The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) collected just over $597 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2022, a decrease of 2.5 per cent year-on-year.

Data from GDCE shows that from January to March 2022, the total revenue collected by the department was 2.4286 trillion riel ($597.6 million), which is 23.2 per cent of the annual target set by the Law on Financial Management for 2022. This amount represented a decrease of $15 million dollars – or about 2.5 per cent – compared to the same period in 2021.

According to the department, the revenue includes value-added tax (VAT) of $233 million, or 38.9 per cent, special tax of $220 million, or 36.8 per cent, and customs duties at $107 million, or 18 per cent. VAT on petroleum products amounted to more than $24 million, or 4.2 per cent, and export and other duties totalled $13 million, or 2.2 per cent.

At a meeting to review the first quarter results for Customs and Excise on April 12, GDCE director-general Kun Nhem noted that there have been improvements observed in the collection of tax revenue particularly in several key areas.

These were in the prevention and suppression of tax evasion and promotion of compliance; enhancement of trade facilitation through the simplification of customs procedures, and the use of additional technology systems in customs work.

To ensure better results in fulfilling the roles and responsibilities of the department, he said, all subordinate units “should strive to collect more taxes”, focusing on important tasks such as simplifying customs procedures and further expanding the use of information systems.

He also suggested that they explore ways to strengthen means to prevent and suppress tax evasion, review laws and regulations related to customs and cooperate with ministries, institutions and private sector entities involved in customs operations.

In 2021, the GDCE collected 9.2957 trillion riel ($2.295 billion), or 97.1 per cent of the annual target set by the Law on Financial Management for 2021. This represented a 5.1 per cent fall compared to that collected in 2020.