The much-anticipated E-commerce and Customer Protection laws were approved on Friday by the Council of Ministers in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Hun Sen.
The drafts will now be submitted to the National Assembly for approval. From there, they will be passed on to the Senate. As the last step in the approval process, King Norodom Sihamoni will sign the documents.
According to a government statement released after the Council of Ministers meeting, the E-commerce Law aims to promote trade via electronic means and addresses key topics like electronic signatures, which are seen as an important tool in making electronic transactions more secure.
In its statement, the government explains that e-commerce refers to the activity of purchasing or selling goods or services online as well as the transfer of money as part of these activities.
The statement says the law will be an important step in developing a digital economy, with the government aiming to turn Cambodia into a “digital economy” in upcoming years.
The Consumer Protection Law will create a level playing field for businesses and protect consumers by reducing unethical and illegal retail and promotional practices, according to the statement.
The legislation also aims to empower authorities when conducting crackdowns on counterfeit goods, advertisements that mislead consumers, or products that pose a health risk to consumers.
Speaking about the Consumer Protection Law, Prime Minister Hun Sen said, “We need consumers’ cooperation to guarantee the safety of food in Cambodia.
“People have a right to boycott unsafe food products. Even when the new law comes into effect, institutions and consumers must work together to make the situation safer for everyone.”
The current drafts of the E-Commerce and the Consumer Protection laws were originally drafted by the Ministry of Commerce in 2012.
The ministry is now working on a new commerce law – the Competition Law.
According to Mao Thora, secretary of state at the ministry, the Competition Law is at an early stage. He said the law aims to help consumers purchase goods and services at fair prices, as well as increasing the quality and variety of the offer available to them.