The Ministry of Commerce has urged companies abroad not to use Cambodian national symbols such as the flag and temples as logos on their products without proper authorisation from the relevant authorities, warning of legal consequences for non-compliance.

The call followed incidents where food distributors and companies in the US used the Cambodian national flag, Angkor Wat and Bayon temples on their product packaging.

The ministry announced on December 20 that it had worked with the Cambodian embassy abroad to address fraudulent use of national symbols on products in the international market, citing cases from 2020 and 2021. 

The commerce ministry, along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Cambodian embassies, contacted the countries of origin of the goods, seeking to ban the labelling and circulation of the products in question. 

The commerce ministry also directed companies and stores to remove unauthorised logos and prohibit the use of national symbols on their products.

The ministry has recently noticed the use of Bayon and Angkor Wat images on the packaging of dried noodles and other products in California and other US states, sold without permission of the Cambodian government.

“As action, the ministry has been working with other relevant ministries and agencies to take legal action

against Seng Cheang Mong Food Corp based in California, using the Bayon Temple logo on dried noodle packaging selling in supermarkets and online in California and Florida and other companies as well,” said the ministry.

Ministry secretary of state Penn Sovicheat told The Post on December 21 that the relevant authority is collaborating with both the foreign ministry and the Cambodian embassy in the US to address the issue. 

He said they are also coordinating with local authorities in California to take action against the company.

“We are working with our foreign ministry and embassy in the US to resolve the issue because such incidents impact the reputation of our domestically-produced products and our country. They have used the logo of our temples on their packaging without our authorisation, so we will instruct them to remove it,” he said.

“If they fail to comply, we will pursue legal action as it violates Cambodian intellectual property [IP] rights and recall merchandise already on the shelves across the country,” he added.

Sovicheat noted that previously, several other companies had also used the logo of Angkor Wat Temple on their product packaging. After being notified by the ministry and relevant stakeholders, these companies withdrew their products and ceased using the logo.