Trading companies in the agricultural, fishery and animal production sectors are being urged by the overseeing ministry to apply for licences, permits and certificates in electronic form to fulfil trade regulatory requirements as part of the Cambodian National Single Window (NSW) system.
A notification from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries issued on April 20 notes that as part of the second phase of the NSW – an online facility for businesses to submit standardised information for fulfilment of trade regulatory requirements – the ministry has proposed a number of conditions.
These conditions form part of its strategy for adapting to Covid-19 as endemic and facilitating trade for private agricultural production, fishery products and animal production companies in this phase of the crisis.
Firstly, applications for permits and certificates for animal feed and veterinary medicine should contain the required documents in accordance with the Law on Animal Health and Animal Production and the prakas on procedures and standards.
This regulation pertains to the registration, importation, exportation, transit, production, mixing, repackaging, inventory, supply, distribution and transportation of animal feed and veterinary drugs as stipulated in the NSW.
Secondly, the application for phytosanitary certification for export, re-export and import of goods subject to phytosanitary inspection must consist of the required documents in accordance with the sub-decree and prakas on phytosanitary inspection procedures, as required in the NSW.
Thirdly, the application for export, import and transit of fishery products must contain the required documents in accordance with the Law on Fisheries and the prakas on the procedure for granting licences for export, import and transit of fishery products as required in the NSW.
Hun Lak, CEO of Rich Farm Asia Ltd, told The Post that the preparation process of applications for licences, permissions and certificates in electronic form is “intertwined” with the bilateral and regional agreements of Cambodia and its trading partners.
He said that the establishment of a NSW in Cambodia brings many benefits to investors, namely reducing processing time and unnecessary expenses. It also benefits government ministries and institutions by strengthening data management in agriculture and ensures compliance with laws and technical and hygiene standards on the part of businesses and their suppliers.
“As we have seen, in the agricultural sector, such as in aquaculture, animal husbandry, vegetables and fruits, all [companies] have to be registered when they want to export to other countries [within] the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership [RCEP] and bilateral free trade agreements.
“Therefore, the agriculture ministry … must manage to gather all players in this field to register and apply for licences, permits and certificates in electronic form to receive permission to export,” he said.
Cambodia Rice Federation secretary-general Lun Yeng agreed that the private sector was “saving a lot of time” by applying for licences, permits and certificates in the electronic form as required by the NSW.
“For the rice sector, we need to apply for phytosanitary certification for export, so applying for this electronic system is quick and easy,” he said.
Data from the first quarter of 2022 shows that Cambodia exported a total of 3,434,071 tonnes of agricultural products to 57 countries and territories – an increase of 344,861 tonnes or 11.16 per cent year-on-year. The estimated revenue of exports from this period – based on exporters’ published bills – was $1.269 billion.