Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government: No Chinese goods skirting US tariffs at SSEZ

Government: No Chinese goods skirting US tariffs at SSEZ

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) is a multi-purpose business and trade zone bringing together international entrepreneurs. XINHUA NEWS AGENCY

Government: No Chinese goods skirting US tariffs at SSEZ

No Chinese goods have been found to be exported from Cambodia to the US to avoid US-imposed tariffs on China, a Ministry of Commerce statement said on Sunday.

US embassy spokesman Arend Zwartjes previously told The Post on Thursday that the US Department of Homeland Security had fined some Chinese companies which operate in the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone (SSEZ).

The firms allegedly violated the US customs ban by passing goods from China through Cambodia to the US to avoid tariffs. He did not specify the types of goods.

But the ministry said the US side affirms that Chinese goods exported from Cambodia include amino acids, steel tubes and powdered grains – including corn, milled rice and potatoes.

‘Does not reflect the reality’

A ministry spokesman on Thursday told The Post that the ministry had sent a team on that day to inspect SSEZ and present their findings.

Two days after the probe, the ministry rejected Zwartjes’ claims.

Ministry spokesman Seang Thay told The Post on Sunday that the US embassy officials’ comments did not reflect the reality.

Two of the products in question – food powder and steel tubes – are not produced at SSEZ. Amino acids haven’t been produced since 2017.

“The US Embassy’s claims may have something to them that I am not aware of. But for us, after obtaining the information, we immediately sent experts down to inspect, but we found nothing.”

US Embassy officials declined to comment on Sunday.

The ministry said SSEZ is a multi-purpose business and trade zone bringing together Chinese, Cambodian, US, Japanese, French, South Korean, Irish, Vietnamese and Thai entrepreneurs, through the production of diverse goods such as textiles, garments, bags, footwear and other equipment.


  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American

  • Lost in translation: ‘Starvation’ in capital’s designated red zones

    “DACH bay” is a Khmer slang meaning a “loss of income”, that could also be literally translated to «deprived of rice”, which alludes to starvation. However, civil society organisation (CSO) officials have independently confirmed the government’s prior assertions that there are no cases of