Trade Policy

Print Email

Since Myanmar has changed its economic course from a centrally planned economy into a market oriented system, a series of structural reforms had been introduced and new legal policy instruments were enacted as paving way for market oriented economy.

The Myanmar government has recognized, in the context of the market-oriented economic system, the private sector as a prime-mover of the market mechanism and pays great attention for its development. All-out efforts are being made to encourage the active participation of private sectors in foreign trade and giving full support in every angle as to cope with the international trading practices.

Myanmar is a member country to World Trade Organization (WTO), ASEAN and BIMSTEC and is having total of over (70) countries of trading partners and a series of effective measures are being taken for the increase in numbers.

Basic Principles of Export

The basic principle of export policy is to penetrate into the global market by using the existing natural and human resources and to produce value added products more than normal export items.

Basic Principles of Import

The basis principle of import policy is priority import the capital goods, construction materials, other essential goods, hygienic materials for the wellbeing of the people. In addition, the State is supporting products for export promotion and support the import substitute production.

Business Opportunities

Myanmar’s potentials with regard to trade and investment is tremendously enormous in the areas of investment, trading, training and development, services and manufacturing sectors. Besides, Myanmar is endeavouring dynamically for the development of its economy up to its fullest extent.

At present, Myanmar is set as the biggest treasury land for the investors around the globe in the basis of alluring profitable benefits and potentials of its favourable conditions.


Myanmar is well known as agro-based country. Being rich in land resources and different networks of irrigation facilities, Myanmar grows not only perennial plants but also crops such as rice, pulses and beans, maize, sesame, fruits and vegetables and exports those products to international markets.

Myanmar welcomes investments in producing value-added agricultural products and processed foods. There is vast potential for investors in Agricultural Sector.

Livestock and Fishery

Myanmar has a long sea coastline of 2832 kilometers and consequently it is able to export fishery products including fresh water fishes and sea water fishes. There is a plenty of of potential in fresh water fishery and shrimp for investment purposes.


Myanmar export a variety of forestry products including world famous Teak because more than half of the country’s area is still covered with natural forest. Besides, Myanmar has various kinds of hardwood and softwood species. Instead of exporting raw materials, investors could have an opportunity to make investments in processing value-added products commercially for export to the international market.


Myanmar is rich in mineral resources such as copper, gold, lead, zinc, silver, tin and tungsten, antimony, chromium and nickel, so that it can export mineral products including jade and gems and other semi precious stones. New technology is needed for gem cutting, polishing and jewellery manufacturing.


Oil and gas exploration is the highest contribution to the foreign direct investment in Myanmar. Investors are operating new discovery of off-shore gas fields by production sharing contacts. Myanmar also possesses vast resources of oil and gas, there is many potential for cooperation in the downstream projects in Energy sector such as refinery plants and fertilizer plants.

Myanmar has hydropower potential of 37000 megawatts can be generated from the Ayeyarwaddy, Sittaung, Thanlwin and Chindwin river basins and only about 745 megawatts has been developed so far.


Since 18 Industrial Zones along with 9589 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have already been established in different parts of country Myanmar’s manufacturing sector is developing together with other sectors such as agriculture, fishery, forestry, mining, energy and hotel and tourism.


Tourism plays as one of the key roles which serves as the bread winer of the country since its inception in over 60 years ago.

Myanmar sits at the crossroads of Asia’s great civilisations of India and China, and looks out onto the vast Indian Ocean next to Thailand. One of South East Asia’s largest and most diverse countries, Myanmar stretches from the sparkling islands of the Andaman Sea in the south right up into the Eastern Himalayan mountain range.

Myanmar offers all the traditional delights of Asia in one fascinating country. Virgin jungles, snow-capped mountains and pristine beaches, combined with a rich and glorious heritage spanning more than two thousand years. Spectacular monuments and ancient cities attest to a vibrant culture that is still home to 135 different ethnic groups.

The country’s tourism infrastructure boasts five star properties, intimate boutique hotels and family guest houses in all the major centers, as well as stunning mountain and beach resorts. Myanmar also boasts one of the lowest tourist crime records in the world, so visitors can rest assured their holiday will be carefree from start to finish.

