23 - 27 March | Keeping You Informed: Recent Announcements by the Royal Government

With the COVID-19 situation rapidly escalating and the circumstances changing everyday in Cambodia, EuroCham will be regularly disseminating the official announcements from the Royal Government to ensure our network is updated as efficiently as possible. 

Due to the significant number of incoming announcements, we are unable to translate these in full so please refer to our summaries below and the attached official notices in Khmer. We are expecting more decisions in the coming days.

Official Announcements: 23 - 27 March

1. National Assembly Press Release on Cabinet Reshuffle

On 27 March, the National Assembly Standing Committee convened an extraordinary session of the National Assembly. The meeting approved the date of an extraordinary session of its sixth legislature to be held on 30 March, with the agenda to pass vote​ of confidence to appoint and amend the composition of the Royal Government (proposed cabinet reshuffle).

2. Ministry of Economy and Finance Circular No. 002 on Exemption of the Tax on Seniority Indemnity Payments from 2020 Onwards.

On 24 March, the Ministry of Economy and Finance released the Circular N.002 on the tax exemption for seniority indemnity payments from 2020 onwards. The Circular provided the following instruction:

a. Tax Exemption on seniority indemnity payments for before and during 2019 from Cambodian employees working in garment, footwear, textile and other sectors and those who recruit, train, send and supervise Cambodian workers to work abroad.

b. For seniority indemnity payments from 2020 onward, the tax exemption is applicable only to those who receive less than 4 000 000 Riels per year ($1000).  

3. Ministry of Economy and Finance Prakas No. 319 on Tax Facilitation Measures to Reduce the Challenges in Garment and Textile Industry.

On 24 March, The Ministry of Economy and Finance issued Prakas No.319 exempts the tax on income for garment, textile, footwear, handbag and hat industry which are being impacted by Everything But Arms withdrawal. The Prakas explains how the impact is calculated and the different type of exemptions applied to each enterprise depending on the calculated impact.

The Prakas provides a 50% exemption on tax on income for 6 months to enterprises affected from 20% to 39%, while 100% tax for 1 year is given to those fully affected by the withdrawal. In order to receive the exemption, companies must submit their documents on the actual impact on their income resulting from the EBA suspension when submitting their tax declaration.

4. Ministry of Tourism Notification to Provide a Grace Period from Transitional Fines for Tourism Businesses Until 30 June 2020.

On 26 March, the Ministry of Tourism issued a notification to grant a grace period from transitional fines for businesses that have not obtained their required tourism licenses, this grace period will be in place until 30 June 2020. Tourism licences are required for businesses, such as tour operators, travel agents, tour guides, translators, hotels, tourist accommodation services, spas massage and wellness, sports, restaurants, food stores, tourist transport and sites. The Ministry of Tourism has also requested all business operators that are not licensed or whose license have expired to apply for and validate their licenses. 

5. Ministry of Tourism Notification No. 147 on Tourism Accommodation Registration System and Guidelines on Tourism Accommodation Registration.
On 25 March, the Ministry of Tourism instructed all tourism accommodation businesses (except community housing services) to take responsibility to register all guests on the Tourism Accommodation Registration System. The System has been launched as an immediate responses to the COVID-19 situation and the issue of international visitors and Cambodian nationals bringing the virus to Cambodia. The registration procedures are mentioned in the Guideline on Tourism Accommodation Registration.

6. Ministry of Tourism Letter No. 152 on Temporary Closure of Beer Garden Businesses.

On 25 March, the Ministry of Tourism announced the temporary closure of beer garden businesses in Phnom Penh and every province from 25 March 2020 until further notice to reduce the potential spreading of COVID-19. 

7. Important Notification from Institut Pasteur Du Cambodge on Covid-19 Testing and Health Certificates.

Institut Pasteur Du Cambodge issued a notice that they will not perform individual COVID-19 testing or provide Free Health Check Certificates. Individuals that require medical advice, tests or certificates are required to visit medical centres specified by the Ministry of Health or suggested by their embassies. 

8. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training Notification on Employees Phone Number Update Requirement

On 23 March, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training issued an urgent notification on the requirement to update employee phone number contact details. The Ministry is instructing owners, directors, or administrative managers of companies, factories, enterprises and hotels to submit the required phone numbers by 26 March 2020. Failing to update the phone number will be penalised in accordance with the Law on Labour.

9. General Department of Customs and Excise Notification on Fraudulent Cleaning Alcohol Products

On 23 March, the General Department of Customs and Excise issued temporary measures to prevent the import of fraudulent alcohol products. Measures include instructing relevant officials to place imported alcohol products in the red customs channel which is subjected to physical inspections and to check the packaging to ensure the label provides information such as product name (Ethyl alcohol or Ethanol) and the purity of alcohol (quantity level in % of ethyl alcohol substance).

10. Ministry of Economy and Finance Instruction on​ the Implementation of the New Tax Rate on Salary

On 23 March, the Ministry of Economy and Finance issued an instruction on the new tax rate on salary. All enterprises include resident taxpayer, state institution, other organisations have the obligation to withhold tax and salary tax. This new progressive salary tax rate will be applicable for salaries provided to employees from February 2020 onward and employers are required to submit each monthly tax return form by the 20th of the following month. 

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