Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tariff-free through EU loophole?

Tariff-free through EU loophole?

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
An Oxfam volunteer cuts rice plants at a field in Preah Vihear province on December 12, 2017. Heng Chivoan

Tariff-free through EU loophole?

Cambodians may be able to market rice in the EU tariff-free if they sell the semi-processed grain to European millers instead of finished products to end consumers, as the former is still subject to a zero tax rate, said an exporter.

The EU imposed tariffs on rice imported from Cambodia and Myanmar, effective last Friday. Prior to requiring the Kingdom to pay customs tax, the majority of its rice exports were in the form of finished products ready for retail to end-consumers.

Amru Rice (Cambodia) Co Ltd chairman and CEO Song Saran said on his Facebook page that the EU’s decision to impose tariffs on Cambodia and Myanmar rice aims to prevent the collapse of rice processing companies in EU member states such as Italy and Spain.

He said the EU’s safeguard still allows semi-processed rice from the Kingdom tax-free.

“We are sending a sample of semi-processed rice and other types of rice allowed with zero tariffs [the EU has imposed tariffs on only four types of Cambodian rice] for the EU to review."

“I am confident that from February at the latest, we will be able to export rice to the EU market duty-free as normal,” he said.

However, Saran said the volume of rice exports to the EU will decrease between next year and 2021, as consumers can buy rice from other countries.

Neither Saran nor representatives from the Cambodia Rice Federation could be contacted on Sunday regarding details on new measures taken in response to the EU’s safeguard.

Government data said the Kingdom exported a total of 626,225 tonnes of rice last year, of which the EU received around 43 per cent or 269,127 tonnes.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Commerce on Friday said the EU’s decision to impose tariffs on the Kingdom’s rice imports did not fully reflect the prevailing international trade rules, technical standards and good cooperation between Cambodia and the European bloc.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen asks Cambodians to believe in government

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday asked citizens and investors to trust that the government will overcome the challenges brought about by Covid-19 and the loss of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme. Speaking to reporters at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh,

  • Westerdam passenger ‘never had’ Covid-19

    The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the US citizen that allegedly tested positive in Malaysia after travelling on the Westerdam was never infected with Covid-19 in the first place. In an article published in the newspaper USA Today on Friday, CDC

  • ‘Ghost staff’ found, $1.7M returned to state coffers

    The Ministry of Civil Service said more than seven billion riel ($1.7 million) in salaries for civil servants was returned to the state last year after it discovered that the books had been cooked to pay ‘ghost officials’. This is despite claims by the Ministry of

  • Woman wanted for killing own son

    Police in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district are on the lookout for a woman who allegedly hacked her son to death on Sunday in Stung Meanchey III commune. District police chief Meng Vimeandara identified the son as Chan Sokhom, 32. “The offender can’t escape forever.

  • H5N1 also poses deadly threat, ministry warns

    The Ministry of Health’s Communicable Disease Control (CDC) department has called on citizens to excise caution over H5N1 or bird flu that is spreading in the southern province of Vietnam. In a Facebook post, the department announced that it has made a series

  • Malaysia in turmoil

    Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has done it again. At the centre of two days of high drama and political manoeuvring, he has, wittingly or not, contributed to shaking Malaysia, and further causing its equities market to fall nearly three per cent. The drama