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June 6, 2024

Myanmar Tightens Requirements for Import Licenses Prior to Arrival of Goods

On May 30, 2024, the Department of Trade (DOT) under Myanmar’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) issued two measures tightening restrictions on the arrival and storage of imported goods before the necessary import licenses are obtained. Newsletter No. 3/2024 declares that legal enforcement against goods arriving at ports without the requisite import licenses will commence on July 1, 2024, pursuant to the Export-Import Law, and Newsletter No. 2/2024 reduces the types of goods that may be stored in bonded warehouses without an import license.

Arrival of Goods at Ports Pending Import Licenses

In July 2020, the MOC had issued a notification outlining the regulations for the importation of goods requiring import licenses prior to their arrival at the ports. This notification stated that actions may be taken under the Export-Import Law against importers who deliver goods to ports before obtaining the necessary import licenses from the MOC. Subsequently, the MOC issued a similar warning to importers in 2022 and a more recent announcement dated April 5, 2024.

Now with the issuance of Newsletter No. 3/2024, the DOT is preparing to strengthen its enforcement against goods arriving at ports without the necessary import license already having been obtained.

Storage of Goods in Customs Warehouses

In December 2023, the MOC issued Newsletter No. 16/2023, which permitted 14 categories of goods to be stored in bonded areas without an import license. However, the DOT’s Newsletter No. 2/2024 eliminated most of the items on that product list, leaving only four categories of goods:

  • Medicines,
  • Various electric vehicles and related accessories,
  • Industrial raw materials and chemical raw materials for industry, and
  • Food raw materials.

This allowance is only applicable for bonded areas that comply with customs procedures for bonded warehouses.

Newsletter No. 2/2024 takes effect on June 7, 2024. Starting on this date, the MOC will no longer approve applications for the storage of goods listed in Newsletter No. 16/2023 without import licenses. Furthermore, legal action may be taken by the MOC against any other goods stored in bonded areas after this date, in accordance with the Export-Import Law.

For more details on any aspect of import and export matters in Myanmar, please contact Tilleke & Gibbins at [email protected].

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