11 Jul 2017

Relaxation of trading restrictions in Myanmar – Notification No. 36/2017

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On 12 June 2017, the Ministry of Commerce issued Notification No. 36/2017 ("Notification No. 36/2017") to further liberalize trading in Myanmar.

Under Notification No. 36/2017, the Ministry of Commerce ("MOC") has now granted permission to foreign-owned companies in Myanmar (including 100% foreign-owned companies) to trade, whether as retail or wholesale, the following classes of goods as prescribed by the Myanmar Harmonized System code (HS code):

(a) chemical fertilizers;

(b) seeds;

(c) pesticides;

(d) hospital equipment; and

(e) construction materials.

This is a further relaxation of the trading restrictions imposed by the Myanmar authorities, as the previous notifications issued by the MOC, required foreigners to form joint venture companies with Myanmar citizens to trade in such goods.

Under the new Notification No. 36/2017, the following requirements must be met:

(a) A permit to trade from the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) must be obtained by the company;

(b) Duly issued Form 6, Form 26 and a bank statement of the company must be submitted when applying for a Certificate of Importer/Exporter Registration;

(c) The imported goods must meet the standards of quality issued by the relevant governmental agencies;

(d) The company must comply with the existing laws, rules and regulations when conducting wholesale and retail trade of the permitted goods, including any that apply to Myanmar citizen-owned companies; and

(e) The company must have a foreign currency account for the funds to be used in trading of the permitted goods.

Notification No. 36/2017, however, provides that the list of permitted goods is subject to change, depending on various factors, including market conditions.

Looking ahead

The Myanmar governmental authorities have incrementally refined the conditions for foreign investment and trading, and have overall gradually liberalised trading restrictions. Notification No. 36/2017 is a further progressive step in the Myanmar authorities' attempts to encourage foreign investment into Myanmar.

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