How to import to Cambodia

Posted by

When goods enter the customs territory, no person shall unload the goods from the conveyance until the goods have been reported to Customs, except where the safety of the conveyance, or the goods, or persons on the conveyance, or third parties may be threatened by emergency conditions.

Imported goods may be released by customs after fulfillment of customs formalities, including the payment of any duties, taxes, or other fees and security deposit, for such goods to be:

  • Imported for home use;
  • temporarily imported;
  • used under duty-suspended conditions. (Please refer to the Import of Goods with Customs Duty Exemption).

Customs may authorize the removal of the imported goods from the customs clearance area prior to the payment of duties and taxes and fees, under customs control and after the fulfillment of customs formalities, for the purposes of:

  • placing in customs temporary storage;
  • placing in customs bonded warehouse;
  • further transportation within or through the Customs Territory to a destination and along routing and within time limits approved by Customs, including transit, transshipment or transportation to or from or between customs offices and customs bonded warehouses.

Imported goods may be released by Customs for temporary admission if at the time of importation, it can be demonstrated that these goods will be re-exported. Temporarily imported goods shall be under customs control until such time as the conditions of their temporary admission have been fulfilled (Please refer to the import under temporary admission).

  1. Import by Port (Sea/Rivers):
    1. Reporting of goods entering Customs territory:
      • All goods, equipment and conveyance that are imported into the Customs territory of the Kingdom of Cambodia must without delay be transported through legal routes to the nearest Customs office or to another place designated by Customs, and be declared to Customs in accordance with the requirements.
      • The requirements to declare the goods to Customs
        • shall be applied equally regardless the country of origin or the country of export
        • shall be fulfilled through a summary Customs declaration when the goods enter Customs territory
      • any person who declares the goods to Customs shall be responsible for the accuracy of the declaration.
      • goods are to be reported at an authorized Customs office.
      • persons who wish to declare goods to Customs at locations other than at a customs office must first obtain written authorization from Customs.
      • persons who wish to declare goods to Customs outside the hours of operation of the Customs office must obtain prior authorization from the Customs.
      • persons who is responsible for declaring goods to Customs must make the goods and the conveyance available for inspection by customs when requested, and must answer truthfully any questions, asked by customs.
    2. Submission of Goods Manifest to Customs:
      • Goods arriving by sea or other water ways shall be recorded on the vessel manifest or general cargo list that is to be carried onboard the vessel.
      • These documents must be signed by the captain and must contain the detail information of the goods and the place where the goods were loaded on the vessel.
      • Prohibited goods shall be reported on the manifest with their true description, by nature and type.
      • It is prohibited to report as a single item on a manifest of several items packaged individually, even if they are parts of a consolidated shipment.
    3. The Submission of Relevant Transportation Documents to Customs:
      • When a vessel arrives Customs territory, requested by Customs, the captain shall provide documents as follows:
        • Original Manifest to Customs officers who have authority to issue visa that states “No Amendment”.
        • A set of Cargo Manifest and other related documents to Customs.
      • Within 24 hours after the arrival, the captain shall show and provide Customs documents as follows:
        • Vessel’s report
        • Cargo Manifest (Considered as summary declaration)
        • Bill of Lading
        • Special Manifest for Warehouse in the vessel, Crew List and List of Crew Personal Effect
        • Vessel rental contract
        • Vessel Registration Certificate and other documents that are required by Customs administration to implement Customs measures.
        • At the request of Customs Administration, manifest shall be provided to customs administration before arrival of the vessel. Manifest can be provided to customs through electronic forms if available.
  2. Moving Goods from Vessel:
    • Moving goods from vessel can only be done in the premises of port where Customs office locates.
    • The movement or transfer of goods from the vessel shall be authorized in writing by the Customs Administration, and with the presence of Customs officers.
    • The movement and transfer of goods from the vessel shall be done in the working hours of the Customs Office and under the terms set by the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia.
    • The equipment for use in the vessel, which received tax and duty exemption, shall be kept in block secured with seal if necessary and be presented to Customs officers if required until the vessel departs.
  1. Placing goods in Customs Temporary Storage:
    • Goods that are placed in Customs Temporary Storage is subjected to inspection by Customs and must be compliant with existing procedures.
    • Goods are placed in Customs Temporary Storage for reasons as follows:
      • waiting for necessary documents for completing Customs formalities
      • waiting for transferring or separating from the containers
      • for goods inspection
