The General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE) has issued a reminder regarding the upcoming enforcement of a temporary import suspension on eight categories of frozen meat. 

Initially announced on January 12 by the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the suspension will affect animal entrails, offal and other frozen meats, in effect for six months, from March 12 to September 12, as stated in the February 23 notice.

Srun Pov, director of the Cambodia Livestock Raisers Association (CLRA), stated on February 25 that the temporary suspension of imports would be beneficial for local farmers, who are preparing to supply their livestock despite the current drop in live animal prices, which now range from 7,000 to 8,000 riel ($1.72-$1.96) per kg.

Pov praised the suspension, but also emphasised the importance of enforcement at various border checkpoints.

He urged customs officials to diligently inspect containers to prevent the illegal import of frozen meat. 

“The GDCE’s announcement of the suspension is one thing, but what really matters is whether the laws are enforced. Without enforcement, there’s no hope,” he added.

At the agriculture ministry’s recent annual review meeting, Prime Minister Hun Manet announced that the government would initiate the halt in March.

He urged the ministry to develop capabilities for freezing meat domestically to reduce dependence on imports. 

“The decision to suspend these imports for six months is not a permanent solution. We must strive to find sustainable methods to make our livestock industry competitive,” the prime minister said. 

“The temporary suspension allows us to consult with our farmers and learn the technical aspects of freezing meat. It’s crucial that we enhance our domestic supply before considering resuming the imports,” he added.