Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New restrictions for official travel papers

New restrictions for official travel papers

New restrictions for official travel papers

Government employees returning from overseas postings will now have their mission passports collected by immigration officials on arrival, according to a Ministry of Foreign Affairs letter issued on Friday.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said the confiscations are intended to prevent misuse of mission passports – a separate category from diplomatic passports – by civil servants.

“The seized documents belong to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs . . . and the documents are handed to officials for the fulfilling of their mission, not for their private benefit. In the past, some officials breached the trust of the government,” Siphan said. “I heard that some officials overstay their mission overseas to pursue their own business interests.”

The new mandate will not affect officials’ personal passports. Siphan explained that Cambodian passports fall into three categories: Diplomatic, given to senior foreign affairs officials with regular overseas postings; mission, given to officials temporarily overseas on state business; and normal, offered to ordinary citizens for non-official overseas travel.

Siphan, however, was keen to emphasise that an official process exists for the allocation of mission and diplomatic passports, adding that anyone found to be abusing their travel documents would be punished.

The Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific’s Cambodia fellow San Chey praised the initiative, saying it would prevent government officials from exploiting state resources for their own benefit.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports

  • CPP sets out five primary strategic goals for 2023-28

    The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) on January 29 concluded its two-day extraordinary congress, setting the party’s priority goals for 2023-2028. The ruling party’s congress was attended by more than 3,000 members from across the Kingdom, including the members of the permanent and central committees,