Procedure for Escalation of Issues REF#5798

15 Sep 2023 | Transport & Logistics Issue Tackled

Last modified date: 13 Dec 2023

Issue Description

The General Department of Customs and Excise has a Public Relations Unit which is generally very active and responsive, and we are appreciative that the Department has been helpful in addressing specific issues raised by EuroCham. This being the case, our members have raised concerns with the existing procedure to escalate issues relating to Customs officials or to request a Customs determination review.

Article 24 of Chapter 3 of the Law on Customs that was promulgated in 2007, states that any person dissatisfied with the determination of a tariff classification, origin or Customs value by a Customs official may object, by writing to the Director General within 30 days of receiving the Customs notification. Following which, the Director General shall make a decision regarding the objection within 60 days, otherwise the appeal will be deemed as accepted. If a decision is made by the Director General, this can also be objected by filing a written appeal to the Customs Tariff Committee, after which any further appeals must be made to a court within 30 days of the Committee’s decision.

While this process may have been appropriate for the earlier needs of the economy, as Cambodia’s trade volume has risen dramatically, as well as the number of businesses operating, it is likely that this process is now inefficient to manage the increased frequency of requests and reviews. Accordingly, businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises, require a more efficient and effective method to escalate issues that they encounter while engaging with Customs officials and to request a determination review.

Impact on business

The process for escalating issues encountered with Customs has not adapted to the needs of Cambodia’s current level of economic activity and is therefore creating a feeling of insecurity for businesses, as they consider their right to appeal decisions made by Customs officials to be limited.

Recommendation

  • Update the procedure through which the private sector can escalate issues and request decision reviews by the General Department of Customs and Excise.

We respectfully encourage the General Department of Customs and Excise to update the procedure through which businesses can escalate issues and request a systematic review of a decision made by Customs officials. This procedure should be conducive to the economic growth trajectory of Cambodia and the complexity of its economic activities to ensure it can manage an increasing volume of requests efficiently and effectively. Furthermore, the procedure should be widely disseminated among Customs officials and the private sector to raise the awareness of this process and enhance investor confidence.

To enable an improved recourse would enhance the confidence of current and prospective investors in Cambodia, and would help to ensure that the Kingdom’s laws and regulations are applied fairly and consistently across all businesses and in all circumstances.

Dialogue with

Royal government of Cambodia

Initiative from Eurocham: The issue has been raised by the Transport & Logistics Committee within The White Book edition 2024 in the Recommendation No. 5.

No response from the Royal Government of Cambodia

National Counterparts

General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE)

Contributors

Mr. Suy Bunthan

Chairman

Mr. Seng Vichet

Vice-Chairman

Mr. Matthew Owen 

Vice-Chairman