Pyihtaungsu Hluttaw Law No. 9/2019—Myanmar’s new Consumer Protection Law—was enacted on March 15, 2019, repealing the previous law and providing a clearer legal framework for the protection of consumers in Myanmar. The date of implementation is March 15, 2019, with the exception of the product label requirement, which will enter into force one year after the date of enactment.
The new law has clarified some uncertainties and ambiguities under the previous law, especially regarding guarantees and claimable rights of the customers on goods and services. It also further refines Product Labeling Notification 1/2018, which was issued by the Central Committee for Consumer Protection in October 2018.
A summary of the most significant changes and additions is provided below.
Product label requirements
The new law requires the following information to be included on the “indication mark” or label:
- Trademark of the goods;
- Generic Name of goods, size, net weight, quantity, storage instructions, and directions for use;
- Manufacturing date, expiration date, and batch number;
- If the goods are imported, name and address of the importer and manufacturer;
- Place of production, and place of repackaging for imported goods;
- Name, type, and quantity of raw materials and ratio of the ingredients;
- Side effects, allergy alert and/or warning; and
- Any other facts required by relevant government departments.
Requirements (2) and (7) must be displayed in Myanmar language and can be displayed jointly with one or more languages.
Entrepreneurs will have a one-year grace period to comply with this provision.
Guarantees relating to goods and services
Product guarantees must include information on the acceptable, correct, and useable qualities of the product; natural transformation of goods; safety and product labels; spare parts; and the repair and exchange of goods.
When providing services, guarantee information must be included (i.e., advance notice of the service and accurate descriptions of the service standards). An entrepreneur must provide the agreed-upon service value to the customer and complete the service within the guarantee period.
Consumer claims relating to goods
Consumers now have the right to claim for exchange, refund, and compensation for damages.
In addition, if a consumer discovers that a product is damaged, or that a product or service has caused damage, during the guarantee period, the distributor, manufacturer, trademark owner, and service providers will be liable.
Any business that transfers their goods or services to another business, or that modifies or changes the goods or services, will be responsible for fixing or resolving the damage caused.
Offenses and penalties
The new law also provides details on prohibited activities and penalties. The maximum term of imprisonment is two years and the maximum fine is MMK 20 Million (roughly USD 13,250). Civil remedies remain available in addition to any criminal penalties incurred.
Conflict with pre-existing legislation
Previously issued notifications, orders, directives, and procedures remain in effect to the extent that they do not conflict with the new Consumer Protection Law.
For more information on this development, or to enquire about any of the steps above, please contact our Myanmar office at [email protected] or on +95 1 255 208.