Wherever you go in Myanmar, whether it is cruising down the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River in style, drifting over the ancient city of Bagan by hot air balloon, or searching for that elusive tiger on the back of an elephant, there is always a feeling of adventure. With two modern internal airlines upgrading and expanding their networks, new and exciting destinations off the beaten track are gradually being opened from mountain trekking and rafting in the far north to world class diving in the Mergui Archipelago.

Investment Policy

The investment policy is sure to support the implementation of 12 Points Economic Policy of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

1. Responsible and mutually beneficial foreign investments are welcomed.
2. The Myanmar Investment Commission and the relevant government organizations are sure to facilitate foreign investments through transparent, clear and expeditious procedures.
3. The supportive environment with macroeconomic stability, rule of law, credible dispute settlement procedures, and reliable financial system for well-functioning economic infrastructure for all investors are to be carried out.
4. As foreign investment is very crucial for national development, the Union Government will :

(a) establish a predictable regulatory environment with nondiscriminatory treatment between foreign and local businesses;
(b) protect businesses from seizures that is likely to be in dispute;
(c) protect the right to transfer profits and other repatriation in accordance with the law after payment of taxes and duties and other payment obligations;
(d) provide right to long-term land lease in accordance with the law for the approved investments.

5. Local and foreign investors shall comply with the principles for responsible investment and business conduct, including environmental and natural resources matters on an equal basis and in a non-discriminatory manner at all times.
6. No foreigners are permitted to conduct certain businesses relating to national security, and culture and social affairs. These restricted businesses will be made publicly available.
7. The following investment businesses are welcomed and encouraged:

(a) Investment businesses that support productivity-enhancing and value-added agro-based industries with linkages to regional and global supply chains;
(b) Investment businesses that enable technology transfer and domestic production to be beneficial;
(c) Investment businesses that enable to support the development of small and medium enterprises;
(d) Investment businesses for rapid development of infrastructure;
(e) Investment businesses that enable to create job opportunities and provide vocational education and training for skill enhancement and development of human capacity;
(f) Investment businesses to be made in economically less developed regions;
(g) Investment businesses that enable to develop industrial cities and the special economic industrial clusters;
(h) Investment businesses related to tourism. 

Business Opportunities in Myanmar

The Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar warmly invites responsible investors to seek and seize business opportunities in Myanmar to accelerate sustainable economic growth.

Seize Investment Opportunities in Myanmar …… in AGRICULTURE

Myanmar is a agro-based country with a vast potential of fertile land and abundant water resources. In 2014-15 a total area of 11.379 million hectares had been used for agriculture (net area sown). Given the landscape profile, topographic dimensions of Myanmar and different climatic areas in Myanmar, not only perennial plants, but also crops such as rice, pulses and beans, fruits and vegetables can be easily grown.
DICA is aiming at attracting responsible local and foreign investors, transforming the mostly traditional agricultural economy of today into a productive and sustainable agro-economy. To achieve this goal, increases in agricultural productivity (e.g. better irrigation, better seeds and techniques) and quality (e.g. seed quality, immediate post-harvest processing) are required.

Key opportunities:

  • Agricultural input industries:
  • Distribution of low-cost irrigation systems to rural communities (e.g. solar-powered, with instruction)[Media: DICA_Investment_Opportunities_Irrigation]
  • Leasing of agricultural tools and machinery
  • Distribution of high-quality seeds for higher yields (e.g. rice unification in cooperation with the Myanmar Agricultural Bank to incentive conversion of communities to agriculture with higher productivity levels)
  • Establishment of the production of fertilizers, crop protection chemicals etc.
  • Product and market development:
  • Contract farming (i.e. direct sourcing from rural communities (based on partnership agreements)
  • Introducing value-added production / processing based on local agricultural produce (e.g. groundnut, sesame). Please find a list of selected crops and annual production below:[Media: DICA_Investment_Opportunities_Agricultural_Crops]
  • Establish packaging / canning industry for agricultural produce
  • Agriculture-related services:
  • Establishment of research and training institutions or demonstration farms on integrated agriculture, crop sequencing, fertilizer use, organic agriculture and agriculture-related business skill development
  • Construction of warehouses and cold storages
  • Microfinance, microinsurance and trade finance services for farmers

Seize Investment Opportunities in Myanmar … … in AQUACULTURE & FISHERIES

Given Myanmar’s 2,832 kilometers of coastline along the Bay of Bengal and in the Andaman Sea, fisheries represent – as a natural matter of fact – an important opportunity for communities and businesses in the coastal areas of Myanmar (particularly in Rakhine State). Fishing grounds in Myanmar water are relatively less exploited than elsewhere. The aquaculture sector is operating almost 50,000 hectares of freshwater ponds.

