signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Jan 29, officially ends the role of the Cambodia Import-Export Inspection and Fraud Repression Directorate General at the country’s border crossings.
“The government has decided to terminate the role of Camcontrol from all border checkpoints, seaports, special economic zones, and other export and import inspection zones in Cambodia,” the regulation says.
The General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE) becomes the only institution authorised to carry out inspections of goods at border gates, seaports, and special economic zones, according to the sub-decree.
Last week the government also decided to reduce by half the scanning fee for exported and imported containers, a decision that will come into effect April 1.
The decision to half the fee was announced in a Jan 29 letter to GDCE signed by Aun Pornmoniroth, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Economy and Finance.
It declares that the fee will be dropped from $32 to $16 for 40-foot containers, and from $20 to $10 for 20-foot containers.
“I would like to inform H.E. delegate of the Royal Government that the move seeks to improve trade facilitation and to strengthen the competitiveness of Cambodia. Especially it aims to support the garment industry as well as to reduce the burden on businesspeople involved in exporting and importing goods loaded in containers,” the letter said.
GMAC deputy secretary-general Kaing Monika told Khmer Times he welcomed the move.
“Every measure that aims to reduce production costs will boost the competitiveness of Cambodia,” Mr Monika said, adding, however, that there are many other fees hampering the competitiveness of the sector, and that there is still a lot of room for improvement in this regard.
“We have been involved in a constructive dialogue with the government and reform is ongoing. The biggest concern now is the customs clearance fee, in which many players are involved, including freight forwarders and customs officials.”
Sin Chanthy, president of the Cambodia Freight Forwarders Association, also agreed with the government’s move.
“If we reduce exporters’ costs we will make our products more competitive,” he said, adding that the government should also aim to reduce corruption, which takes a big toll on businesses’ bottom lines.
Chan Pich, general manager of Signatures of Asia, told Khmer Times that halving the scanning fee will not have a huge effect on exporters and urged the government to also bring down the cost of electricity as well as reduce red tape, terminal handling charges and interest rates.