Cambodia Legal Update March 2018

CORPORATE & COMMERCIAL

BUSINESS PERMIT

MANAGEMENT AND ISSUANCE OF BUSINESS, SERVICES AND COMMERCIAL REGISTRATION,

Prakas № 080, Ministry of Commerce dated 05 March 2018.

The Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia (“MOC”) has imposed the business permit requirement for all Cambodian nationals engaging in business, service and commerce activities who are not classified as self-assessment taxpayers as determined under Prakas 025 SHV. BRK. GBD dated 24 January 2018 of the Ministry of Economic and Finance on adjustment of the classification of self- assessment taxpayers. The business permit must be filed with the provincial/municipal Department of Commerce. 

For Cambodian or non-Cambodian nationals who are classified as self-assessment taxpayers, the business permit must be filed via the MOC automated system. 

A business permit is valid for one year from issuance date and renewable.

Any persons engaging in business, services and commercial activities without holding a business permit pursuant to this Prakas will be subject to applicable penalties.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

PROMULGATION OF THE LAW ON AMENDMENTS OF ARTICLES 37, 38, 109, AND 136 OF THE LAW ON PATENTS, UTILITY MODEL CERTIFICATES AND INDUSTRIAL DESIGNS,

Royal Kram № NS/RKM/1117/016, dated 22 November 2017 (“Amended Law on Patents”).

Articles 37, 38, 109, and 136 of the Law on Patents, Utility Model Certificates and Industrial Designs (“Law on Patents”) were amended to primarily focus on Cambodia’s validation of patent and industrial designs registered overseas, and the extended waiver period during which pharmaceutical products are excluded from patent protection. 

In relation to the registration and examination of patent applications, Article 37 of the Amended Law on Patents now provides that the registrar must publish patent applications, along with search and examination reports of patent applications, in addition to existing duties related to scrutinizing patent applications.

Article 38 of the Amended Law on Patents provides that the Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Handcraft may issue a decision to validate patents registered in a foreign country if the patent is considered beneficial to the interests of Cambodia.

For the registration of industrial designs, Article 109 of the Amended Law on Patents recognizes registration applications under the 1999 Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (“Geneva Act”). That is, registration applications under the Geneva Act will be treated the same as registration applications filed in Cambodia. The Geneva Act entered into force in Cambodia on 25 February 2017.

Article 136 of the Amended Law on Patents extends the waiver period during which pharmaceutical products as stated under Article 4 of the Law on Patents are excluded from patent protection, from 1 January 2016 until January 2033 in accordance with the decision of WTO’s Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights dated 6 November 2015.

REAL ESTATE

THE DISSOLUTION OF SNOUL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY IN KRATIE, AND RONEAM DOUNSNOUL SANCTUARY IN BATTABANG,

Royal decree №176, dated 16 February 2018.

The Snoul wildlife sanctuary with a total area of 75,000 hectares was dissolved by a Royal Decree issued on 1 November 2013. Roneam Dounsom wildlife sanctuary with a total area of 39.961 hectares was similarly dissolved by a Royal Decree issued on 29 September 2003.

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SAMBOR PREI KUK PROTECTED AREA,

Sub Decree №39, dated 13 March 2018.

The Sombor Prei Kuk protected area has been established with a total area of 438 hectares located at Prasat Sombor District Kompongthom Province. This Sub Decree aims to ensure and protect the natural environment of this area, its ecosystem, provide natural products and services, and ensure the welfare of the local culture and community.

This Sub decree excludes private land and land earmarked for the national interest. The Ministry of Environment will monitor, supervise, and manage this protected area in conjunction with the relevant ministry and administration in Kompongthom province, along with the armed forces, in order to safeguard and ensure the sustainability of the local environment.

BANKING & FINANCE

ANNOUNCEMENT № B17-018-006 PROR.KOR.POR.MOR,

28 March 2018.

The National Bank of Cambodia’s (“NBC”) recent announcement outlined how certain individuals and a small number of rural credit institutions, evolved from non-governmental organizations, had been attracting customers by collecting deposits from the public under “loan agreements” with high-interest rates and by providing illegal loans.

The NBC issued this Announcement in order to inform the public that, as of March 2018, other than commercial banks, only seven microfinance institutions are licensed to take deposits from the public. Those institutions are PRASAC, VISIONFUND (CAMBODIA) LTD, HATTHA KAKSEKAR LIMITED, AMK PLC., KREDIT PLC., AMRET Co., Ltd, and LOLC (CAMBODIA) PLC.

Other than these seven, any other microfinance institution or rural credit institution under the supervision of the NBC is prohibited from taking deposits in any form.

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