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.
In order to import goods into Myanmar a business must first register as a company authorized to engage in international trade with the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), Ministry of Planning and Finance. Registrations can be up to five years. For details about registration of a business, click here.
An importer must also register with the Department of Trade, Ministry of Commerce. Registrations can be for up to three years, but the time must not exceed the company’s DICA registration to engage in international trade. The fee for registration is K50,000.
The importer must also join the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UMFCCI).
Note there is a nationality requirement and that normally only Myanmar nationals are allowed to engage in international trade. However, imports of inputs by foreign manufacturing firms that have registered under the Foreign Investment Law and are also registered as an importer with the Directorate of Trade are exempted from this nationality requirement. Top.
Myanmar prohibits the importation of certain goods. For details about prohibited goods, click here.
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:
If in doubt you should seek advice from the Directorate of Trade of the Ministry of Commerce. Top.
Some goods require an import license for importation. For details about import licenses, click here.
The Government of Myanmar is currently liberalizing requirements for obtaining an import license as a precondition to importing goods. However, 4405 tariff items still require an import license (out of 9558 tariff items at the 8 digit level and an additional 418 items at the 10 digit level);
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. It is planned for MACCS to be operational by late 2016. MACCS should significantly reduce the time for customs processing of imports and exports and also improve the collection of revenue and enforcement of import restrictions. Top.
If the goods you intend to import are subject to sanitary and phytosanitary SPS measures, you will have to comply with the special regulations relating to those products. For details about SPS requirements, click here.
You can find out on this website which commodities are subject to these requirements by using the search facilities on the Commodity Search page. The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development are responsible for sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures in Myanmar. SPS standards adopted by Myanmar follow those of CODEX, ASEAN, and the OIE. The Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development, is the national enquiry point to the WTO. A detailed description of the procedures and documentation required can be found on the Procedures page of this website. Top.
For certain types of products, it may be necessary to obtain a permit that certifies that these products conform to certain technical standards. For details about TBT requirements, click here.
These technical regulations are administered by the Department Of Research and Innovation (DRI), Ministry of Eudcation. You can find out on this website which commodities are subject to these requirements by using the search facilities on the Commodity Search page. A detailed description of the procedures and documentation required can also be found on the Procedures page of this website. 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.
Labeling regulations apply to imported goods.
In order to clear Customs imports must be accompanied by a customs declaration and required accompanying documents. For details about customs declarations, click here.
Customs duty is payable on imported goods as a percentage of their declared value. For details about classification, click here.
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.
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.
Myanmar Customs examines imports to assure that they have been properly declared. For details about inspection of imports, click here.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.