August 25, 2022
Myanmar Indirectly Bans Exports of Value-Added Beans, Corn, and Sesame by Foreign Companies

On July 27, 2022, Myanmar’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) issued Newsletter No. 8/2022 to effectively ban foreign companies and foreign joint ventures from exporting value-added beans, corn, and sesame.

This newsletter repealed Newsletter No. 2/2020, which had prescribed the criteria for beans, corn, and sesame to be considered “value-added” crops. These criteria had to be fulfilled in order for these commodities to be exported in accordance with Notification No. 24/2019, which had permitted foreign companies and foreign joint ventures to purchase seven categories of commodities from local manufacturers for export, subject to certain terms and conditions. These include:

  • Meat and fish;
  • Value-added crops;
  • Pulp and paper;
  • Seeds;
  • Refined metals;
  • Semi-finished or finished valued-added fruit products; and
  • Timber-based furniture.

With the repeal of the conditions in Newsletter No. 2/2020, foreign exporters are left with no reference criteria for how to achieve “value-added” status for beans, corn, and sesame, and thus will not be able to submit a complete application for the necessary export license. However, exportation of the other items in the list above remains unaffected and open to foreign exporters who meet the applicable requirements.

The MOC explained their decision to revoke the permitted criteria by noting that some foreign companies were not actually producing beans, corn, and sesame that fulfilled the criteria for value-added status as laid out in Newsletter No. 2/2020, but were falsely exporting their goods as “value-added crops.” The revocation of the export criteria for beans, corn, and sesame took immediate effect.

For more details on these export restrictions, or on any aspect of importation and exportation regulations in Myanmar, please contact Tilleke & Gibbins at [email protected].

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