The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has announced that rice exporters and agro-product exporters can now attain sanitary and phytosanitary certificates at one window service centres to streamline the process.
The ministry’s decision was made after a Cambodia Rice Federation proposal last week.
Certificates can now be attained at one window service centres at the General Department of Agriculture, the ministry’s spokesman said on Wednesday.
Spokesman Srey Vuthy said the move will cut red-tape for exporters.
“Before, all exporters had to apply for it at one window service centres located at the Council for Development of Cambodia, but now they can access it at the General Department of Agriculture.
“The reason for this is that some ministries have online registration and this means no more complicated processes so exporters will get a lot of benefits,” he said.
Director of Longmate Agriculture Co Ltd, Hun Lak, who exports bananas to China, said his firm supports the decision as it will help facilitate trade.
“This is a good decision that we wanted and we totally support the move. It will facilitate our export procedure to be more convenient and faster,” he said.
Cambodia Rice Federation secretary-general Lun Yeng told The Post on Wednesday the decision will help boost the rice sector.
“It will save time and reduce complications for rice exporters and our shipments will be faster than before,” he said.
Rice exports reached 620,106 tonnes last year, a drop of almost one per cent from the 626,225 tonnes the previous year, the CRF said.
The Kingdom’s rice exports were valued at some $501 million last year – down 4.3 per cent from $524 million in 2018.
A breakdown of the data showed that the 202,990 tonnes exported to the Chinese market accounted for 40.73 per cent of rice exports.
This was followed by 13.41 per cent or 83,164 tonnes to the Asean region and 13.84 per cent or 85,847 tonnes to other markets.
Cambodia also exported 2.15 million tonnes of rice to Vietnam last year.
The CRF also pointed out that Cambodia exported some 50,450 tonnes of rice worth $39 million to the international market in January, down 15.39 per cent compared to the same period in 2018.
It said Cambodian rice exports to the European market last month decreased 5,269 tonnes (22 per cent) year-on-year since the EU introduced safeguard measures last year on rice imports from the Kingdom.
Last month’s rice exports to China decreased 3,664 tonnes (20 per cent) year-on-year, it added.