31 March 2023

Cambodia adopts new Food Safety Regulations

In January 2023, the Royal Cambodian Government adopted Sub-Decree No. 13 on Conditions, Formalities, and Procedures of the Investigation and Withdrawal of Foods dated 6 January 2023 (Sub-Decree No. 13). With its main objective being to ensure food safety, the Sub-Decree requires food business operators (i.e., producers, processors, packaging traders, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers) to withdraw any foods from sale if it is found that such foods are unsafe or not in compliance with technical regulations – or after receiving an order from the Ministry of Commerce (MOC).  

The obligations of the food business operator are to establish an inspection procedure to identify the companies or individuals who supply, or receive from, them food supplies and then label those foods that circulate in the market.  

The Sub-Decree sets out three classes of unsafe food and foods that do not comply with technical regulations.  

Food business operators who do not withdraw food as required by the Sub-Decree or instruction of the MOC, shall be subject to administrative fines and/or other penalties in accordance with the Food Safety laws and Regulations in force.  

Approaches and Formalities to Withdraw Unsafe Food 

As part of the implementation process of Sub-Decree No. 13, on the 22nd of February 2023, the Government issued Prakas No. 080 on Approaches and Formalities to Withdraw Unsafe Food or Food Not Complying with Technical Regulations. The purpose of the Prakas is to formulate the procedures for the withdrawal of unsafe food or food not complying with technical regulations.  

The Prakas requires that when a food business operator discovers that their foods are unsafe or do not comply with technical regulations,  

the food business operator must report to the Consumer Protection Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General of the Ministry of Commerce (CCF), whereafter CCF will review and evaluate the information reported by the food business operator and shall immediately respond with the appropriate plan based on the risk assessment classification in the Sub-Decree.  

  • the food business operator or CCF (as the case may be) must issue a warning about the health effects of the withdrawn food to the public by any effective means.
  • the food business operator is required to inform the public regarding the reasons why the food was withdrawn.
  • the Food business operators must submit a report regarding the food withdrawal to CCF.

If you have any questions or require any additional information, please contact Piseth PanhaLong PanharithPrum Sopheareach, or Matthew Rendall of Sok Siphana & Associates. 

This alert is for general information only and is not a substitute for legal advice.