      • waiting for customs clearance and to pay taxes and duties.
    • Goods that are placed Customs Temporary storage shall be released immediately after submitting Customs declaration in order for release the goods or for transit, and after completing Customs clearance.
    • According to Customs clearance procedures, payment of tax, duty, fee, and requirements of submitting Customs declaration and necessary documents shall be suspended for goods placed in Customs Temporary Storage.
    • All goods can be placed into Customs Temporary Storage except:
      • prohibited goods for export and import
      • goods that can be dangerous to people and to other goods, or are required to have separate storage with special equipment to store.
    • Maximum duration of Customs Temporary Storage is forty-five days (45 days) from registered date on Customs declaration for Customs Temporary Storage which locates outside the airports.
    • Over the above duration, goods shall be placed in Customs warehouse automatically if there is no customs declaration.
    • During the period when the goods are in Customs warehouse, the owner of goods shall pay customs storage fee: 0.1% of customs valuation per day to the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia. This fee shall be noted on Customs declaration and paid into state’s budget.
    • Within three months from registered date on the list of Customs warehouse, all goods that are not fulfilled with Customs declaration in Customs Temporary Storage shall be considered as unclaimed goods, and imposed under Articles 54 and 55 of the Customs Law.
  2. Required documents to attach to SAD for Customs clearance:
    • Invoice and packing list
    • Manifest
    • Bill of lading
    • Permit or License or Certificate (if required), and
    • Other related documents
  3. The import via Customs offices of ports, excluding Phnom Penh International Port and Sihanouk Ville International Port, has to be registered in monitoring list of goods and conveyances by port with attached documents listed in point 6 above. If the captain of any vessel does not provide the manifest or other similar related documents, Customs officers do not allow to unload goods into Customs warehouse (Customs Temporary Storage) or Common Control Area.
  4. Regarding the Customs clearance process and tax payment for import goods by port (sea/rivers), please read articles of Customs Declaration Provisions and Procedures via Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), and of Prakas on Import and Export Tax and Duty Payment Procedures.
  5. Import by Air:
    1. Declaration of Goods Imported into Customs Territory by Air:
      • Aircrafts departing and arriving Cambodia must notify the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
      • All air-cargo has to be listed in the manifest signed by the flight captain. The manifest has to be organized the same as that of point 3 (port) above.
      • The captain has to provide the manifest and other related documents to Customs immediately. The captain has to keep these documents as summary declaration at Customs office of airports, when the aircraft arrives.
      • Unloading cargo along the runway is prohibited. However, the captain has the right to unload objects including balancing object, documents, and cargo to secure the aircraft.
      • Unloading and transferring cargo are implemented the same as that of transport by sea or river, stated in point 4 above.
      • When flying in Cambodia’s airspace, aircrafts are not allowed to unload goods at location other than the designated route; except it may eventually lead to danger which is to be reported to the nearest Customs office where the aircraft will land.
      • Loading and unloading cargo and passengers’ baggage into and out of the aircraft must be under the control and inspection of Customs officers.
      • When Customs officers inspect the aircraft, pilots or representatives have to ensure smooth cooperation.
      • If the aircraft is in danger or to avoid danger by landing at any airports without presence of Customs officers, pilots or representatives have to inform the local authority there to conduct inspection on behalf of the Customs officers.
    2. Storing Cargo in Customs Temporary Storage:
      • The period of storing cargo in Customs Temporary Storage at airports from date of registering Customs declaration is 30 days.
      • When the above storing period is over, the goods shall be automatically placed in Customs warehouse if the cargo is not declared to Customs.
      • During the period when goods is in Customs warehouse, the owner must pay customs storage fee of 0.1% per day of CIF value. The fee is recorded in Customs Declaration and transferred into the state’s budget.
      • Over 3 months from arrival date, goods, which are not removed from the Customs Temporary Storage, shall be considered as unclaimed goods, and placed under article 54 and 55 of the Law on Customs.
    3. Required documents to attach to SAD for Customs clearance:
      • Invoice and packing list
      • Manifest
      • Airway Bill
      • Permit or License or Certificate (if required), and
      • Other related documents
    4. Regarding the Customs clearance process and tax and duty payment, please read articles of Customs Declaration Provisions and Procedures via Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), and of Prakas on Import and Export Tax and Duty Payment Procedures.
  1. Import by Land
    1. Declaration to Customs Authority:

When goods arrive at land-border in Customs territory of Cambodia, importer or representative must declare the goods and conveyance to the Customs authority as stated in the Law on Customs, and Prakas on the Declaration of Goods Arriving in the Customs Territory of Kingdom of Cambodia.

