Myanmar: Limited Relaxation of Trading Rules in relation to Foreign Companies
On 12th June 2017, the Ministry of Commerce published Notification 36/2017 (Notification). The Notification allows 100% foreign owned companies to import the following:
- medical equipment
- construction materials
The following conditions will apply:
- The foreign company must have a permit to trade which includes the relevant activity in its business activities;
- The foreign company shall be allowed to conduct retail/wholesale activity;
- When an export/import business licence is applied for, Form 6 (allotment of shares), Form 26 (particulars of directors) and bank statement shall be submitted together with the application. An exporter importer license application takes about two weeks, and this license is required before an individual importation license can be applied for that is required for each importation;
- Imported goods shall meet the standard/specification requirement prescribed by the department concerned;
- The foreign companies in conducting retail/wholesale activities shall comply with the prevailing laws, regulations and procedures; and
- Foreign companies shall open an account stating the foreign exchange to be used and operated for trading capital.
This Notification is a welcome improvement on Notification 11/2016, which previously allowed importation of fertilizer, seed pesticide and medical equipment under a joint venture only. Notification 56/2016 contained similar provisions relating to construction materials. Now 100% foreign owned companies will be allowed to import and trade these products. Hopefully the new Notification will result in the greater availability of these much needed products and commodities in Myanmar. In addition, it is to be hoped that in future a greater amount of products will be added to this list to allow for the wider ability of foreign companies to trade in Myanmar. This will increase accessibility to a wide variety of products and bring the benefits of greater competition in Myanmar.