The Cambodia General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE) was established in Sangkum Reasniyum by Royal Decree 661 of 29 June 1951. The operations of the GDCE were suspended from 1975 to 1979 during the Khmer Rouge regime. It resumed operations on 13 August 1979 under the guidance of the Ministry of Commerce, and was transferred to the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) by sub-decree 06 ANKR of 11 March 1988. The GDCE became the 155th member of the World Customs Organization (WCO) in June 2001, the date of its 50th anniversary.
The Cambodia General Department of Customs and Excise belongs to the Ministry of Economy and Finance. It is headed by Director General Dr. Pen Siman who is assisted by 5 Deputy Directors General.
The administrative organization of the GDCE is divided into 4 levels:
1. Central office (headquarters)
2. Operational Offices in the city
3. Provincial and Regional Customs Branches
4. Customs Check-points
There are 5 departments and 1 secretariat at central office, 6 operational offices in the city, and 16 branches at the provincial and regional levels with a total of 67 checkpoints. The 5 departments are: Department of Customs Regime; Department of Planning Techniques and International Affairs; Department of Excise; Department of Free Zone Management; Department of Offence Prevention and Suppression. The Department of Legal Affairs, Audit and Public Relations are under the Secretariat.
The functions of the GDCE are as following:
1. Revenue collection
2. Prevention and suppression of fraud and smuggling
3. Trade facilitation
4. Protection of society
The total workforce of the GDCE is 1.206 officers. Customs contribute considerably to the national revenue. Approximately 70% of the national tax revenue is collected by Customs. Moreover, 40% of the total national revenues and 6% of the national GDP is due to Customs activity.
The GDCE is currently conducting a reform and modernization program which involves the Customs administrations of the ASEAN membership. In general terms, the strategic objective reflects the GDCE’s commitment towards its ambition to modernize itself in order to reach the standard of international best practice and to become an effective service provider as part of the Royal Government of Cambodia’s reform program and to meet the needs of Private Sector. This document covers 8 strategic objectives which provide detailed targets and action plan in order to achieve the goals of each of those objectives, namely:
- Collection of duty and taxes
- Legal framework
- Custom Technique and Procedures
- Trade Facilitation
- Human Resources Development and Infrastructure
- Cooperation and Partnership
- Organizational Structure and Management
- Management of the GDCE’s Reform Program.