Regulatory Update on the Implementation of the Competition LawMarch 2, 2023
On 5 October 2021, the Royal Government of Cambodia issued the Law on Competition (“Competition Law”) with the aim to provide a more fair and harmonized business environment. Subsequently, on 17 February 2022, Sub-Decree 37 was issued to form the Cambodia Competition Committee (“CCC”) as the authority to enforce implementation of the Competition Law.
Furthering this area of regulation, on 25 January 2023, the Ministry of Commerce (“MOC”) and the Ministry of Justice (“MOJ”) issued Joint Prakas No. 041 on Penalty Procedures for Violation of the Competition Law (the “Prakas”), which clarifies the implementation of Article 35 of the Competition Law on the monetary fines imposed by the CCC.
Pursuant to the Prakas, the determination of the fines to be imposed is at the discretion of the CCC, with the General Department on Consumer Protection, Competition and Anti-fraud (“GCCA”) of the MOC acting as the judicial police to implement the levying and collection of the fines.
Per the Prakas, when the GCCA acts in the capacity of the judicial police in this regard, it will:
- Prepare a record of the offense.
- Issue the notice of the fine.
- Issue the invoice for the fine as per the CCC’s decision.
- Receive the fine payment and issue a payment receipt. Note that the due date for payment is set by the CCC, and depending on the violation, generally ranges from immediate payment to 30 days from the date of receipt of the notice.
- If the fine remains outstanding, issue a late payment reminder notice to the offender.
- Prepare a report for the CCC on the fines levied and paid.
- Prepare a court case against the offender (in the event of continued failure to pay the fine).
Notices will be sent by registered mail; if the offender refuses to acknowledge the notice, or is unable to be contacted, the GCCA has the right to post the notice at the offender’s address, or its headquarters, or at the commune/Sangkat office. Once the noticed is posted, it is deemed to have been officially received by the offender.
Anyone disagreeing with the fine may appeal by filing a request with the CCC for reconsideration within 15 days from the date of receipt of the notice of the fine from the GCCA. Per the Prakas, the CCC will respond to the request within 30 days from the date the request is submitted. Additionally, the offender is allowed to file a further appeal of the CCC’s decision with the competent court within 30 days from the date of receipt of the decision.