07 - 10 APRIL | 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: 07 - 10 April

(English summaries provided by EuroCham Cambodia, subject to corrections by relevant authorities)

1.   Restriction on Domestic Travel to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

On 9 April, the Royal Government issued a directive to prohibit all domestic travel. Following a revision by the Royal Government on 10 April, only travel between provinces is restricted, while there are no restrictions in place on travel within Phnom Penh or between Phnom Penh and Kandal province.

These restrictions are waived for the following:

  1. Freight transport of all kinds, including land, water and rail;
  2. Civil servants’ vehicles and any kind of transportation for the purpose of performing daily tasks, on the condition that the owner of the vehicle shall present their civil servant ID to the competent authority;
  3. Civil servants’ vehicles and any kind of authorized transportation of armed forces for the purpose of performing daily tasks;
  4.  Public or private ambulance vehicles;
  5. Fire fighting vehicles;
  6. Waste collecting trucks;
  7. Workplace transportation, which must have a letter of authority/permit from the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training;
  8. People traveling to the nearest hospital or medical centre to access essential or urgent healthcare services. This is limited to only 4 people per vehicle.

This regulation is effective from midnight (00:00) on 9 April 2020 until midnight (00:00) on 16 April 2020.

2.  Royal Government Instruction on Further Measures to Help the Private Sector and Workers/Employees Severely Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic

On 7 April, the Royal Government issued a press release outlining the expanded measures to support employees in the garment and tourism sectors, which have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of its third round of intervention measures, the Royal Government will provide:

  • Subsidised wage of US$40 per month for each suspended employee in the garment sector, with factories/enterprises required to contribute an additional $30 per month for each employee (each employee will receive a total US$70/month)
  • Subsidised wage of US$40 per month for each suspended employee in the tourism sector such as hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and travel agents. Tourism businesses must contribute on a voluntary basis to the amount provided by the Royal Government, according to their actual ability
  • The subsidised wage will only be available to factories/enterprises/businesses that meet the legal criteria to suspend employment contracts and have obtained permission from the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training from 10 April 2020
  • This is a temporary assistance measure to support the livelihood of employees that will be provided for 2 months. After 2 months, the Royal Government will reassess the situation
  • There is no longer a requirement for employees to complete a training course to access the subsidy
  • Factories/enterprises/businesses that have already closed down or will close down cannot apply for this scheme, and are required to follow the conditions and procedures of the Law on Bankruptcy
  • All Factories/enterprises/businesses are permitted to delay the payment of previous seniority indemnity prior to 2019 and seniority indemnity for 2020-2021.
  • The Royal Government will continue to monitor the effects of COVID-19 on the economy and society and is ready to introduce further measures to provide appropriate and necessary support for severely-affected companies, businesses and employees

3.  Royal Government Sub-Decree No. 50 on Postponement of Public Holidays on 13-16 April 2020 for Officials, Employees and Workers

On 9 April, the Royal Government issued Sub-Decree No. 50 to postpone the Khmer New Year holidays. All officials of the Royal Government, employees and workers in Cambodia are instructed to work as usual.

4. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training Notification on Preventive Measures of COVID 19 at Factories, Enterprises, Establishments during the postponement of Khmer New Year 2020

On 9 April, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training issued a notification on preventive measures for employers and employees during Khmer New Year. As the Khmer New Year holiday period has been postponed, the Ministry has instructed that all employees shall work as normal. If employees take leave without the approval of their employers, they will not be entitled to wages for the mandatory 14-day quarantine period before resuming work. For employees whose leave has been approved by their employer, they will be entitled to wages during the 14-day quarantine period. All employers are instructed to record their employees that have taken leave and to submit this list to the competent authorities to ensure health quarantine measures are enforced.

5.   Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training Notification on Usage of Permit Cards for Employees’ Transportation and Work During Domestic Travel Restrictions for the Purpose of Preventing and Controlling the COVID-19 Pandemic

On 9 April, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training issued notification No. 014/20 to inform owners or directors of factories, enterprises and businesses, employees, drivers or transportation vehicle owners, which are not ordered to close operations of the following requirements:

a. For Employees: for personal transportation, they must carry their (1) Employee Identification Card, and (2) Cambodian Identification Card or other documents that display their current address whenever travelling to and from work and home. For shared transportation, they must carry (1) permit authorised by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, and (2) Employee Identification Card. In case of absence from work, this shall be considered serious misconduct and subject to termination of employment without compensation.

b. For Owners/Directors: provide list of vehicle number plates to Labour inspectors, provide travel permits to drivers/employees and guarantee employees have employment identification cards. They must continue their operations as normal, otherwise this will be against Government orders and they shall lose their right to employee support or other incentives.

c. For Drivers/Owners of Transportation: must collect transport permits from factories/businesses and continue to transport employees as normal otherwise this will be against Government orders.

