2015 03 December

Welcome to this edition of DFDL’s Cambodia Law Update. In this issue, we present Cambodian regulations and information touching on the following:

  • Notification to telecom licensees which have not started their service operations to update their information
  • Printing pictorial health warnings on tobacco products
  • Restriction against selling or renting rice fields, farm lands and residential lands located along the border areas to people of the neighboring countries
  • Rules and procedures for settling tax complaint/protest at the General Department of Taxation
  • The National Bank of Cambodia and Bank of New York Mellon enter into relationship
  • Notification on decrease of face value of negotiable certificate of deposit and cease provision of term deposit service
  • Promulgation of the Law on Approval of the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Government of the Republic of Belarus
  • Cambodia-Indonesia Bilateral Investment Treaty to be Terminated
  • Implementation of guideline on using foreign workforce in the Kingdom of Cambodia
  • Establishment and management of community learning center

Welcome to this edition of DFDL’s Cambodia Law Update. In this issue, we present Cambodian regulations and information touching on the following:

  • Notification to telecom licensees which have not started their service operations to update their information
  • Printing pictorial health warnings on tobacco products
  • Restriction against selling or renting rice fields, farm lands and residential lands located along the border areas to people of the neighboring countries
  • Rules and procedures for settling tax complaint/protest at the General Department of Taxation
  • The National Bank of Cambodia and Bank of New York Mellon enter into relationship
  • Notification on decrease of face value of negotiable certificate of deposit and cease provision of term deposit service
  • Promulgation of the Law on Approval of the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Government of the Republic of Belarus
  • Cambodia-Indonesia Bilateral Investment Treaty to be Terminated
  • Implementation of guideline on using foreign workforce in the Kingdom of Cambodia
  • Establishment and management of community learning center

TELECOMMUNICATION  2015

REMINDER TO TELECOM LICENSEES, WHICH HAVE NOT STARTED THEIR SERVICE OPERATIONS, TO UPDATE INFORMATION, Notice № 1768 (TRC) 13 November 2015

The Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC) informs telecom licensees, which have not started their operation networks and telecommunication services in line with the conditions of license, to contact TRC to update information.

The TRC gives final instruction to licensees (as listed in a table attached to the notice) to contact the TRC at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication through the phone number: 023 722 333 in order to update information by 30 November 2015 or risk revocation of their licenses.

TOBACCO  2015

PRINTING PICTORIAL HEALTH WARNINGS ON TOBACCO PRODUCTS, Sub-decree № 149 (RGC) 22 October 2015

This Sub-decree is aimed to protect public health and reduce negative impacts on health, economic, social and environment caused by tobacco products. The objectives of the Sub-decree include:

  1. Determine measures to manage printing Pictorial and Khmer Language Textual Health Warnings on tobacco products;
  2. Disseminate information about consequences caused by tobacco products to reduce the use of tobacco products; and
  3. Prevent children and youth from using tobacco product.

This Sub-decree extends its implementation to all type of tobacco packet distributed, sold, and used in the Kingdom of Cambodia and is to be monitored by the Ministry of Health.

Health warning on tobacco packets shall cover 50% in picture and 5% in Khmer language on principle areas of the façade and back areas and Khmer language textual health warning must be printed in white bold lettering on black background above pictorial health warning messages.

Pictorial and Khmer language textual health warnings cannot be obscured by packaging, remarks, or tags which contradict the purpose of health warning as stipulated in this Sub-decree, except be sticking with the tax stamp.

Further specifics on pictorial and Khmer language textual health warnings will be defined by Prakas of the Minister of Health.  Local manufacturers and importers for distribution and sale of tobacco products in the Kingdom of Cambodia must comply with this Sub-decree within 9 months after this Sub-decree came into effect.

LAND USE AND ZONING  2015

PROHIBITING SELLING OR RENTING RICE FIELD LAND, FARM LAND AND RESIDENTIAL LAND WHERE LOCATED ALONG THE BORDER AREAS TO PEOLE OF THE NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES, Circular № 08 (RGC) 17 November 2015

To protect the rights to own/occupy land and the legal interest of the Cambodia people, as well as to support and promote the livelihood of people residing along the border areas, and to facilitate the boundary determination work, and to place border posts/poles with the neighboring countries aimed at protecting territorial integrity and national sovereignty, the Royal Government issues the following measures:

  1. Ban selling or renting rice field land, farm land and residential land along the border areas to the people of the neighboring countries;
  2. In case land has already been leased out but without any legal document or proper contract, the provincial governor must give instructions to the people to stop renting such land to people of neighboring countries with a specific deadline in accordance with practical situation;
  3. In case the land has already been leased out with legal document or proper contract, such land lease can be extended until the validity is expired; 
  4. The provincial governor must take action to review the documents or contracts related to the lease of land along the border areas, and advise the Cambodian people to comply with the points No. 2 and No. 3 above; and
  5. Ministries-institutions and the relevant sub-national administrations are required to issue appropriate rules and strategy in order to promote the above.

