Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Minister calls for old car ban

Minister calls for old car ban

An old utility vehicle travels on Preah Sisowath Quay past the Royal Palace yesterday in Phnom Penh.
An old utility vehicle travels on Preah Sisowath Quay past the Royal Palace yesterday in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Minister calls for old car ban

Imports of older cars and vans should be banned to help reduce pollution, Minister of Industry and Handicrafts Cham Prasidh said on Monday.

Speaking to Cambodia’s business community at a Green Industry workshop in Phnom Penh on Monday, Prasidh said all countries had a role to play in reducing greenhouse emissions and that Cambodia should look at the environmental impact of its used car market.

“Used and older automobiles are polluting the environment so much, so I am planning to request to the government to consider blocking used cars and and automobiles older than 10 years from entering Cambodia,” he said.

“Newer model of automobiles have less of an impact, but we still see a large number of used cars are being imported to Cambodia.”

Seng Voeung, motor vehicle division manager of RMA Cambodia, which is a Ford distributor, welcomed the minister’s suggestion.

“Cambodia is well-known to be a rubbish bin for unwanted things from abroad. It is really a good start for Cambodia as other countries have already done it, like Laos who would not allow a five-year-old used car into their country.”

Used vehicles account for 90 per cent of the car market, according to Voeung. Not only would the ban on older cars reduce that figure, but it would also bring down the number of traffic accidents and reduce air pollution, he said.

A used Toyota and Lexus dealer based in Phnom Penh who asked not to be named said he would gladly abide by a ruling to take older cars off the road as long as the cost of newer cars was lowered.

“I am fine with the move, but I would like to urge the government to consider charging lower import tax so that users can afford to buy a later series,” he said.

But such a ban could have significant consequences for a country that is still developing, Kang Chandararot, president of Institute of Cambodia Development Studies, said.“I think the measure comes too soon if we look at people’s level of living standards now.

People use the older machinery and automobiles which are affordable for them.”

A ban would increase the cost of transport used in sectors like agriculture, which help foster growth, Chandararot said.

This is not the first time Prasidh has called for a ban on old vehicles.

In 2008, while serving as the minister of commerce, Prasidh proposed a ban on all used cars manufactured before 2000.

Prasidh’s plan was to be implemented following the 2008 national election, however it never came to fruition.

Last month, Tek Reth Kamrong, secretary of state at the Ministry of Commerce, said Cambodians are increasingly able to afford expensive consumer goods.

Reth Kamrong pointed out that in 2013, the number of imported vehicles was 10,000 more than in 2012.

MOST VIEWED

  • Temi tourism project approved by the CDC

    The $500.4 million Tourism, Ecological, Marine and International (Temi) tourism project has been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), according to a notice on its Facebook page on Monday. The project is part of Chinese-owned Union City Development Group Co Ltd’s (

  • Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Saturday suggested he would not return to Cambodia as he had previously promised, saying that like liberators King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Charles de Gaulle, he would only do so at a “favourable time”. “I will go back to Cambodia

  • NagaWorld casino sees net profit of more than $390M last year

    Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino posted a 53 per cent net profit increase last year at $390.6 million, a sum which is almost equal to the combined net profit of all Cambodian commercial banks in 2017. NagaWorld’s parent company, NagaCorp Ltd, is listed on the Hong Kong

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s