The Direction Générale des Transports Terrestres has informed owners of right-hand drive vehicles that they must modify them to be left-hand drive with work carried out at two approved locations to ensure that it meets standards technical and security.
This rule applies to all right-hand drive vehicles, regardless of the license plates they carry, without exception for vehicles with government or military plates.
Ground Transportation General Manager Chhuon Vorn told The Post on September 16 that the two companies authorized to make the changes are STP International (Cambodia) and Sovan Yon (SY).
The Council of Ministers and the commanders of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) have in recent days issued proclamations regarding the policy change in the law enforcement status banning the use of right-hand drive vehicles that is in place since many years.
They reminded owners of right-hand drive vehicles to change them to left-hand drive and pay taxes on them in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. All right-hand drive vehicles in Cambodia sighted on the road or found by authorities in any location will be subject to summary seizure and destruction after June of next year.
“There are only two auto service centers that have obtained the right from the Department of Public Works and Transportation to change vehicles on the right to vehicles on the left. If another auto service center besides these two provides the modification, it’s illegal, ”Vorn said.
He said around 5,000 right-hand drive vehicles had received red number plates and had already registered and paid taxes, but these exemptions would be revoked in the future, with the exception of some vehicles. such as fire trucks or garbage trucks.
In an interview with Radio France Internationale on September 15, the director general of Customs and Excise, Kun Nhim, said that right-hand drive vehicles were prohibited from importation and did not comply with the highway code.
He said the customs department prevented the importation of many right-hand drive vehicles through corridors like the Cambodia-Thailand border, but that some vehicles were still smuggled into the country while they were illegal.
He added that the customs department had obtained permission from the government to require right-hand drive vehicles to pay tax after they were changed to left-hand drive vehicles.
“Once right-hand drive vehicles have been modified, they have to register them with customs officials. Once they have done this, they will receive receipts to prove that they have paid their taxes. Then their modification to the left can register for license plates and legally circulate on the streets, ”he said.
Nhim added that untaxed vehicles with CRA license plates numbered around 10,000 in total, but now they will have to pay their taxes if they are private vehicles rather than state property – no exceptions.
Kim Panha, director of the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation Cambodia, previously told The Post that the reason right-hand drive vehicles are banned in Cambodia is because they present an extreme danger on the road when attempting to overtaking other vehicles due to having an obstructed view – and as any driver on Cambodia’s two-lane rural highways can attest – vehicles pass each other in this manner with almost constant frequency.