According to statistics of the Department of Fisheries of the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development, the production of fish and seafood has nearly increased to an eightfold between 1994 and 2014 demonstrating the importance of the sector to the economy as well as its strong potentials. Opportunities in the sector exist inshore (e.g. fish ponds, inland river systems and aquaculture), offshore as well as at deepsea locations.

Foreign investment in the fisheries sector is permitted to foreign investors in a joint venture with a local company. Recently, fishery products from Myanmar received approval to be exported to the European Union by certified producers. Myanmar enjoys preferential tariff arrangements with the European Union as a least developed country (LDC).

Key opportunities:

  • Capture and aquaculture of different types of fish
  • Capture and aquaculture of shrimp and prawn
  • Fish food production
  • Fish and seafood processing facilities
  • Cooling, canning and packaging facilities
  • Establishment of education and research institutions to broaden knowledge as well as the base of human resources available to the fisheries sector

Seize Investment Opportunities in Myanmar … … through URBANIZATION

Likewise to other economies, Myanmar is experiencing a gradual migration process of population from rural to urban areas of Myanmar driven by a more diverse set of educational, professional and income opportunities. Hand-in-hand with urbanization come challenges as well as opportunities for local and foreign businesses addressing these needs and finding durable solutions for better and smarter cities in a more livable and a sustainable environment.

Changed demand patterns of the rapidly growing middle and consumer class open up new opportunities for the distribution of a larger spectrum of consumer goods (e.g. FMCG) as well as an emergence of new service industries (e.g. restaurants, entertainment, education).

Key opportunities:

  • Real Estate& Construction:
  • Realization of projects for affordable housing in Yangon, Mandalay and second-tier cities in all states and regions
  • Nearly 20,000 low-cost and affordable apartments are planned only in Yangon, Pathein and Mawlamyine in FY 2015-16. Demand is to increase rapidly.
  • Restauration of colonial heritage buildings in Downtown Yangon
  • Urban solutions:
  • Investments into systems for the improvement of public transport in urban agglomerations
  • Establishment of parks, facilities for recreation and entertainment
  • Provision of private healthcare facilities
  • Establishment of private education institutions (e.g. private universities, business schools, certified vocational training)
  • Smart traffic management and road safety solutions
  • Urban waste management
  • Water treatment facilities
  • Production and distribution of consumer goods and lifestyle articles

Seize Investment Opportunities in Myanmar … … in TOURISMAND HOSPITALITY

The tourism and hospitality sector in Myanmar is evolving rapidly since the political and economic opening of the country – the number of visitors to the country has been growing nearly exponentially since 2011:

TABLE: International tourist arrivals (including air, sea and road)

Year Total
1995-1996 208,228
2000-2001 438,480
2005-2006 653,549
2010-2011 792,738
2011-2012 866,989
2012-2013 1,339,442
2013-2014 2,247,117
2014-2015 3,443,009

Source: Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Ministry of Immigration and Population

At the moment, foreign tourists (on their first short-term visit to Myanmar) mostly visit Yangon, Bagan, Inle Lake / Nyaung Shwe as well as Mandalay. However, Myanmar offers to date unexplored treasures of natural beautyin the whole of the country from Kawthaung in the tropical South-East to Putao in the Himalaya.

The table displays the current distribution of hotels, motels and inns/guesthouses in Myanmar and reflects the considerable under capacity of available accommodation in numerous locations outside of the urban centers Yangon and Mandalay. There is a need for both, affordable as well as high-class accommodation depending on the current demand.

