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. 

Official Announcements: 17 - 24 April

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

1. Ministry of Tourism Instruction on the Implementation of Additional Measures of the Royal Government for the Tourism Sector 

On 17 April, the Ministry of Tourism instructed their Chiefs of City and Provincial Tourism Departments to urgently disseminate and urged the owners of hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, and travel agents to implement the following measures:  

a. Extension of the scope of exemptions from all forms of monthly tax payments for hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, and travel agents who are registered with the GDT and have business operations in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk, Kep, Kampot, Bavet and Poipet for the period of 3 months from March until May 2020. All these businesses are obliged to file monthly tax return and use E-VAT during the exemption period.  

b. Require the above taxpayers to submit their 2019 tax income return by the end of March 2020, at the very latest. The tax payment can be paid in a monthly instalment until November 2020.  

c. Facilitate with owners of buildings and tenants who are tourism operators to avoid contract termination or eviction in case tenants can’t afford to pay the rental fee on time and encourage owners to negotiate with tenants on deferring or reducing rental fees.     

d. Owners of hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, travel agents in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk, Kep and Kampot province, whose businesses were suspended or will be suspended are required to submit the suspension application of employment contracts to the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training via the Labour Inspection Department for those located in Phnom Penh and through Labour and Vocational Training Department for those in the province to receive the subsidy allowance of $40 per month for the period of 2 months without requiring employees to attend a soft skills short training course. 

Tourism businesses shall contribute to the employees salaries based on their ability and voluntary. The required conditions for receiving the subsidy allowance from the Royal Government are as follows:  

  • Consent of the suspension of the employment contract by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training from 10 April 2020 onward. 
  • Employees subject to the suspension must have NSSF Member Card or be listed on the updated employee list or to be filed with the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and its provincial department. However, the subsidy allowance is not made available for business that have already closed or will close. 

e. Employers are not required to pay the NSSF Contribution during the suspension. They must submit the suspension application to the NSSF after receiving the consent of the suspension of the employment contract from the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training. Employees can continue to enjoy the NSSF benefit and allowance for birth delivery from the Government during the suspension. 

f. Owners and employers of all tourism business services are to be informed about the delay of seniority payment before 2019 and seniority payment in 2020 to be paid in 2021.  

2. National Bank of Cambodia Letter  to the Directors of Bank and Financial Institutions 

On 20 April, the National Bank of Cambodia issued a letter to the directors of bank and financial institutions to urge them to apply further exemptions to their customers, such as service fee reductions related to loan and/or exemptions on penalties from the date of this letter until the end of December 2020. 

3. Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport Notification on Extension of the Suspension of Starting School for Every Level of Educational Institutions including Public and Private and Teacher Academic Institutions  

On 17 April, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport issued Notification No. 22 to notify every level of educational institutions including public, private and teacher academic institutions of the extension of the suspension of restarting schools until further notice. Private educational institutions shall continue implementing notification No. 21 issued on 13 April on remote and online study. Parents and guardians of students shall encourage them to remotely study or learn through online platforms and follow hygiene measures and avoid crowded places which are vulnerable to infection.  

4. Cambodia Post Notification on the Suspension of Receiving and Forwarding Consignments  

On 18 April, the Cambodia Post issued a notification that it has suspended services to send and receive all consignments to any countries due to COVID-19. Cambodia Post will restart receiving and forwarding of consignments as normal once the outbreak of the disease has ended.  

5. Ministry of Commerce Notification on Identifying Methanol in Hand Sanitizer 

On 17 April, the Minister of Commerce informed the public that they have found up to 80 tons methanol which is dangerous to citizens’ well-being. This notification explains what methanol is and why it is considered as a high toxic substance to humans. The Ministry also urged businesses, companies, and enterprises to stop selling methanol contained products and the Ministry will take action in accordance with the law once they identify businesses that continue to operate.  

6. Ministry of Education Youth and Sport Notification on Cooperation with the Ministry of Information on Producing and Airing Remote Study and Online Study Programmes 

On 20 April, The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport notified parents, guardians and the public that the Ministry in cooperation with the Ministry of Information has produced teaching videos for all grades. These teaching videos will be aired on the National Television of Kampuchea channel and other television channels, digital educational forum of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Ministry of Information’s app.  

  • Teaching videos on TV channels will start from 20 April on ទទក/២ or TVK 2, Decho DTV and other TV channels (please see the list attached with this notification). 
  • Teaching videos are available on the Ministry of Information’s app which can be downloaded by smartphone. 
  • Teaching videos are also available on the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport’s digital educational forum accessible through its website, official facebook page, and electronic learning website.  

For all the above programmes, the Ministry reminded parents and guardians to encourage their children to concentrate on studying by themselves during this period.  

7. Ministry of Health Letter on Strengthening Hand Sanitizer Quality During the Fight Against COVID-19 

On 21 April, the Ministry of Health issued letter No. 2256 to announce some measures against imported counterfeit and sub-standard hand sanitizing products. 

These measures are: 

  1. A quality certificate must be displayed showing the level of methanol and ethanol in line with the regulations of the National Health Laboratory outlined during the process of import, registration or notification of hand sanitizing products. 
  2. For hand sanitizing products, the Ministry of Health will undertake quality checks in the market and if the Ministry finds that the quality does not match labelling, the ministry will suspend sales and product registration in accordance with the law. 

8. Royal Government Decision on Establishing the Joint Ministry Technical Working Group to Develop an Investment Plan on National Digital Television Infrastructure  

On 20 April, the Royal Government issued decision No. 50 to establish the joint Ministry technical working group to develop an investment plan on national digital television infrastructure to shift from Analog TV to Digital TV in Cambodia. This joint Ministry technical working group is chaired by the Minister of Information. 

9. Ministry of Civil Service Press Release on Temporary Suspension of New Recruitments

On 23 April, the Ministry of Civil Service released a press release to temporarily suspend new recruitment of officials for 2020 to work at Ministries and Institutions at national and sub-national level until further notice due to the impact of COVID-19.  

10. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Decision on the Establishment of General Secretariat for De-centralisation and De-concentration Reform Program  

On 20 April, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries issued a decision to establish the General Secretariat to facilitate and expand the process of its de-centralisation and de-concentration reform program. The decision also outlined that the General Secretariat can coordinate and cooperate with the Ministries, Development Partners, CSOs, Private Sectors and other stakeholders to provide support to the sub-national administration in organising, managing and implementing the de-centralisation  and de-concentration reform program and other prioritised works of the Ministry.  

11.  Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training Press Release on Quarantines for Employees in Phnom Penh After Khmer New Year 

On 23 April, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training issued a press release on the quarantine of employees returning to work after Khmer New Year. The Ministry has cooperated with the Ministry of Health, Phnom Penh Administration Authority, and other relevant stakeholders to prepare 10 health centres and 3 quarantine centres to provide health checks for employees who were on leave during Khmer New Year and have returned to work. The Ministry updated that there were 516 employees that received health-checks as of 22 April and 95 employees were checked as on 23 April.  

12. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training Letter on the Suspension of NSSF Payments for Educational Institutions  

On 23 April, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training issued letter No. 609 to inform that members of the Cambodian Higher Education Association will be exempt from making contribution payments to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). This exemption will be from April until September 2020. In case the Royal Government allows all educational institutions to restart their operation before September, educational institution members of the Cambodian Higher Education Association shall also restart their contribution payments.  

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