Six main types of e-commerce businesses are exempt from registration requirements at the Ministry of Commerce, ministry spokesman Pen Sovicheat told The Post on July 27.
The industry is gaining massive popularity in the Kingdom as Covid reshapes consumers’ behaviours and drives a transition to online shopping, a trend that has prompted the government to explore avenues to strengthen management efficiency of the market.
The government passed the E-Commerce Law on November 2, 2019, with the aim of regulating the industry and instil public confidence in the use of electronic channels of communication. The legislation requires e-businesses to register, but provides some exceptions.
Sovicheat said global e-commerce activity has remained on a steady growth trajectory during the pandemic, requiring governments to enforce laws regulating the industry.
Legal registration, for example, will drive consumer confidence higher, benefit the reputation of business owners and increase tax revenue collection, he claimed.
The e-commerce businesses exempt from the registration requirements are – firstly, advertisers that do not list prices of, or directly sell goods to services to consumers, and are not subject to a contract; secondly, information providers involved in interactions such as negotiations that do not take deposits for their services or directly create sales contracts, such as booking services, the official said.
Thirdly are operations of individuals or sole proprietorships with revenue from the sale of goods or services below the lower income threshold of the lowest tax bracket; and fourthly are family-owned, temporary or seasonal businesses, such as those in agriculture, he said.
Fifthly are vendors of paintings or other artworks; and sixthly are providers of online private tutoring, training, workshops or similar education services, he added.
“Proper registration will build up the reputation of business owners, create a great brand identity for products on sale, attest the integrity of the services provided and the quality of goods,” Sovicheat said.
Exceptions to the requirement, he said, serve to ensure a smooth and flexible sales process in the e-commerce environment.
Hong Vanak, director of International Economics at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the E-Commerce Law would make a significant contribution to governing e-commerce and help to prevent disputes in the industry.
Sovicheat noted that the ministry had yet to receive a single e-business registration, a fact he ascribed to a lack of awareness, stressing that the ministry is pushing to spread word of the law.
Cambodian tech and digital businesses achieved $470 million in revenue for 2019, the Asian Development Bank reported in June.
Broken down by sector, e-commerce accounted for 27.6 per cent, e-services 7.8 per cent, digital media 10.2 per cent, advertising technology 12.7 per cent, transportation 3.8 per cent and online travel 37.9 per cent, the Metro Manila-based multilateral lender said in its Asia Economic Integration Report 2021: Making Digital Platforms Work For Asia and the Pacific.