Prime Minister Hun Manet announced his decision to pilot a six-month border pass service between Cambodia and Thailand, beginning on January 1 next year, available at district and town administrations in border provinces.

In a recent directive from Manet, governors of towns and provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border are tasked with issuing the border passes to Cambodian citizens residing within their jurisdiction.

The order states that the trial will be extended automatically unless the government decides otherwise.

“Town and district administrations must be prepared to offer the border pass service between Cambodia and Thailand to Cambodians through one-window service offices and other designated locations,” it stated.

Pech Ratanak, Oddar Meanchey’s provincial administration spokesperson, stated on December 18 that upon receiving the directive, the administration began diligently implementing it to better serve the province’s residents.

“The trial of the six-month border pass service on the Cambodia-Thailand border will simplify processes and reduce costs for our provincial residents,” he said. 

Am Sam Ath, operations director at rights group LICADHO, commented on December 18 that the trial’s success hinges on the swift delegation of tasks. 

He emphasised that authorities and administrations on the border must equip service offices adequately, train officials and provide the service promptly. 

He stated that pricing guidelines must be adhered to and corrupt practices avoided, ensuring non-discriminatory services. 

“Civil society organisations will keep an eye on the new border pass service to assess its effectiveness and the ease of implementation by the responsible authorities,” he added.