Kep provincial governor Som Piseth has issued a reminder that all advertising licences in the province are now due for renewal.

Businesses which fail to comply will be fined, and may face temporary suspension, or even the closure, of their operations.

The announcement was made in a March 1 statement, which instructed the owners of all media firms, whether in the realm of print, audio or digital, to apply for permission to have their license renewed and remain open.

“Media company owners who do not comply will be subject to administrative procedures, and will be fined or face temporary suspension or closure of their business,” said Piseth, in the announcement.

It also ordered the payment of annual fees for the year. The fees apply to all forms of advertising, including billboards, public hoardings and signage, whether on buildings or vehicles, as well as online.

If businesses fail to pay their annual fees, their billboards, hoardings and signage will be removed or dismantled, at the expense of the owner.

Any signage which infringes on national traditions, aesthetics, individual rights or public order shall also be subject to legal measures, it added.

“We call on all parties who are subject to the above requirements to come forward and make the necessary payments at the One Window Service Office (OWSO) of the provincial administration, at Kep Provincial Hall,” said Piseth.

The deadline for applying is 60 days from the date of announcement, he added.

Hong Vanak, an economist at the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, noted that the instructions are in line with business law, so all parties should fulfil their obligations.

“I believe that what the authorities are asking is in full accordance with the law. If businesses do not adhere to the necessary regulations, it could be difficult to determine their tax obligations,” he said.

According to Vanak, the announcement is not a provincial decision, but adheres to national policy.