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New buildings must first get inspections, permits

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In 2021, a total of 4,303 new construction projects were approved nationwide. Hong Menea

New buildings must first get inspections, permits

The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction will implement a programme for the inspection and certification of construction quality from January 4 onwards in order to enforce the construction law more effectively and ensure the public’s safety.

The ministry announced on January 4 that construction owners must find the quality control company before applying for construction permission. This is to ensure the quality, security, safety, construction, protection of property and well-being of construction owners, construction users and the public.

“In this spirit, construction owners, real estate developers and housing developers must find a professional construction inspection and certification company licensed by the ministry to inspect and issue compliance certificates for their plans for construction or demolition in accordance with the construction technical regulations and other applicable regulations.

“This should be done before applying for the building or demolition permit or the opening of a construction site, everything needs certification first,” the ministry said.

The ministry stated that this requirement is in-line with the law on construction which requires an inspection and a certification on all construction projects, as well as relevant sub-decrees determining the regulations and procedures for inspecting and certifying construction.

Suo Chhlonh, vice-president of the Cambodian Construction and Forest Workers Union Federation, supported the move, saying it was beneficial to both construction workers and state revenues.

“This is good because it makes it clear to construction companies, especially contractors, what their responsibilities are when problems arise. Such as in the previous cases of building collapse that led to the deaths and injuries of workers, we need to determine who the real owner is to make them take responsibility.

“Once there is proper registration for all construction, the other benefit will be the taxes paid to the state. And all companies are legally obligated to make a deposit with the state that will be forfeited by them if they are at fault for accidents or if they vanish and leave the building unfinished and workers unpaid, the deposit will be used to compensate the workers,” he said.

He added that on the other hand, it not only protects the workers’ interests, but also helps to prevent accidents due to substandard construction that leads to things like building collapse, as happened in Kep and Preah Sihanouk provinces.

“But along with the letter from the ministry there must be the actual practice of inspections, monitoring and encouraging the contractors who are not registered to do all the required registration and to ensure that companies that have subcontractors are registered,” he said.

Substandard construction killed at least 17 people and injured dozens more when a building collapsed in Preah Sihanouk province in June, 2019.

Another incident occurred in early 2021 when a seven-storey building collapsed in Kep province killing 36 people and injuring 23 others.

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