TABLE: Distribution of available capacity of hotels, motels, inns/guesthouses (in FY 2014-15; including private owned, state-owned and cooperative-owned establishments)

State / Region No. of hotels, motels and inns No. of rooms No. of beds
 Kachin State 26  732  1445 
 Kayah State 175  350 
Kayin State  11  346  692 
Chin State  40 69 
Sagaing Region  23   724 1426 
Tanintharyi Region27 27 1226 2385
Bago Region 50 1212 2325
 Magway Region 28 598 1185
Mandalay Region 356 15053 30045
Mon State 39 1392 2784
Rakhine State 43 1303 2616
Yangon Region 301 14053 28072
Shan State 232 7015 13914
Ayeyarwaddy Region 64 2387 4703
Nay Pyi Taw 2 70 102
TOTAL 1214 46326 92113

Source: Ministry of Hotels and Tourism and Ministry of Cooperatives

Foreign investors may engage independently in hotel developments of 3-stars or higher standard, whereby local investors are encouraged also to consider opportunities in offering budget accommodation through guesthouses at international standards. For foreign companies, investments in tour companies, travel agencies, budget hotels, amusement parks and tourism-related public infrastructure projects are permitted on a joint-venture basis.

Key opportunities:

  • Exploring new high-potential investment locations in hospitality and tourism
  • Developing eco-tourism (e.g. development of eco-tourism oriented hotels and lodges along with respective activities such as trekking routes or tours)
  • Building cultural and community-based tourism (e.g. development of shops for the sale of locally produced cultural artifacts)

Seize Investment Opportunities in Myanmar … … in the POWER SECTOR

The power sector of Myanmar opens up abundant and immediate opportunities to foreign and local investors. The installation of considerable additional capacity to the current 4,422 MW as well as the rapid construction of transmission lines are national priorities. In order to reach the objective of full national electrification until 2030, the power sector of Myanmar is to grow to a multiple of its current size.

The abundance of locations suitable for hydropower generation, the available rich natural gas deposits and nearly unexplored potentials in solar power and wind power along with the expansion of the transmission system open miscellaneous investment potentials. In the medium run, Myanmar may even develop to a net exporter of electricity to neighboring countries.

Beyond 92 identified larger-scale hydropower development (for the future development of potentially additional 46.1 GW) along the Ayeyarwaddy, Sittaung, Salween and Chindwin River systems, also smaller-scale hydro power plants as well as other sources of energy (i.e. solar, wind, gas) have high potential to play a significant role for national power supply.

Key opportunities:

  • Construction of medium to large-scale hydro and gas-fired power plants in Public-Private-Partnerships
  • Investments into the transmission system (e.g. high-voltage transmission lines between the North of Myanmar and Yangon)
  • Realization of small-scale hydro-power projects e.g. to supply a village tract
  • Establishment of solar energy farms and wind power farms
  • Provision of efficient and practical solar-power kits to communities currently off-grid as well as of solar-power based solutions (e.g. solar-powered pumps, solar lighting)
  • Upgrading of the current power infrastructure in urban centers and industrial zones



Seize Investment Opportunities in Myanmar … … in MANUFACTURING

The manufacturing sector opens up opportunities due to the significant domestic market of Myanmar, direct access to strategic markets of Southeast Asia (ASEAN Economic Community) as well as to China and India. Preferential tariff arrangements for exports of the least developed country Myanmar to various geographies (e.g. European Union, Japan) create distinct economic incentives for investments in Myanmar.

With comparatively low labor costs, rich natural resource endowments, a diverse agricultural base for further value-added production and the strong support of industrial investment as a priority of the Government of Myanmar, investors enjoy favorable conditions.

To facilitate investments in manufacturing, three Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in Thilawa (near Yangon), Dawei in Myanmar’s Southeastern Tanintharyi Region as well as Kyaukphyu in Rakhine State are currently under development along with a separate legal framework granting investment incentives to companies in these SEZ. Thilawa started its operation in 2015 as the first SEZ of Myanmar.

In addition to the SEZ, numerous industrial zones have been established throughout the country, i.e. 14 industrial zones in Yangon Region (e.g. Mingaladon Industrial Park), Mandalay, Monywa, Hpa An, Kalay, Shwebo, Myingyan, Meikhtila, Magway, Pakhokku, Yenanchaung, Taunggyi, Pyay, Mawlamyine, Pathein, Myaungmya, Hinthada and Myeik.

