Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CRF voices concern over EU rice tax on Cambodia

CRF voices concern over EU rice tax on Cambodia

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Capital Food in Cambodia deputy director Chray Son says the average farmer will be severely impacted by a safeguard clause. Hong Menea

CRF voices concern over EU rice tax on Cambodia

The president of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF) has expressed concern over an impending EU tariff on Cambodian rice imports, saying that it is factors within EU states that are harming European farmers most.

“Difficulties faced by European farmers are largely due to the lack of collaboration between them, millers and traders,” CRF president Sok Puthyvuth told the press on Friday.

He said the “high cost of milling in [EU]member states” was the main obstacle to improving European rice industries, not imports of Cambodian rice.

Sok Puthyvuth’s comments come following a November 5 announcement from the European Commission, an arm of the EU, that exporters of Cambodian and Burmese Indica white rice will face increased taxes within three years.

The customs tariff duty will be €175 (US$198) per tonne in the first year, €150 in the second year, and €125 the year after.

The tariffs are the result of an EU investigation launched in March after Italian farmers called for a safeguard clause restricting rice imports.

They argued that such imports were harming EU farmers. Italian rice farmers first complained about rice imports in 2014, but March’s investigation was the first time the European Commission launched a formal probe.

Scepticism

However, the CRF is sceptical that safeguard measures will improve the livelihoods of EU farmers, as much of Cambodian rice is not directly competing with their produce. As much as 55 per cent of Cambodian rice currently imported into the bloc is fragrant rice – a variety difficult to grow in the EU.

The impact of tariffs on the Kingdom’s more than three million rice farmers is of major concern, with the deputy director of Capital Food in Cambodia, Chray Son, saying the average farmer will be most severely impacted by a safeguard clause.

“Our cost of production is high, so if we pay Tax to the EU, how can we compete in the market? The farmers will suffer first . . . it’s just an excuse from EU, our rice is a small share in the market – how can we hurt their rice market?”

Centre for Policy Studies director Chan Sophal believes that tariffs will likely mean Cambodian farmers will increasingly look to other Asean nations to sell their products.

“If the tariff is implemented it will impact the Cambodian rice industry, and farmers will rely more on the market from Thailand and Vietnam as a result.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • Passing the test: Is Cambodia’s education system failing its people?

    The Kingdom’s education system needs to grow its people but some flaws might stifle​ this growth Coming from the Khmer Rouge occupation, with the loss of many scholars and academicians and a collapsed government, the education system had to be reconstructed from scratch – one

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia