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Certificate of origin issuance poised to be decentralised

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Yellow banana planter and exporter Longmate Agriculture Co Ltd exported nearly 120,000 tonnes of its produce to China, Vietnam and Japan in the first nine months of this year. Heng Chivoan

Certificate of origin issuance poised to be decentralised

The Ministry of Commerce has intensified its decentralisation policy and shifted its responsibility for issuing certificates of origin (COs) to provincial commerce departments, it said on Monday.

To promote the Kingdom’s agricultural exports, the ministry announced a pilot launch from November 1 in three border provinces – Takeo, Kampot and Koh Kong.

In 2017, the ministry authorised the Battambang and Pailin provincial departments of Commerce to issue COs to exporters.

Kampot provincial Department of Commerce director Srey Kompheak told The Post on Tuesday that following the pilot programme, the ministry plans to authorise all provincial commerce departments to issue COs.

“After the official launch of the CO [pilot programme], my department’s working group will publicise this information to all companies,” he said, adding that the programme will make it easier for agricultural exporters operating in the province.

Kompheak said most of Kampot province’s agricultural products are exported to Vietnam, including rice, pepper and mango.

“Without COs, traders will be taxed on their crop exports to Vietnam. Last year, Vietnam imposed a 20 per cent tax on rice traders.”

He said there are currently about 36 pepper processing and export companies operating in the country.

The World Bank said last week that Cambodia’s ranking in the ease of doing business index dropped for the fourth year running since 2016. Its rankings for 2020 dropped six places from 2019.

Hun Lak, a director at Longmate Agriculture Co Ltd which is a yellow banana planter and exporter, said provincial CO issuance will facilitate his exports.

He said his company exported nearly 120,000 tonnes of yellow bananas to China, Vietnam and Japan in the first nine months of this year.

Longmate Agriculture has invested $32 million in yellow banana cultivation on more than 1,000ha in Kampot’s northwestern Chhouk district. The company is currently implementing the first phase of the project on 400ha.

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