On 29 June 2021, the Royal Government of Cambodia (“RGC”) implemented ‘Round 9’ of measures aimed at mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 on businesses and workers in Cambodia.
The RGC noted that COVID-19 situation continues to evolve alarmingly with the recent mutation of the virus, which has added socio-economic pressures to many countries around the world. The RGC has decided to issue a series of necessary measures in order to control the spread of COVID-19 and continue to stabilize the business environment in the worst-affected sectors.
In readiness for the economy re-opening Cambodia has been receiving vaccines through support and direct purchases from various manufacturers. At the same time, the RGC has been actively implementing the National COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign and has achieved remarkable positive progress in accordance with the Blossom Approach starting in Phnom Penh and Kandal Province, and expanding step by step to other regions aiming at creating socio-economic immunity by 2021.
Key sectors such as garments-textiles, aviation, tourism (hotels and restaurants, etc.) continue to be the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, people from all walks of life, especially poor and vulnerable families, continue to face various difficulties in their daily lives. After examining and considering all aspects to complete the necessary requirements on the socio-economic, global trade and investment situation, regional and national frameworks, the RGC decided to introduce the 9th round of additional measures in order to:
- Reduce the impact on the socio-economic situation and the risk of transmission of COVID-19 into the community on a large scale,
- Continue the validity of the measures rolled out in the past, which will expire in the near future
- Continue to introduce and implement measures to support and recover businesses in order to contribute to economic growth to create socio-economic benefits in the context of COVID-19, and
- Continue to support the daily lives of poor and vulnerable families through cash support programs.
1. Further measures to support the garment, textile, footwear, travel products, bags, and tourism sectors
The RGC will continue to implement measures that provide aid to suspended employees and workers in certain segments of the private sector. This includes those in the garment, textile and footwear (“GTF”) sectors, as well as certain segments of the tourism sector, that are registered with the Department of Labour and Vocational Training (“DLVT”), the Ministry of Commerce (“MOC”), the General Department of Taxation Cambodia (“GDT”) and, where applicable, the Ministry of Tourism (“MOT”).
Those suspended workers, subject to their current status being certified with appropriate documentation, will continue to be eligible to receive government subsidies of USD 40 per month for a further period of three months, until the end of September 2021. An additional USD 30 per month contributed by employers will be available to GTF sector workers (amounting to a total of USD 70 per month for such workers).
Hotel, guest house, restaurant and tourism workers will be eligible to receive USD 40 per month for a further period of three months, until the end of September 2021. In addition to the Government subsidies, enterprises and businesses in the tourism sector may provide financial contributions to their employees on a voluntary basis or subject to their financial capacity.
- Monthly tax exemptions that had been provided to hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and travel agents registered with the GDT that operate in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk, Kep, Kampot, Bavet and Poi Pet will be extended for three more months (to the end of September 2021), noting that these business still have an obligation to submit their tax returns and use E-VAT every month during the exemption period;
- The exemption of the obligation to make monthly contributions to the National Social Security Fund (“NSSF”) for occupational risk and healthcare schemes during any period of business suspension will continue to be extended.
Extension of the Implementation of the National Social Security Fund (“NSSF”) for Pension Schemes for six more months until the end of December 2021. This extension will be based on a continuous assessment of the actual socio-economic situation.
The Minimum Tax exemption provided to all airline entities operating in Cambodia will be extended for three more months (to the end of September 2021).
There will be a delayed due date with respect to the payment of aviation fees by airline entities operating in Cambodia for a further period of three months until the end of September 2021 with the permission for those airline entities to settle those payables via installments after the suspension period.
There will be an exemption of the customs broker license fees for 2021 and 2022. This exemption will be based on a continuous assessment of the actual socio-economic situation.
4. Financial support program for poor and vulnerable families
The program to provide cash benefits to poor and vulnerable families that were hit particularly hard during the COVID-19 pandemic is extended by three more months (until the end of September 2021).
All relevant ministries are directed to implement these instructions immediately, efficiently and without delay.
The RGC will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation along with the economic and financial climate both locally and globally, in order to assess and take action where necessary to ensure the welfare of all priority sectors of the Cambodia economy. This is in keeping with the RGC’s aims to stabilize and revitalize the national economy and restore economic growth as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic gradually begin to subside.
The information provided here is for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Legal advice should be obtained from qualified legal counsel for all specific situations.