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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Car imports banned for "social order""

Car imports banned for "social order""

CAR imports will be banned temporarily this year in a bid to improve road safety

and "social order" and reduce smuggling.

Chea Peng Chheang, the

Under-Secretary of State for Finance, said the indefinite ban would begin on

March 1. "We do not want cars to be imported without checking their quality," he


More than 90 per cent of the estimated 20,000 cars in Cambodia are

second-hand, and the government is concerned many are not of an adequate safety

standard. Chheang also said the government was moving to stop the influx of cars

smuggled into Cambodia from Thailand.

The government had banned the

import of right-hand steering vehicles, as are driven in Thailand. But car

industry sources say the vehicles are still flowing into Cambodia.


told the Post that car importers temporarily attached cars' steering wheels to

the left-hand side, and switched them back after passing through


Often Customs officials knew what was happening but, upon

payment of a bribe, did not care, he said.



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