1. Introduction

On 24 March 2023, the Ministry of Commerce (the “MOC”) and the National Bank of Cambodia (the “NBC”) issued a joint press release on the implementation of the Law on Consumer Protection and Prakas on Unfair Contract Clauses in the Banking and Financial Sector (the “Press Release”). Pursuant to the Press Release, the MOC and NBC, among other things:

  • noted that they have observed a number of standard form contracts containing “unfair” clauses in standard form contracts;
  • requested banks and financial institutions (“BFIs”) to operate in accordance with the Law on Consumer Protection and Prakas on Unfair Contract Clauses; and
  • encouraged members of the general public to report “excessive exploitation” in standard form contracts.

The Law on Clean Water Management (the “Law”) was just adopted on 11 March 2023. The Law is a new regulatory scheme for the management of clean water supply services in Cambodia and contains the following important features.

This Law defines the legal framework for the management and development of clean water supply in Cambodia in order to ensure quality, safety, and affordability of clean water supply services as well as contribute to enhancing the public welfare and the living conditions of the citizens in an inclusive manner. This Law applies to the commercial supply of clean water throughout Cambodia.

The Law on Competition (“the Law”) was enacted in 2021 to regulate business activities which significantly prevent, restrict or distort competition in the Cambodian market. The Law covers three pillars including (1) Anti-Competitive Agreements, (2) Abuses of Dominance and (3) Anti-competitive Business Combinations (Mergers) where they have effects within Cambodian markets.

With regards to the third pillar, the Law states that any Business Combination which has or may have the effect of significantly preventing, restricting or distorting competition in the Cambodian market shall be prohibited. The requirements and procedures for Business Combinations are to be determined by a Sub-Decree.

On 30 June 2023, participants in the banking and financial services sector and the lawyers that advise them will lose a dear friend, the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR). LIBOR is essentially a benchmark interest rate set by a panel of banks in London on a (relatively) daily basis, and represents the interest rate at which such banks could obtain loans from other banks in various currencies and for various durations.  LIBOR has been the most commonly used benchmark rate used in floating rate loans, floating rate notes, OTC derivatives and other forms of financial instruments for several decades. So why must we say goodbye to it and what happens next? Before addressing those issues, let’s consider what LIBOR is in a little more detail.

On 25 January 2023, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Commerce issued an Inter-Ministerial Proclamation No. 041 (the “Prakas”) setting out the procedure for imposing fines in case of violation of the Law on Competition (“Competition Law”). The Competition Law, promulgated in 2021, stipulates certain prohibitions on entering and implementing a vertical agreement, abuse of dominant market position, and business combination. The violation of any of these prohibitions would be subject to a fine of 3% up to 10% of the violator’s turnovers received during the violation period but not exceeding three years. In case of continued violation after receiving written warning and fines, their business license, permit or approval could also be revoked.


In August 2015 HBS Law revealed its new website. The rebrand is designed to reflect HBS Law's position as a leading Cambodian law firm with an Asian regional reach.

"We are increasingly working with clients who have a presence throughout the region, as well as with foreign investors coming into Cambodia," says Mr Ly, Managing Director of HBS Law. "We are proud to offer honest, balanced services to our clients, acting as trusted business partners to help them succeed."


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