Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Haulers protest high fees at border

Haulers protest high fees at border

Protesters gather in front of the customs office in Pailin on Saturday to demand lower fees on goods brought over the border from Thailand. National Police
Protesters gather in front of the customs office in Pailin on Saturday to demand lower fees on goods brought over the border from Thailand. National Police

Haulers protest high fees at border

A small crowd of goods transporters protested at the Pailin customs office on Saturday, demanding that authorities reduce the fees for imported goods, a request that was firmly denied.

Chum Voeun, Stung Kach commune police chief, said that about 18 vendors protested, claiming they could not make a living paying 40,000 to 50,000 riel (about $10 to $12.50) per cart.

The men are hired by Cambodians to bring goods back from Thailand, which are subject to a fee. He said the protesters appealed to the custom officials to take pity on their poverty, but the authorities said they must follow the law.

Voeun said district and provincial authorities “mediated” the situation, asking workers to take smaller loads of goods if they want to pay less tax.

A 200- to 300-kilogram load would only carry a fee of 5,000 riel (about $1.25), but many transporters were bringing up to 1,000 kilograms, which carries the significantly heavier tax.

Chou Thy, a representative of the protesters, said the men can barely earn enough money for food under the current system. He said they are only paid about 50,000 to 65,000 riel (about $12.50 to $16) per 1,000 kilograms transported. After paying the tax, they may walk away from a job having made less than $4.

“Tax, loading and unloading fees – we still can hardly earn [enough] for food, so we just want a decrease of the tax,” he said.

However, Thy said after listening to authorities, he believed their assertion that the transporters’ employers were using them to skirt paying taxes themselves, and that not paying the fees would hurt state revenue collection.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Former chief bodyguard receives royal pardon

    The former chief bodyguard of late Senate president Chea Sim has received a royal pardon nearly eight years after he was sentenced to 15 years behind bars on several charges, according to a royal decree dated November 12, last year, and obtained by The Post on Wednesday.

  • Close to the edge: Hair raising pictures from Kulen Mountain

    A new hair raising attraction on Kulen Mountain has finally opened to the public, with people flocking to the protruding cliff edge overlooking green mountainous forests to take photographs. The giant overhanging rock is situated in an area known as Mahendraparvata – an ancient city of

  • US warned not to interfere despite successful meeting

    A senior Ministry of National Defence official said the Tuesday meeting between the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Joseph H Felter and General Neang Phat had helped strengthen relations between the two countries’ militaries. However, a senior Cambodian People’