The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has announced a program that will allow approved exporters to use their invoices to self-certify their products’ origin, removing the need to apply directly to the ministry each time a company needs to ship goods from Cambodia.
Under the new self-certification initiative announced on August 13, exporters must meet a range of criteria, including experience in exporting to multiple destinations and a clean record of doing business in the Kingdom, according to a Prakas released by the Commerce Ministry.
Companies can apply for the service at the ministry to have their application assessed by a steering committee for approval.
“It can save the time and costs, they don’t need to come to Ministry of Commerce every time after registering,” said Ho Sivyong, director of the Export and Import Department at the ministry.
Typically, to obtain verification of where a product has originated, a company would need to apply for a certificate of origin from the MoC each time they need to export.
But under the new program, those given the green light would be able to present only their invoices at border checkpoints and ports, Sivyong added.
According to Kaing Monika, deputy secretary-general at Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, the shift towards self-certification is an ASEAN-focused initiative that will help facilitate regional trade.
It is hoped that self-certification might also be accepted by European authorities in the coming years, he added.
“It is providing an easier [option] than the certificate of origin, we can save costs and time, as well as use of staff” Monika said.
Anything that reduces the need for businesses to have to visit the ministry before exporting would be welcomed by the rice industry, said Kim Savuth, vice president of Cambodia Rice Federation.
“It would be helpful if we could apply for this, even it is only for trading in ASEAN community,” he said.
Self-certification is another initiative supporting the MoC’s quest to automate processes for Cambodian exporters.
In March, the ministry launched an online system to generate certificates of origins.
The process allows companies to exporters to get approval online, avoiding the need to visit multiple departments and having to pay bribes to have their applications approved.