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New directive to regulate MoC agents

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
Kith Meng, the president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce. KT/Mai Vireak

The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has issued a new directive regulating the activity of agents who wish to conduct certain procedures at the ministry on behalf of private entities.

The order, named “Prakas 258 on the recognition of legal entity representatives”, establishes the procedure to follow to become the legal representative of a company when conducting certain procedures at the MoC, including registering as a business or obtaining import or export permits.

Training for legal entity representatives will be conducted at the MoC, according to the directive.

Om Dararith, the director at the MoC’s Business Registration Department, told Khmer Times yesterday that the order’s objective is to formalise the sector by having all agents register with the MoC, adding that there was a need to control and train legal representatives who come to the MoC on behalf of private companies.

“Those who wish to become an agent to represent a company must undergo training at the MoC,” he said.

“The General Department of Taxation, the General Department of Customs and Excise and the Department of Intellectual Property already have their own representatives or agents, and we want this too.”

Lim Heng, the vice-president of the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the directive, saying that some business owners are unclear about how to conduct certain processes at the MoC and this could help save them time.

“Foreign investors won’t have to worry about paperwork. This is good for business,” Mr Heng said.

Mr Heng said many businesses face difficulties using the new MoC online platform for business registration. Among other challenges, he said, business owners need to have an account with a local bank in order to pay the registration fee, a condition that may prove an impediment for foreign companies.

This week Cambodia moved down four places in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index – from 131 to 135 – a downgrade that indicates the country is not moving fast enough when it comes to reforming key institutions involved in facilitating business activity, such as the business registration process.

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