Key opportunities:

  • Value chain integration (e.g. joint ventures) of companies of supportive industries from Myanmar with international companies to combine operational experience in Myanmar with international markets, technology and investment capital.
  • Investment are in particular encouraged in the following industries:
  • labor-intensive industries in second-tier cities (e.g. Pathein, Bago, Hpa An) in areas such as production of garments and shoes or assembling of toys and stationary articles
  • agro-processing industries at the locations of agricultural produce in rural areas (see section on agriculture)
  • production of building materials strongly demanded by the national construction industry (e.g. cement, bricks, steel, glass, paints, doors, windows etc.)
  • gemstone processing industries (e.g. jade, sapphires, rubies) to establish value-adding production such as design, cutting and polishing inside Myanmar
  • capital-intensive industries (e.g. automotive, land machinery) particularly at locations with good access to international and national markets (e.g. SEZs)
  • wood-processing industry particularly based on hardwood and bamboo (e.g. furniture production)
  • paper and cardboard industry
  • high-tech industries (e.g. in Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw, Bago and Mandalay) based on local, regional and global demand and the opportunities through the proximity of international airports
  • chemical industries (e.g. pharmaceutical and plastic articles) based on local and regional demand
  • industrial services, e.g. waste water management, recycling, training

Seize Investment Opportunities in Myanmar … … in INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT

The development of sufficient and better infrastructure is an important requirement to be able to physically carry the industrial and agricultural growth in Myanmar’s dynamic future. As stipulated in the National Comprehensive Development Plan, the Government prioritizes infrastructural and economic development along certain major trade paths through the country in order to facilitate the integration of Myanmar into production networks of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and Myanmar’s Western neighbors.

The Government of Myanmar has experience in conducting infrastructural projects under Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) or other Public Private Partnerships (PPP)agreements with the private sector (e.g. in the railway and highway sector) and is welcoming investors for infrastructural improvement projects.

Key opportunities:

  • Road, bridge and railway construction
  • Construction and operation of airports
  • Construction of ports
  • Establishment and retrofitting of industrial parks and supportive infrastructure
  • Logistics infrastructure

Seize Investment Opportunities in Myanmar … …in EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES (Minerals / Oil and Gas)

Alum Columbite Manganese Silver 
Amber Copper Mica  Soda 
Antimony Corundum Molybdenum  Steatite 
Barite Gemstones Natural gas  Sulphates 
Bauxite Gold  Nickel  Sulphides 
Beryl Graphite  Ochre  Sulphur 
Bismuth Gypsum  Oil  Tin 
Cadmium Iridium  Oil shale  Titanium 
Chromite Iron ores  Phosphates  Tungsten 
Cinnebar Jadeite  Platinum  Zinc 
Coal Kaolin  Salt   
Cobalt Lead Saltpetre   


The Government of Myanmar is encouraging responsible investments in the field of the extractive industries. Investors may support the exploration and extraction of the natural resources according to international best practices. Responsible investments in extractive industries are necessarily to consider the implications on livelihoods of the local population, the environment, societal factors as well as the political economy in specific areas. Myanmar is a candidate of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Key opportunities:

  • Exploration and feasibility studies for projects in mining as well as oil and gas
  • Medium to Large-scale operation of mines and wells
  • Offshore and onshore opportunities for the exploration and extraction of oil and gas
  • Establishment of petroleum-based industrial, processing and supportive facilities (e.g. refineries, fertilizers, LPG, LNG)
  • Value-added production based on natural resources
  • Supporting industries, such as machinery, maintenance, consulting services
  • Establishment of education and research institutions to broaden knowledge as well as the base of human resources available to this sector

Seize Investment Opportunities in Myanmar … … in FORESTRY-BASED INDUSTRIES

Myanmar’s strong forestry sector offers numerous opportunities for involvement of local and international investors. The country is one of the leading producers of teak and hardwood (particularly Pyinkadoe and Padauk).

