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Program aimed at speeding up export launched

Farmers transport their freshly harvested cassava along a road in Banteay Meanchey province last year.
Farmers transport their freshly harvested cassava along a road in Banteay Meanchey province last year. Heng Chivoan

Program aimed at speeding up export launched

The Commerce Ministry officially launched a program yesterday giving the authority to issue certificate of origin licences to four provinces along the Thai border, potentially expediting the export process for agricultural businesses in the region.

The previous system required applicants who wish to apply for a certificate of origin (CO), which is required for legal exports of agricultural products, to come to Phnom Penh to receive their certification from the Ministry of Commerce in the capital.

That process was labourious and often ignored by farmers and exporters, who instead used brokers to ship goods across the border through informal channels.

Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak announced yesterday that provincial commerce departments would have the authority to issue COs in four provinces – Pailin, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Oddar Meanchey. A pilot program of the same type was launched in Pailin and Battambang in December.

“The Ministry of Commerce will continue to delegate to provinces along border, and we need to provide the training to officials to identify the certificate of origin,” Sorasak said in Pailin yesterday. “The delegation of CO will help facilitate agricultural exports in order to avoid inactivity.”

Ly Utny, president of Ly Utny Import Export Co based in Banteay Meanchey province, welcomed the announcement.

“This is a good thing for all traders in the four provinces, we will not spend time waiting to get a CO from the ministry,” he said. “It will help us reduce the expenses and make it easier to communicate with regional authorities.”

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