Cambodia's National Trade Repository (NTR) launched in 2015 to serve as ‘the official source for all regulatory information relevant to traders who wish to import goods into Cambodia or export to other countries.’ ARISE+ Cambodia has supported the NTR secretariat at the Ministry of Economy and Finance with a study of the NTR user experience journey. Taking a user perspective allows the project to develop specific, needs-based recommendations for the enhancement of Cambodia's NTR.
The NTR website (https://cambodiantr.gov.kh/) is hosted by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, with its Department of Economic Integration and ASEAN serving as NTR Secretariat, on behalf of all line ministries and institutions. The website provides public access to all necessary trade-related information and trade regulations, including customs permits and duties, procedures and documentary requirements related to the import and export of goods, rules of origin, non-tariff measures (NTMs), legislative texts, among others.
Eurocham, who was commissioned to analyze the user experience, presented the study results and draft recommendations to NTR focal points from concerned ministries and other stakeholders at a dissemination and reflection workshop co-organized with the Ministry of Economy and Finance on July 30, 2020. In examining the user experience, Eurocham found that the strong points of the NTR include an extensive tariff rate search and, in general, vast quantities of legal items and other information. However, there are also substantial areas for improvement. For instance, the User Interface would benefit from being streamlined, and the large amounts of legal items present on the website could be rearranged to make it easier for the user to find them during the search. Most importantly, they determined that very few legal documents have been uploaded since 2016 – meaning that NTR users cannot have full confidence that the NTR reflects the current legal framework for trade in Cambodia.
Overall, therefore, they made 26 recommendations, regarding User Interface, Content, Visibility, and Administration. Some of those most achievable include updating the legal information on the portal, organizing an awareness-raising stakeholder workshop, creating an introduction guide for new Focal Points, and establishing feedback mechanisms during the information flow from the line ministries to the NTR Secretariat.The ARISE Plus Cambodia project is working already with the NTR secretariat to follow up on selected recommendations for the enhancement of the Cambodia's NTR and will deliver a targeted package of support activities over the next year.