  1. Management of Goods Imported by Land under the Customs Management and Surveillance:
    • Import good originated in neighboring countries:
      • Import goods is recorded daily in a monitoring list of arriving goods and conveyance crossing land border by clearly indicating its final destination including international transit, national transit to a domestic dry port, or outside a dry port or Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
      • Fulfilment of Customs procedure (at border area) must be done in a dry port or Common Control Area managed by Customs at the border area, except import goods in small quantity which is to be implemented according to the existing laws (Circular No. 007 MEF dated December 29th, 2009 on the management of import and export goods in small quantity).
    • Imported goods from non-neighboring country:
      • The goods must be recorded daily to track the arrival of the goods, and the conveyance​​​ and specify the final destination of the goods such as international transit, national transit to special economic zone or any dry port in the country.
      • The goods originated in a non-neighboring country imported via port using neighboring countries’ ports and transit via land transport to Cambodia must undergo these specific procedures:
        • must be stored in containers when transit to Cambodia unless specifically authorized by the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE).
        • can only be imported and processed at some international land border checkpoints determined by the GDCE.
        • must be placed and complete the Customs formalities only in dry ports or Common Control Area at the border area managed by Customs, except for goods under international transit or transit to dry ports or Special Economic Zones specified by the GDCE.
        • If the declaration of goods is not in the red channel, the competent Customs officer must re-route to the red channel which is subjected to physical inspection in accordance with the existing procedures.
        • Supporting documents to the Customs declaration is the same as those of goods imported through international ports, especially the Bill of Lading (B/L).
  1. Documents to be submitted with Customs declaration:
    • Invoice and Packing List
    • Cargo Manifest
    • Bill of Lading
    • Track Waybill
    • Permits or licenses or certificate (in case required)
    • Other related documents
  2. Further detail related to Customs clearance and duty and tax payment on goods imported by land can be found in our articles on of Customs Declaration Provisions and Procedures via Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), and of Prakas on Import and Export Tax and Duty Payment Procedures.

Related laws and regulation:

  • Law on Customs promulgated by Royal Kram No.NS/RKM/0707/017 dated 20 July, 2007
  • Law on import and export goods promulgated 20 July, 1989.
  • Sub-decree No. 64 ANKr.BK dated 9 July, 2001 on the determination and management of inspection office of international gate, international border gate, bilateral border gate, border area gate, and sea port gate in over the country of Kingdom of Cambodia
  • Prakas No. 572 MEF dated 19 August 2010 on the report of goods arriving customs territory of the Kingdom of Cambodia
  • Prakas No. 1447 MEF dated 26 December 2007 on Customs Declaration​Provision and Procedures
  • Prakas No. 106 MEF dated 15 February 2008 on the customs temporary storage
  • Prakas No.109 MEF dated 15 February 2008 on the management of unclaimed goods
  • Prakas No. 571 MEF dated 19 August 2010 on Procedures of Payment of Duties Taxes and other Levies on Imported and Exported Goods
  • Prakas No. 569 MEF dated 19 August 2010 on Inspection of Imported and Exported Goods and Conveyances
  • Prakas No.508 MEF dated 01 July 2008 on customs transit
  • Instruction No.1735 MEF dated 30 March, 2006 on the management of imported goods by land using the ports of neighboring countries
  • Prakas No. 316 MEF dated 19 March 2014, on the amendment of fee of goods inspection by scanning machine
  • Instruction No.790 GDCE dated 28 August, 2008 on the​ Customs transit procedures
  • Instruction No 1090 DCE dated 17 October, 2008 on the implementation of customs transit procedures
  • Instruction No. 1217 GDCE dated 27 November, 2013 on instructions and determination on procedures related to goods in container imported via port and transit by land transport into Cambodia
  • Instruction No. 790 GDCE dated 13 June, 2014 on encouraging treatment to promote traders, members of Best Traders
  • Instruction No. 1868 GDCE dated 12 September, 2014 on strengthening efficiency of the use of scanning machines at Bavet Customs and Excise Office

Leave a Reply