Guide to Importing Goods into Myanmar

Goods are imported into Myanmar when they enter Myanmar’s customs territory. Different rules apply to imports depending on whether they are commercial or non-commercial in nature. (Articles accompanying a traveler, such as personal clothing articles in actual use and small quantities of tobacco and alcohol are usually considered to be non-commercial and duty and tax exempt.)

The laws and regulations governing imports are complex and most importers use professional experts, known as freight forwarders and customs brokers, to assist them in planning and carrying out import transactions. Below are the required steps for importing goods into Myanmar.

Index

Registration of a Business
Prohibited Imports
Import Licenses
Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Requirements 
Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Requirements
Customs Declaration and Required Accompanying Documents
Classification and Value
Payment of Customs Duties and Taxes
Customs Inspection of Imports
Temporary Imports
Duty Exemption under Special Order
Spotlight on the Garment Industry


Registration of a Business

In order to import goods into the territory  of  Myanmar, a business must first register as a company authorized to engage in international trade. For details about registering a business, click here.
1.    An import must register as a company authorized to engage in international trade and then register as an exporter with the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations. Registrations can be up to five years. DICA has a One Stop Service (OSS) to facilitate registration.
2.    An importer must also register with the Department of Trade,  Ministry of Commerce for obtaining Exporter/Importer Registration Certificates. The validity period of the Exporter/Importer Registration Certificate can be for up to five years. The registration fee is MMK200,000 and online service fee is MMK 3000. See Procedures for Obtaining Exporter/Importer Registration Certificate here.
3.    The exporter must also join the Union of  Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI). Top.


Prohibited Imports

Myanmar prohibits the importation of certain goods. For details about prohibited goods,

WTO’s GATT, Article XX and XXI, permit WTO members to prohibit the importation of certain articles that endanger public morals, threaten human, plant or animal life, involve the importation of gold and silver, arms and ammunition, and similar items. Prohibited goods cannot be imported, exported, transited, sold or circulated in Myanmar. The Directorate of Trade of the Ministry of Commerce has exercised its rights under these GATT provisions to prohibit the following importations:

  1. Counterfeit currency and coins
  2. Pornographic material
  3. All kinds of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
  4. Playing cards
  5. Goods bearing the emblem of Buddha and pagodas of Myanmar
  6. Arms and ammunition
  7. Antiques and archeologically valuable items
  8. Wildlife endangered species
  9. Other prohibited commodities in accord with existing law

Furthermore, the Ministry of Commerce issued the Notification No. (38/2020) concerning the amendment of the import prohibition list, entered into force on 25 May 2020.
1) Beer
2) Cigarette
3) Restricted commodities in accordance with the existing law

If in doubt you should seek advice from the Directorate of Trade of the Ministry of Commerce.  Top.


Import Licenses

The Government of Myanmar allows two kinds of import licensing system such as Automatic Licensing system and Non-Automatic Licensing system. It needs import licences for all kind of goods to import into Myamar. The notificiation and announcements that are subject for Automatic Licensing and Non-Automatic Licensing systems are provided at the following links;

(၃၁-၃-၂၀၂၃)ရက်စွဲပါ အမိန့်ကြေညာစာအမှတ် (၁၉/၂၀၂၃)

https://www.myanmartradeportal.gov.mm/my/legal/405

(၂၅-၄-၂၀၂၃)ရက်စွဲပါ ပို့ကုန်သွင်းကုန်နှင့်ပတ်သက်သည့်သတင်းလွှာ (၈/၂၀၂၃)

https://www.myanmartradeportal.gov.mm/my/legal/406

(၂၁-၆-၂၀၂၃)ရက်စွဲပါ ပို့ကုန်သွင်းကုန်နှင့်ပတ်သက်သည့်သတင်းလွှာ (၉/၂၀၂၃)

https://www.myanmartradeportal.gov.mm/my/legal/415

 

 

 

Some commodities need to apply import license in together with recommendation or certificate issued by the relevant ministries and agencies, and of business associations. The list of commodities and concerned ministries which issue the related recommendation or certificate base on the type of commodities are as follows;

Sr.no

List of commodities

Concerned Ministries

1

Seeds, plants and plant products, pesticides, fertilizers

Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and
Irrigation (Department of Agriculture)

2

Animals, animal feed, veterinary medicines and farm equipment, surgical and laboratory equipment

Livestock Breeding and Veterinary
Department (MOALI)

3

shrimp lets, and vitamins for shrimps, feed for fish, live fish, animal products,

Department of Fisheries (MOALI)

4

Sawn timber and forest products, chemicals that can destroy the ozone layer, Mineral products, sodium cyanide

Ministry of Natural Resources and
Environmental Conservation (MONREC)

