Twelve Cambodian natural fisheries and aquatic products have received approval from the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), allowing them to be exported to the Chinese market. The approval follows the signing of a formal protocol in November last year, as confirmed by the Fisheries Administration (FiA).

Khov Kuong, deputy director of the FiA, which operates under Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, expressed his delight on May 31, stating that this development is a significant boost for Cambodia’s products in the Chinese market.

The approved fisheries products include species of “pra” and “po” shark catfishes, as well as “khloeng”, “para” and “kampoes” shrimp, eel and freshwater snails. These products are authorised for export to China by Kim Chou Co Ltd Import Export and International Transportation.

Kuong explained although China and Cambodia signed a protocol for the inspection of natural fisheries products in November 2022, the registration process for exports took longer than expected. However, the GACC finally granted approval on May 31 this year.

Regarding the delay, Kuong commented: “We do not yet know the exact reason, but I think it may be because we are new to registering for the first time, so we have less experience, while the Chinese customs side may need to verify clearly before allowing us to export to China.”

Despite the setback, Kuong assured that relevant parties would soon meet to find a solution. Their aim is to expedite Cambodia’s registration process without any further obstacles.

Heng Meng Ty, assistant director at Kim Chou, revealed on May 31 that the GACC had recently approved the registration, coinciding with the closing of the fishing season in Cambodia. The first product to be exported to China is expected to be the small freshwater “kampoes” shrimp.

Meng Ty further explained that while the company primarily proposed natural fisheries, certain products may not always meet all requirements. For instance, fish might need to be sourced from farms for export.

“We have requested the Chinese side to allow us to export between 300 to 1,000 tonnes of each product for five years,” Meng Ty stated.

However, he added that once the company expands its capacity and is capable of collecting and exporting more, they may request an increase in export volume once the initial five-year period concludes.

According to the official website of China’s Ministry of Commerce, the GACC has updated the registration information of food processing enterprises imported from abroad. The approval allows Cambodia’s fisheries products to be exported after passing the customs department’s inspection and successfully registering in the system.