TAXATION 2015

RULES AND PROCEDURES FOR SETTLING TAX COMPLAINT AT THE GENERAL DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION, Prakas № 1470 (MEF), 6 November 2015

This Prakas is aimed at ensuring transparency, integrity, justice, perfection and good timing for settling tax complaints lodged by taxpayers or withholding agents. The purpose of this Prakas is to determine rules and procedures for lodging and settling complaints filed by taxpayers or withholding agents in the scope of the General Department of Taxation, the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Appellants who are not satisfied with tax assessment, tax reassessment, tax debt collection, decision or other measures of the General Department of Taxation are entitled to lodge a complaint/protest with the General Director of the General Department of Taxation within a period of 30 working days following the date of receiving notification on decision or other measures of the General Department of Taxation.

BANKING 2015

THE NATIONAL BANK OF CAMBODIA AND BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON ENTER INTO RELATIONSHIP, Press Release (NBC), 23 November 2015

After months long due diligence by both parties on each other’s businesses, the National Bank of Cambodia is pleased to announce that the Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) will be the mster custodian for the nation’s foreign reserves.

BNY Mellon is a bank supervised by the United States’ Federal Reserve and identified by the Financial Stability Board as a Global Systemically Important Bank (G-SIB), is an established bank with a long history of conservative banking, consistently high credit rating and very specialized in asset servicing.  These strong credentials give the National Bank of Cambodia strong assurance and conviction that BNY Mellon would be the most suitable custodian of the nation’s foreign reserves.

notification on decrease of face value of negotiable certificate of deposit and cease provision of term deposit service , Notice № B5-015-798 (NBC) 30 October 2015

According to this Notification, in order to promote the inter-banking market development and facilitate the effective liquidity management of banking and financial institutions, the minimum face value in Riel and in the United States Dollar of Negotiable Certificates of Deposit (NCD) will be decreased from 2 billion Riels to 200 million Riels and from 500 thousand United States Dollars to 50 thousand United States Dollars respectively.

The National Bank of Cambodia will no longer provide term deposit service from 01 November 2015 onwards. This notification takes effect from 01 November 2015.

TREATIES 2015

PROMULGATION OF THE LAW ON APPROVAL REGARDING THE AGREEMENT ON TRADE AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION BETWEEN THE ROYAL GOVERNMENT OF cAMBODIA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS, Royal Kram № NS/RKM/1115/011 (Royal Palace) 16 November 2015

This Royal Kram promulgates the Law on Approval regarding the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Government of the Republic of Belarus, which has been approved by the National Assembly on 20 October 2015, and adopted by the Senate on 30 October 2015.

The aim of this Agreement is to promote the development of trade and widening of the economic ties between the two countries, taking into account the norms of their national legislations along with WTO rules and regulations.

CAMBODIA – INDONESIA BILATERAL INVESTMENT TREATY TO BE TERMINATED, Extract from press report 20 November 2015

According to a press report of 20 November 2015, Indonesia will follow through with its previously-announced intention to terminate the bilateral investment treatment (BIT) between it and Cambodia, and that termination of the BIT will be effective on 07 January 2016. This action follows Indonesia’s termination of BITs with dozens of countries since 2014.

This BIT between was signed by the two nations in 1999, and was intended to provide investment promotion and certain protections for qualifying investments made by investors of each nation in the other nation party.

Among other things, the Cambodia-Indonesia BIT was intended to provide most-favored nation treatment to foreign investors of the other nation party, protection against expropriation of investments, and provides for disputes to be resolved under the administration of the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

LABOR 2015

GUIDELINE № 539, DATED 01 APRIL 2015, IMPLEMENTATION OF GUIDELINE ON USING FOREIGN WORKFORCE IN THE KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA

This Guideline aims to remind all enterprises in the Kingdom of Cambodia using foreign workforce to comply with their obligations in relation to employment of foreign employees as stipulated in the Labor Law and Law on Immigration. Enterprises employing foreign employees are required to ensure that their foreign employees hold, among others, valid work permit. The General Department of Immigration and General Department of Labor have established joint teams of foreign workforce inspection to carry out on-site inspection of foreign workforce at enterprises. In the event of non-compliance with the legal provisions, the enterprise may be subject to fines in accordance with applicable laws.

It is important to note that the deadline to apply for quota to employ foreign employees for the year 2016 lapsed on 30 November 2015. Enterprises employing foreign employees should apply for work permits for their foreign employees by the end of March 2016.

EDUCATION 2015

THE ESTABLISHMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTER, Prakas № 2429 (MoEYS) 30 July 2015

On 30 July 2015, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) issued Prakas 2429 for the determination on the establishment and management of community learning centers. Community learning centers established pursuant to this Prakas are under the supervision of the MoEYS. The objectives of this Prakas are to: (1) determine the minimum criteria for establishment of community learning centers, (2) encourage the development and sustainability of community learning centers as well as the development of local community, and (3) provide opportunity to the citizens to assess lifetime learning.

The Prakas stipulates certain requirements for the establishment of community learning centers including, among others, standard conditions of infrastructure, management structure, course syllabus, and learning materials.

The Chief of Commune or Sangkat, the representative of community citizen or managing committee of community learning center must submit applications requesting approval to establish community learning center to the Office of Education, Youth and Sport and Governor of the Board of Governors at the District or Khan level, and then, to the Department of Education, Youth and Sport and Governor of Board of Governors at city or provincial level, and finally to the MoEYS.

For existing community learning centers, they are also required to fulfill the requirements as stated in the Prakas within two years after this Prakas is enforced.

DFDL Contact:
Alex Larkin
Senior Adviser
alex.larkin@dfdl.com

*The information contained in this legal update is provided 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.