Official bemoans liberalization of agricultural imports

‘When it comes to importing into our country, they can bring in anything’


PHNOM PENH -- A senior official at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has questioned relaxed controls over agricultural imports.


Ngin Chhay, head of the ministry’s General Directorate of Agriculture, said inspections could now take place only at the request of customs officials.


“We don’t have technical barriers,” he told a conference Friday. "Before we export our products to Thailand and other countries, they have to check everything comprehensively. But when it comes to importing into our country, they can bring in anything.”


Ngin Chhay said imports were no longer subject to inspections by Camcontrol, the Directorate General of Import-Export Inspection and Fraud Repression under the Ministry of Commerce.


‘My side is not allowed to perform quality checks’


“Camcontrol has been removed from border checkpoints while my side is not allowed to perform quality checks,” he said. “We have only custom officials and immigration police at the border checkpoints.”


As part of a wide-raging economic reform package announced by Prime Minister Hun Sen last year, imports are no longer subject to inspections by Camcontrol.


Ngin Chhay said his ministry had proposed to deploy officials at border checkpoints to ensure the quality of imported products such as fruits and vegetables.

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