The General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE) said its 2020 revenue will take a hit from the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China.

The department is unlikely to meet revenue goals for 2020 as import-export activity in the Kingdom slows down due to the Covid-19 scare, its director-general Kun Nhem told a press conference on Wednesday.

The 2020 National Budget Law approved in November targets $2.91 billion in customs and excise and $2.36 billion from taxes.

China is the world’s second-largest economy and Cambodia’s largest supplier of raw materials. An economic slowdown in the East Asian giant is bound to have severe repercussions on the Kingdom.

Nhem said: “Covid-19 is drying up the supply of raw materials to Cambodia, particularly in the garment and tourism sectors. This will impact our revenue.

“Revenue collection in January and February has already suffered from the outbreak. We hope the supply chain will recover shortly, but we cannot make any predictions,” he said.

He added that the GDCE collected $2.21 billion last year, exceeding its target by a whopping $1 billion.

Last year, revenue from import taxes amounted to $593 million, up 31 per cent from 2018, while revenue from special taxes reached $1.32 billion, a 33 per cent hike. Revenue from value-added tax (VAT) rose by 29 per cent year-on-year to $1.15 billion.

The largest sources of customs and excise revenue were vehicles and machinery ($1.69 billion), petroleum and energy ($537 million), and other products and construction materials ($984 million).