30 MARCH - 03 April | KEEPING YOU INFORMED: RECENT ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE ROYAL GOVERNMENT
- 03 April, 2020
- Posted by: EuroCham Cambodia
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: 30 March - 04 April
(English summaries provided by EuroCham Cambodia, subject to corrections by relevant authorities)
1. Office of the Council of Ministers: New Article & Amendments on the Draft Law on a State of Emergency
On 31 March, the Office of the Council of Minister released a Notification of its Standing Committee Meeting, led by the Prime Minister to discuss contents of the draft law on governing a country in a State of Emergency. The draft law will be submitted to the National Assembly for approval.
During the Standing Committee’s meeting, Article 3 of the draft law was changed to include, “declaration of a State of Emergency for a limited period of time shall not exceed 3 months and this period can be extended under the same conditions”. The Committee also included a new Article laying out the responsibility of the competent authorities, who abuse their given power arbitrarily and cause physical harm and to property of others shall be held responsible for their act.
The Draft Law on a State of Emergency aims to protect the national security and social order, lives and people’s health and as well as property and environment and sets out the formation, procedure, and condition of placing a country during the state of emergency. More importantly, it authorises the Government to possibly put in place some measures and actions on limiting business activities, controlling goods and service prices, closuring public and private venues etc. In addition, this draft also stipulates methods of reporting measures to the National Assembly and the Senate, Punishment Provisions (for cases of obstructing operations and cases of not complying with the measures, responsibility of the legal entities and competent authorities).
2. National Bank of Cambodia Urges Banks and Micro Finance Institutions Not to Seize Collateral During Covid-19 Crisis
On 01 April, Mr. Kith Sovannarith, Deputy Director General of Banking Supervision at the National Bank of Cambodia, through Fresh News, urged banks and micro finance institutions to remain fair regarding debt settlements with borrowers and to follow the instructions from the National Bank of Cambodia. Banks and micro finance institutions must avoid seizing collaterals such as borrowers' homes when they are impacted by the spread of Covid-19. Mr. Sovannarith also announced the establishment of a phone hot line service for customers to contact the National Bank of Cambodia for more information if they experience difficulties with financial services.
3. Ministry of Health - New Preventive Measures Against Covid-19
On 31 March, the Ministry of Health issued new preventives measures to promote physical distancing as follow:
- Avoid close contact with those that have a fever, cough, sneeze or flu.
- Avoid unnecessary commuting by public transport. Avoid commuting during rush hour.
- Work from home if possible.
- Avoid social gatherings and crowded places such as movie theatre, restaurant, coffee shop, bar, clubs, etc.
- Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch by using phone calls, internet and social media.
- Greet each other by Sampeah instead of handshakes or hugs. Keep the distance of at least 1.5 meters from each other.
Please collectively implement the above measures especially those who are 70 years and older, unhealthy or pregnant. Please contact 115 for urgent matters.
4. Ministry of Health notification on sale prohibition of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and disinfectant substances without registration number or notification number from the Ministry of Health.
On 31 March, the Ministry of Health issued a notification to prohibit the sale of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and disinfectant substances that do not have a registration or notification number from the Ministry of Health. This is due to the current increasing demand for these products and many unregistered online stores selling masks, thermometers, alcohol and other disinfectant substances.
In accordance with the Law on Pharmaceutical Management and the amendments of this law, the Ministry of Health would like to notify the public that:
- The sale of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and reagents must have registration numbers from the Ministry of Health and are only permitted to be legally sold at pharmacies or sub-pharmacies, while online sales are not permitted.
- The sale of all cosmetic products must have a notification number from the Ministry of Health.
- The advertisement of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, reagents and other cosmetic products must have a permit from the Ministry of Health to verify that such products are in compliance with medical, pharmaceutical and dentistry regulations.
5. General Department for Customs and Excise (GDCE) Letter No. 0857/20 on Urgent Measures to Control Selected Goods
On 30 March, the Director General of the General Department for Customs and Excise issued letter No. 0857/20 to the directors of departments, branches, and bureaus and excise to introduce temporary measures to control the import and export of goods used to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to ensure supply for domestic demand. The following urgent and temporary measures have been implemented to control imports and exports of goods as below:
1. Require export permits from the Ministry of Health for the following type of goods:
- All type of masks
- All disinfectant goods such as alcohol, alcohol mixtures, hand sanitizer, antibacterial wet wipes, and other disinfectant solutions
2. Require import permits from the Ministry of Health for the following type of goods:
- Covid-19 test kits
- Disinfectant goods such as alcohol, alcohol mixtures, hand sanitizer, antibacterial wet wipes, and other disinfectants
In this regard, GDCE directors shall publicise and implement the above measures following their respective competencies from this date (30 March) until further instruction.
6. Ministry of Commerce Notification on the Royal Government's Decision to Temporarily Suspend the Export of White Rice and Paddy Rice
On 30 March, the Ministry of Commerce reiterated that the Royal Government has temporarily suspended the export of white rice and paddy rice on 5 April, in order to ensure the secure and stable supply and quantity of food in the Kingdom. This temporary ban will not apply to the export of fragrant rice.
The Ministry has requested that the Cambodia Rice Federation, owners of rice mills and traders contact Green Trade of the Ministry of Commerce and Rural Development Bank for information related to loans and food security in Cambodia.
7. Ministry of Commerce Notification on Prohibition of Online Sales that Increase Prices of Masks and Equipment used for Protecting and Preventing COVID 19
On 30 March, the Ministry of Commerce issued a notification to warn those who try to profit from online selling of products such as masks, cleaning alcohol, thermometer for unreasonably high prices, which is in violation of the Laws on E-Commerce and Consumer Protection.
The Ministry insists that all e-commerce services providers and traders sell their products at a reasonable price and that there is an absolute ban on fake marketing to increase the price, and will otherwise strictly enforce the laws.
8. Ministry of Commerce Notification No. 1355 on Fuel Retail Price at Fuel Stations
On 01 April, the Ministry of Commerce issued notification No. 1355 to notify that the Prime Minister decided to decrease fuel prices in Cambodia by 04 cents per litre with the support from fuel companies in Cambodia to ease the economic impact on the livelihood of citizens.
The new fuel prices will be implemented from 01 until 15 April 2020. The price of regular EA92 gasoline has decreased to 2350 Riels per litre and the price of diesel has decreased to 2450 Riels per litre.
The Ministry of Commerce does not determine fuel prices in Cambodia. They only monitor price fluctuation in the international market and calculate following Prakas, in this regard, the public should be informed accordingly, and all fuel stations should operate as necessary.
9. Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport Requests the Temporarily Closure of Gyms
On 2 March, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport requested Governors of cities and provinces in the Kingdom to temporarily suspend the operations of gyms nationwide from 02 March to until further notice as part of the preventative measures to stop the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic.
10. Ministry of Economy and Finance Introduction of SME Co-Financing Scheme
On 3 April, the Ministry of Economy and Finance issued a press release to officially introduce the SME co-financing scheme. This scheme has been established to provide loans with low interest to support the development of SMEs in prioritised industries, such as manufacturing and handicraft to supply domestic demand or support the production of large companies. The funding amount under this scheme is $100 million, which is co-financed equally by the Cambodia SME Bank and other 33 financial institutions.