5

Toothpaste, mercury, raw materials, medicines, medical appliances (disposable syringes, infusion sets, blood transfusion sets, surgical gloves, testing kits), foodstuffs, palm oil (palm olein, cloud point 8°C max., iodine value 58 min. specification)

Ministry of Health, Department
of Food and Drug Administration

6

Chemical precursors used for producing narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances

Ministry of Home Affairs, Central Committee
for Drug Abuse Control

7

Liquefied petroleum gas

Ministry of Energy

8

Foreign movies

Ministry of Information

9

Telecommunication equipment

Ministry of Transport and Communications

10

Vehicles (vessels/aircraft)

Ministry of Transport and Communications

11

Chemicals and related substances

Ministry of Industry

12

Radioactive materials

Ministry of Science and Technology

Applications for import licenses have been automated. The traders can apply for the import/export license at the Ministry of Commerce via the TradeNet2.0 online system. See https://www.myanmartradenet.com/. The detail procedures to apply import license/ permit via TradeNet2.0 online system can see here.
The Department of Trade also operates a Border Trade Online System (BTOS) for processing import licenses at border posts.License requirements are reviewed on an annual basis and there may also be occasional additional changes during each year.
Certain commodities may need  some specific procedures for the application of import license. The detail procedures for the application of import license for the importation of wine via TradeNet 2.0 can see here. Moreover, the detail procedures for the application of import license for the importation of alcoholic beverages via TradeNet 2.0 can see here.

Validity of import license and amendments


License validity is three months after issuance. After three months, the importer can apply for an extension of the license for two months. On further application, a second extension for one month is also provided for. The service fees for extension of the validity of the import license is provided here.
Amendments to import licenses are also available before shipment. The service fees for the amendment of the import license is provided here.

Automation of import-export processes by Myanmar Customs
Myanmar Customs is currently developing an automated cargo clearance system (MACCS) designed to automate a number of areas of customs operations. These include user registration, clearance of goods, cargo management, payment, information technology, and the helpdesk. MACCS will connect with shipping and airlines, the Port Authority, warehouse operators, brokers and importer/exporters and also with other government agencies. It will initially be installed in Yangon and later in other customs offices throughout Myanmar. Eventually MACCS will provide the basis for a National Single Window (NSW) where submission for licenses to other government agencies and approvals or rejections may be made using MACCS. MACCS significantly reduces the time for customs processing of imports and exports and also improve the collection of revenue and enforcement of import restrictions.


Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Requirements 

If the goods you intend to import are subject to sanitary and phytosanitary measures you will have to comply with the special regulations relating to those products. You can find out on this website which commodities are subject to these requirements by using the search facilities on the Commodity Search page.
Department of Agriculture, Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department, Department of Fishery and Food and Drug Administration Department are responsible for sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures in Myanmar. SPS standards adopted by Myanmar follow those of CODEX, ASEAN, and the OIE. A detailed description of the procedures and documentation required can be found on the Procedures page of this website.  Top.


Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Requirements

For certain types of products, it may be necessary to obtain a permit that certifies that these products conform to certain technical standards.
The technical regulations are administered by the  Department Of Research and Innovation (DRI). Note that exporting countries have specific technical requirements specific to exported products and those exporters should check with relevant competent authorities in export destinations about those requirements before exporting. Myanmar has established a TBT Enquiry Point as required by the WTO TBT Agreement.  You can contact the  TBT Enquiry Point if you have any questions regarding technical standards. Top. 


Customs Declaration and Required Accompanying Documents

In order to clear Customs imports must be accompanied by a customs declaration and required accompanying documents. For details about customs declarations, click here.

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  1. All imports must be cleared through Customs using the  CUSDEC–1 Import Declaration Form along with the CUSDEC-4 Customs Valuation Form
  2. Required accompanying documents include:
    1. An import license (when required)
    2. The invoice
    3. Bill of lading, air consignment note, or truck note
    4. Packing list
    5. Other certificates, permits or import recommendations, as required (for example, a country of origin or SPS or FDA certificate)
  3. The customs declaration and supporting documents must be submitted to Customs at the time that the goods arrive. (Customs has not yet adopted pre-arrival processing.).  Top.


Classification and Value

Customs duty is payable on imported goods as a percentage of their declared value. For details about classification, click here.

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The rate of duty payable on goods imported into Myanmar varies according to the commodity and the country of origin.   Commodities are classified using the 8-digit Harmonized System (HS) Code which is maintained and, from time to time, amended by the World Customs Organization (WCO).  The Myanmar tariff classification conforms with ASEAN’s AHTN standard (ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature). You can view the full Myanmar Tariff Classification and Tariff rates on this website with the Commodity Search facility. It is your responsibility to declare the correct classification, origin, value and quantity of the goods you are importing.  If in doubt please seek advice from the Department of Customs. The basis for the calculation of duties is the actual transaction value of the goods (as evidenced by the commercial invoice or other contract of sale document).  If the value of the goods cannot established by this method Customs will attempt to establish the value of the goods using 5 more methods in line with Article 7 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1947) Top.


