Cambodia expects that the installation of X-ray equipment at the Stung Bot-Ban Nong Ian border checkpoint in Stung Bot commune, of Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town will boost trade with Thailand.
Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya told The Post on November 9 that the equipment would be fitted at the border crossing and customs offices, to speed up the search for contraband and ensure the safety of products at the soon-to-be major international gateway.
He indicated that a supplier had yet to be selected, noting that the administrative buildings were still under construction.
Cambodia Logistics Association president Sin Chanthy told The Post that the equipment would reduce congestion and waiting times, remove the burden and inefficiency of manual visual inspections, boost compliance with trade facilitation obligations and principles, and be in line with international trade dynamics.
“I think it is better to have an automated inspection procedure, it’d be more efficient and time-saving than direct or manual checks,” he said, voicing support for the new technology.
He noted that inspection fees could rise as a result of the equipment, which may in turn discourage goods transport through the checkpoint if the new rates are too steep.
Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency (Neda), Thailand’s international development aid agency, on November 8 discussed cross-border cargo vehicle inspection technologies with the ministry and other stakeholders, with a focus on the Stung Bot checkpoint and connecting road to National Road 5.
For the new technology to have a meaningful impact on trade flows at the checkpoint, the Cambodian and Thai customs must use compatible X-ray equipment and scanning procedures to ensure vehicle inspections go smoothly, quickly and efficiently.
Speaking at the discussion, ministry secretary of state Yit Bunna encouraged both customs authorities and relevant stakeholders to work closely together in the installation process and ensure that the equipment conforms to the same format and standards to accelerate goods inspections and simplify the transportation process.
Bilateral trade between Cambodia and Thailand reached $5.97 billion in the first nine months of 2021, surging by 18 per cent year-on-year from $5.08 billion, the Cambodian embassy in Bangkok reported.
Major Cambodian exports to Thailand from January-September included textiles, agricultural products, precious stones, raw materials and semi-finished products; while notable imports were energy, fish, meats, vegetables, automobiles, organic fertilisers, cement and foodstuffs.