There are two types of non -governmental organizations (NGOs) in Cambodia. The first are international NGOs (INGOs) which have an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and they enjoy a legal personality. The other type are local NGOs which must be founded by Cambodians and are usually controlled by Cambodians. Local NGOs are registered at the Ministry of Interior but do not have a legal personality. All INGOs registrations can be checked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and local NGOs can be checked at the Ministry of Interior
The Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations was promulgated by Royal Kram No. KS/RKM/0815.010 on 12 August 2015 (“LANGO”).
Two distinct types of NGOs exist in Cambodia, local and foreign NGOs. A local NGO must register with the MOI and must first obtain approval from the local authorities where it proposes to operate, including approvals from the Chief of the Sub-district, the Governor of the District and the Governor of the Municipality or Province. The director and chief of finance of a local NGO must both be Cambodian.
A foreign NGO must register with the MOFA by entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with MOFA. After the MOFA has entered into the MOU with a foreign NGO, the NGO must sign a Project Agreement with the MOFA before starting its work. A foreign NGO may be established for a three (3) year duration which must be renewed with the MOFA before the expiration of the term.
An organization registered as a foreign NGO by the MOFA is considered properly licensed to carry out its activities in Cambodia and no further registration is required. However, in the event a foreign organization was to carry out business activities pursuant to Article 272 of the LOCE it may remain subject to registration as in accordance with that provision.
After obtaining MOFA or MOI approval to be established, a foreign or local NGO must also register with the CDC if it wishes to import duty free materials to serve its program. The CDC will periodically require the NGO complete several forms.