Payment of Customs Duties and Taxes

Once a declaration has been submitted and accepted by Customs, the importer will be required to pay the duties. For details about about payment of customs duty, click here.

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  1. Customs duties assessed on imports are determined based upon three factors:
    1. The customs classification of the imported goods.
      1. The classification, or legal description, is based upon the goods classification under an international tariff nomenclature, the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, or “HS”, an international agreement administered by the World Customs Organization (WCO) that categorizes all goods into about 5000 commodity groups, each identified by a six-digit code. 
      2. Myanmar applies the ASEAN 8 customs code, which is based on the HS. This is comprised of 9558 tariff lines at the 8-digit level and an additional 418 lines at the 10-digit level.
      3. Based upon tariff classification and country of origin, either a Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff rate or preferential tariff rate is applied. 
      4. MFN tariff rates in Myanmar are arranged in 15 tariff bands ranging from zero to 40%. Most ASEAN FTA rates (93% or about 8800 lines) are duty free.
      5. Click here  to go to the Myanmar tariff schedule.
    2. The customs valuation of goods
      1. Myanmar Customs plans to implement the WTO Agreement on Customs Valuation in 2016. The WTO Agreement requires the use of the “price paid or payable” (contract price) as the primary valuation methodology.  Myanmar’s current valuation approach is to use 5 methods: the c.i.f. invoice price of the goods, sales contracts, insurance information, internet prices and other recorded prices.
    3. The origin of goods.
      1. Origin is determined mainly for assessing preferential duty rates, such as rates established by the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA). Under ATIGA, over 8800 tariff lines are duty free. ASEAN has specific rules for determining ASEAN origin.
      2. Myanmar (through ASEAN) also has preferential tariff agreements with China, Korea, India, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. 
  2. After Customs has assessed the duty payable, the importer may pay the duty in cash, or by a payment order (a bank money order)..
    1. Cash payments are only permitted for debts less than K5000.
    2. The daily exchange rate as determined by the Central Bank of Myanmar is used for duty assessment.
  3. A commercial tax and/or an excise tax may be applied to imports, depending on the import’s “classification”.  To view the applicable commercial and excise tax schedule, click here . (The Union Tax Law is revised on an annual basis with new provisions taking effect on 1 April.)
  4. A specific goods tax (SGT) was recently approved and will become law on 1 April 2016. Commercial taxes may be phased out and replaced by the SGT.
  5. Customs collects a 2% advance income tax on imports for the Internal Revenue Department.  Top.


Customs Inspection of Imports

Myanmar Customs examines imports to assure that they have been properly declared. For details about inspection of imports, click here.

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Customs reviews all import documents and physically inspects imports based upon its assessment of risk. Imports are divided into three categories: green, yellow and red. Green denotes the least risk, yellow, an intermediate risk, and red denotes high risk. Overall, about 10% of imports are physically inspected and additional imports are subject to x-ray scan.  Top.


Temporary Imports

Temporary admission of imports is the procedure where goods are brought into the customs territory conditionally relieved from the payment of duties and taxes if they are intended for a specific purpose and are re-exported within a specified time frame without change in condition. For details about temporary imports. For details about temporary imports, click here.

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This is useful for trade shows, visiting musicians traveling with their instruments, etc.   Internationally, ATA carnets, serving as both a customs declaration and financial guarantee, are used to effect temporary admission in most countries. Myanmar has not adopted ATA carnets but does have a temporary admission procedure.  Top.


Duty Exemption under Special Order

A Special Order is the power of the Director General, Customs and the Minister of Finance, to permit imports to enter without the payment of duties and taxes at the time of entry. For details about duty exemption and special order, click here.

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This procedure can apply to highly perishable goods, the goods of diplomats, and certain other products. The importer must post a financial guarantee (deposit) to be permitted to use this procedure.  Top.


Spotlight on the Garment Industry

Currently almost all garment production in Myanmar is done under the Cut, Make and Package(CMP) process. For details about garments and the CMT process, click here.

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A foreign agent provides the fabric and other materials to produce garments according to contract specifications. An import license to import the fabric and other materials is obtained from the Ministry of Commerce, based upon recommendation letters from the Ministry of Industry and the UMFCCI. No export license for the finished garments is required. Imported materials and exported finished garments are duty and tax free. The Ministry of Industry monitors the production of factories through daily statistical reports and also issues non-preferential certificates of origin.  This has helped the garment industry to develop into a leading sector of the economy in Myanmar, with more than 300 factories employing more than 250,000 workers. About half the factories are foreign-owned. All garment production is exported to customers located in many countries around the world. Export sales exceed USD$1.6 billion. Special, simplified procedures have been developed to expedite the production and export of clothing articles.