By Riyaz ul Khaliq
The EU has imposed tariffs on rice from Cambodia for the next three years after a probe found out "significant increase" in the import of the Cambodian grain, media reports said Friday.
The European Commission said rising imports of Indica rice from Cambodia and Myanmar into the EU market "has caused economic damage to European producers", the Phnom Penh Post reported.
The move effectively ends the duty-free status of the Cambodian rice in the EU market.
The tariff rate on the Cambodian rice will be gradually reduced over the period of three years, the daily said. However, Cambodian rice producers will have to pay around $53 million in the first year based on the amount of the rice the country sold to the EU in 2018.
Cambodia exported a total of 626,225 tonnes of rice last year, of which the EU bought around 43 percent or 269,127 tonnes.
The Southeast Asian nation is looking to China to expand its rice exports. China has given Cambodia a quota of 300,000 tonnes per year but Cambodia could only export 170,000 tonnes of rice to the country, the news report said.