6.   Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training Notification on Foreign Work Permit Extensions

On 8 April, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training instructed officials to implement and review requests to extend foreign work permits for 2020 without imposing any fines or penalties. This will only apply for those who had a valid work permit for 2019. This instruction will last until further notice by the Ministry.

7.   National Assembly Press Release on the Approval of the Draft Law of a State of Emergency

On 10 April, the Secretary General of the National Assembly issued a press release to announce that the National Assembly has approved the draft Law on a State of Emergency, which contains 5 Chapters with 12 Articles.

8.   Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Press Release on the Outcome of the 25th ASEAN Coordinating Council Meeting on COVID-19

On 9 April, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issued a press release on the outcome of the 25th ASEAN Coordinating Council Meeting on COVID-19. His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister PRAK Sokhonn, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation met via video conference with his counterparts from ASEAN to discuss and exchange views on a regional collective response to the outbreak of COVID-19.

During this meeting amongst other initiatives, it was agreed to establish COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund to mobilise funds to address the shortage of medical supplies, support research and development of medicines and vaccines for COVID-19 and to prepare for emergency responses in the future.

9.   Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Instruction on Reviewing Food Stock in Response to the Risk of COVID-19

On 9 April, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries issued instruction No. 159 to General Departments to expand measures initially outlined in Instruction No. 152 on 03 April 2020 as follow:

  1. The General Department of Agriculture shall estimate stock quantities of paddy and rice in rice mills, communities and farming families to accurately estimate the balance of food stock for 2020 and evaluate the potential vegetable plantation areas.
  2. The General Department of Animal Health and Production shall estimate the demand of livestock and meat supplies for 2020 to provide a framework to boost animal farming and production, and guarantee meat supply.
  3. The Fisheries Administration shall estimate the demand and supply from fisheries to ensure domestic supply and maintain market prices.

All entities under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Departments of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in the capital city and provinces shall cooperate with sub-national administrations, the private sector and development partners to effectively implement this instruction.

10. Ministry of Health Organising a Press Conference on COVID-19 Updates

On 8 April, the Ministry of Health issued an announcement to inform the public that the Ministry will be holding a press conference on COVID-19 updates every Monday from 09:30 AM at the Ministry of Health, following the Prime Minister’s decision.

During the press conference, the Ministry of Health will update all citizens on:

  1. The current situation and provide further updates;
  2. Report on the spread of the virus and interventions;
  3. Provide information on measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and related concerns.

11. Ministry of Interior Instruction to the Capital and Provincial Governors to Strictly Enforce the Travel Restriction Directive Issued by the Royal Government 

On April 10, the Ministry of Interior instructed the City, Provincial Governors and relevant authorities to strictly and effectively enforce the domestic travel restriction regulation. The Ministry also stressed the importance of safeguarding security and safety for political, diplomatic and investment goals within their respective jurisdiction, as well as to avoid all forms of violence during the enforcement period. 

12. General Department of Taxation Instruction on the Implementation of the Royal Government’s Decision for Additional Tax Measures to Support the Aviation and Tourism Industries Seriously Impacted by the Spread of COVID-19

On 9 April, the General Department of Taxation issued an instruction to their relevant tax authorities and units to implement the following tax relief measures to support the aviation and tourism sectors:

Aviation Sector: Airlines established in the Kingdom that are operating in the aviation industry are exempt from Minimum Tax for 3 months from March to May 2020. The Prepayment of Income Tax is not required during this exemption period.

Tourism Sectors: Hotels, guesthouse, restaurants and travel agents who are registered with the GDT and operate in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk, Kep, Kampot, Bavet and Poipet are entitled to the following tax incentives:

a) Exempt from all types of monthly tax payments for 3 months from March to May​ 2020. Businesses are required to submit monthly tax returns and use E-VAT during this period.

b) For the 2019 annual income tax, enterprises shall file their tax returns by the end of March, at the very latest. Enterprises with outstanding or additional income tax are allowed to make payments in monthly instalments until November 2020.

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