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New Import Regulations in Myanmar Affecting Foreign Traders

The Central Bank of Myanmar’s notice shows that all import trade settlements, whether by sea or land, must go through the banking system.

Importers can purchase foreign exchange through domestic banks or exporters, and must use the domestic bank transfer system when making settlements for legally imported products . In addition, the Central Bank of Myanmar also issued a reminder that when applying for a border import license, a bank foreign exchange balance statement must be attached.

Data from the Myanmar Ministry of Commerce and Trade show that in the past two months of the 2023-2024 fiscal year, Myanmar’s national imports have reached 2.79 billion US dollars. Starting from May 1, overseas remittances of US$10,000 and above must be reviewed by the Myanmar tax department.

According to regulations, if the overseas remittance exceeds the limit, corresponding taxes and fees shall be paid. Authorities have the right to refuse remittances for which taxes and fees have not been paid. In addition, exporters exporting to Asian countries must complete foreign exchange settlement within 35 days, and merchants exporting to other countries must complete foreign exchange income settlement within 90 days.

The Central Bank of Myanmar stated in a statement that domestic banks have sufficient foreign exchange reserves, and importers can rest assured to carry out import and export trade activities. For a long time, Myanmar has mainly imported raw materials, daily necessities and chemical products from abroad.

Previously, the Department of Trade of the Ministry of Commerce of Myanmar issued Document No. (7/2023) at the end of March this year, requiring all imported goods to obtain import licenses (including goods imported from bonded warehouses) before arriving at Myanmar ports. The regulations will come into effect on April 1 and will be valid for 6 months.

An import license application practitioner in Myanmar said that in the past, except for food and some products that required relevant certificates, the import of most goods did not need to apply for an import license. Now all imported goods need to apply for an import license. As a result, the cost of imported goods increases, and the price of goods also increases accordingly.

In addition, according to the press announcement No. 10/2023 issued by the Trade Department of the Ministry of Commerce of Myanmar on June 23, the bank transaction system for Myanmar-China border trade will start on August 1. The banking transaction system was initially activated at the Myanmar-Thailand border station on November 1, 2022, and the Myanmar-China border will be activated on August 1, 2023.

Importers must use foreign currency (renminbi) purchased from local banks, or a banking system that deposits export earnings into local bank accounts, the Central Bank of Myanmar has instructed. In addition, when the company applies for an import license to the Department of Trade, it needs to show the export income or income statement (income statement), credit advice (credit advice) or bank statement. After reviewing the bank statement, export income or foreign currency purchase After recording, the Department of Trade will issue an import license up to the balance of the bank account

Importers who have applied for an import license need to import the goods before August 31, 2023, and the import license of those who have expired will be cancelled. Regarding export income and income declaration vouchers, bank deposits deposited into the account after January 1 of the year can be used, and export companies can use their income for imports or transfer them to other enterprises for payment of border trade imports.

Myanmar import and export and related business licenses can be handled through the Myanmar Tradenet 2.0 system (Myanmar Tradenet 2.0).

The border between China and Myanmar is long, and the trade between the two countries is close. As China’s epidemic prevention and control has steadily entered the “Class B and B Control” normalized prevention and control stage, many important border passages on the China-Myanmar border have resumed, and border trade between the two countries has gradually resumed. Ruili Port, the largest land port between China and Myanmar, has fully resumed customs clearance.

China is Myanmar’s largest trading partner, largest source of imports and largest export market. Myanmar mainly exports agricultural products and aquatic products to China, and at the same time imports building materials, electrical appliances, machinery, food and medicine from China.

Foreign traders engaged in trade on the China-Myanmar border must pay attention!

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