In order to prevent the continuation of unsustainable forestry practices and large scale log-harvesting particularly of teak, the Government of Myanmar strictly and effectively abandoned the export of unprocessed teak and hardwood in April 2014. According to the Department of Forestry, between 2000 and 2014, the total forest cover of Myanmar decreased from 348,680 sq-km to 304,725 sq-km equaling anaverage deforestation rate of approximately 1%.The ban on logging has proven to be effective in incentivizing more value-added production in wood-processing in Myanmar and increasing the GDP contribution of this sector.

The structural change offers opportunities to foreign and local investors to support this emergence of value-added and sustainable forestry e.g. by establishing new wood-processing industries in Myanmar. Furthermore, the stronger engagement of the private sector in the plantation business to restore forests in an environmentally and economically sustainable way is desired.

Key opportunities:

  • Establishment of wood-processing industry (e.g. furniture production)
  • Expansion of bamboo forests and bamboo-based production (i.e. handicrafts)
  • Rubber-based industries (e.g. tire production in Mon and Karen State)
  • Teak and hardwood plantations
  • Sandalwood-processing industries
  • Community-based forestry

Table: Tree species in Myanmar in 2000 and 2005


Source: European Union

Myanmar Export Import Rules and Regulations

Export / Import Licensing System

Law Governing Licensing

The main law governning the authorization of licensing is contained in the Control of Imports and Exports ( Temporary ) Act, 1947, which has been amended when necessary and which is still in force. This law is administered by the Ministry of Commerce which, from time to time, issues necessary orders, notification, directives, pertaining to all export / import matters including issuance of licences and permits as well.

Licensing Authority

The authority to issue export / import licences and permits is delegated to Directorate of Trade and Department of Border Trade under the Ministry of Commerce. Directorate of Trade is authorised to issue export / import licences and permits for export / import by overseas. Department of Border Trade is authorised to issue export / import licences for cross border trade.


All private business enterprises, both local and foreign, co – operative societies, joint – venture organizations, desirous of carrying on export / import business are required to apply to the Directorate of Trade for registration as exporter / importer.

Registration of Exporter/Importer


1. The following individual/enterprises desirous of carrying on export/import business may apply to the, Directorate of Trade for registration as exporter/importer:

  • (A) A citizen or associate citizen or naturalized citizen
  • (B) Partnership firms;
  • (C) Limited companies inclusive of foreign companies or
  • (D) Co-operative societies registered under the Co-operative

Societies Law;

Term of registration, registration fee and extension fee

2. Term of registration, registration fee and extension fee for exporter/importer are as follows:

  • (A) Terms of registration 1 year,2 years or 3 years
  • (B) Registration fee or extension
  • fee for one year Kyats 15,000/-
  • (C) Registration or extension
  • (D) Registration or extension
  • fee for three years Kyats 30,000/-

Certificate of registration

3. Effective from 1.4.94, the Directorate of Trade issued new form of certificate of registration as appended. Annexure

Amendment of certificate

4. Alteration, addition or amendment is allowed upon payment of Kyats 300 per entry.

Period of extension

5. Registered exporter/importer shall, at the expiry of the term of registration, either one or two or three years as the case may be, apply for extension.

Application for extension of certificate

6. (A) Application shall be made prior to expiry of the term of registration;
(B) If applied after the expiration, the following penalty

shall be paid in addition to the relevant extension fee:

  • (i)Within one month from the expiry- Kyats 500/-;
  • (ii)Within two months from the expiry- Kyats 1000/-;
  • (iii)Within three months from the expiry- Kyats 1500/-;

Surrender of certificate of registration

7. Exporter/importer not desirous of continuing business may surrender the certificate of registration.

Cancellation of registration

8. As mentioned earlier in Para 5, the exporter/importer Shall, at the expiry of registration, apply for extension. The registration will be cancelled if he fails to apply for extension after three months from the date of expiry.

Issuance of duplicate copy of certificate of registration and identity card

9. The exporter/importer has the right to apply for the issuance of duplicate copy of certificate of registration or identity card issued to him by the directorate of Trade upon payment of Kyats 300/- as service charges.

Rights of the registered exporter/importer

10. The followings are the rights of registered exporter/importer:

  • (A) To export all products in accordance with the prescribed rules and regulations except for those which are prohibited by the State and the products, prescribed to be solely undertaken by the State-owned
  • (B) To import all products in accordance with the prescribed rules and regulations, with the foreign exchange (earned on export) or by using any other
  • (C) To do border trade business in accordance with the prescribe rules and regulations but registered exporter/importer should not be a foreign firm.
  • (D) To distribute by whatever means available in the local
  • (E) To apply for issuance of business pass-port;
  • (F) To receive the foreign guest for business negotiation.

Export / Import licences

Generally every export / import by private business enterprises and State Enterprises are subject to export / import licence / permit issued by the licensing authorities concerned. The validity of export / import licence / permit issued by the Directorate of Trade is normally six months from the date of issue, and can be extended for three months period at a time.

Items allowed for Export

Normally, the registered exporter / importer has the right to export all commodities, except for rice and rice products and other products which are prescribed to be solely exportable by the State – owned Economic Enterprises. 30 / 31 items including Teak, rice, etc. are prohibited to export overseas and through the border areas, as shown in Annexure I & Annexure II.

Items allowed for Import

Policy pronouncement as to import include, inter alia, to cater the basic needs of the country’s economic sectors, namely, agriculture, livestock breeding, fishery, forestry, transportation, manufacturing, mining and so on, while the consumer choices can be fulfilled equally at the same time. These are reflected in the classification of import items which are now divided into two categories : –

( 1 ) Priority items (A) – which include machinery and spare parts, agricultural machinery and farm implements,fertilizers, pesticides, high yield quality seeds, edible oil, oil and industrial raw materials, construction stores and building materials ;
( 2 ) Priority items (B) – about sixty items grouped under personal goods, household goods, foodstuff, construction materials, textile products, electric and electronic products and general products.

The private importer is required to import 80 % priority (A) items if he wishes to import priority (B) items. He could also import 20 % priority (B) items, together with priority (A) items and ship them at the same time. Generally no quota or ceiling is fixed for imported items so long as the requirement to import the prescribed amount of priority items is fulfilled, with the exception of edible oil.

Products allowed for Import which is excluded from Prohibited items, restricted items and Priority items.

Some commodities, which are not in the list of prohibited items, restricted items, priority items are allowed to import as in the list of Priority (B) within the right of 20 % ratio for import.

A summary of list of priority items (A) and priority item (B) are given in Annxure III & Annxure IV.

Items not allowed for Import

At the present, the undermentioned items are not allowed to be imported both by overseas and border. The commodities prohibited to import shall be from time to time amended in accordance with the latest situation of local market conditions.

Overseas Border Trade
No. Commodities(FoodStuffs) No. Commodities(FoodStuffs)
1. Seasoning powder(MSG) 1. Seasoning powder(MSG)
2. Soft drinks 2. Soft drinks
3. Biscuits Assorted 3. Biscuits Assorted
4. Chewing Gum 4. Chewing Gum
5. Cake 5. Cake
6. Wafer 6. Wafer
7. Chocolate 7. Chocolate
8. Canned foods(meat&fruits) 8. Canned foods(meat&fruits)
9. Noodles 9. Noodles
10. Liquor 10. Liquor
11. Beer 11. Beer
12. Cigarette 12. Cigarette
13. Fruits(fresh) 13. Fruits(fresh)
14. Prohibited products as per existing laws 14. Plastic wares
    15. Prohibited products as per existing laws


Export Retention

The registered exporters / importer are allowed to enjoy 100 percent export retention money for the export of goods. There exists no export quota nor ceiling for any exportable product or any individual or organization with the exception of textile products which are subject to quota fixed by the importing country.

Fees and Taxes on Export / Import

No export licence fee is payable on export of any commodity including agricultural crops. All imports are subject to payment of licence fees, customs duty and commercial tax. Import licence fee is payable on CIF value at a minimum of K 250 up to a maximum of K 50000. On CIF value over K1 million licence fee payable is K 50000 only. The rates are shown in the following table : –

Table VII

Rates of import licence fees


C.I.F value (of the licence/permits) Licence fees
Up to 10,000 250
From 10,001 to 25,000 625
From 25,001 to 50,000 1,250
From 50,001 to 1,00,000 2,500
From 1,00,001 to 2,00,000 5,000
From 2,00,001 to 4,00,000 10,000
From 4,00,001 to 10,00,000 20,000
From 10,00,001 and above 50,000


Customs duty together with the commercial tax are collected at the point of entry and the time of clearance of imported goods. Import tariff covers 21 sections of 98 chapters, consisting of 1241 headings and 6062 sub – headings ( denoted by 8 digits ) based on the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System. There are 22 bands of import tariffs ranging from 0 to 40%. Raw materials and other essential imports are taxed at very low rates, while the highest rate is applied to luxury items.

Commercial tax is levied according to the schedules appended to the Commercial Tax Act 1991, and the rates vary depending on the types of goods and services. For the items not exempted from commercial tax, the rates of tax on imported goods are 5 %, 10 % 20 %, 25% according to the respective schedule of goods. Another schedule represents specific types of foods such as cigarette, liquor, etc. carrying rates above 25 %.

Assessment of Import Duty is based on the assessable value, which is the sum of CIF value and the landing charge ( 0.5 % of the CIF value ) for the goods imported. The commercial tax together with the custom duty are collected at the point of entry and the time of clearance of imported goods.

Exemption From the Payment of Duties

Under section 23 of the Sea Customs Act exemption from the total or partial payment of duties may be allowed in such case as required by the Head of State. But the authority for the exemption lies with the Ministry of Finance and Revenue on behalf of the Head of State. In the case of joint ventures and firms established under foreign investment programme, the Foreign Investment Commission may authorize the exemption from the payment of duties in exercising the power conferred by the section 22, of the Foreign Investment Law.

Temporary Importation

Commodities, imported temporarily for inward processing, such as industrial raw materials, packing materials are exempted from customs duty for a period of two years under bond to re export within time limit.

Export / Import Policy for Private Sector Export Policy

The commodities which are restricted to be exported from time to time. ( Example; Kitchen consumable such as onion, garlic, potato, chilli etc; )

Remarks : Although above mentioned commodities are prohibited to export by private entrepreneurs , the state owned organizations are allowed to export in accordance with the prescribed rules and regulations.

Although rice and other restricted crops (except edible oil seeds) and rubber are restricted to export by private sector, the agriculture produce from the large firm leased to the private sector under the land reclamation programme of the government are permitted to export as follows :

  • (a) Rice and other restricted – 50% of produce crops (except edible oil seeds )
  • (b) Rubber – After 45% of produce has been sold to Myanma Perennial crops Enterprises , the rest 55% shall be exported.

Commercial tax and income tax

8 percent commercial tax and 2 percent income tax shall be payable in foreign currency for all export from private sector.

Import Policy

Commodities which are restricted for the time being are the following :

(a) Cement, M.S.Rods – Shall be allowed to import upon receipt of certificate from the Housing Committee and Foreign Capital Evaluation Committee.
(b) Galvanised Corrugated – Prohibited Sheet (for roofing)
(c) Truck, Bus, Saloon – Shall be allowed to import upon receipt of Vehicles, Motorcycle permission from Trade Council.
(d) Restricted foodstuff, – Shall be allowed to import only for Hotels & Liquor, Beer, Cigarette Duty Free shops with the recommendation of the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism.

Type of foreign exchange to be allowed for Import

Import shall be allowed against the following type of foreign exchange : –

(a) The proceeds from Export.
(b) Foreign exchange income from services such as house rent, mortor car rental, salaries and other service charges. ( after deducting 10 percent in foreign currency as revenue tax )
(c) Foreign capital brought into Myanmar. ( Not more than 75 percent of the total foreign capital brought into Myanmar, to be allowed for import ) Note : Income earned from export and service charges shall be allowed to make account transfer. However the foreign capital brought into Myanmar shall not be allowed to make account transfer.
(d) Foreign currency which is sent either by a foreign company or a person in abroad to a company / person in Myanmar to do business. ( Import shall be allowed against 90 percent of the foreign currency after making payment 10 percent as revenue tax )

Commodities for which import licence fee is exempted

Import licence fee is exempted on the following commodities :

(a) 67 kinds of Medicines and Pharmaceutical raw materials used in the manufacture of drugs and medicines for the purpose of supporting the improvement of public health and the welfare of the people in receiving medical treatment.
(b) the following commodities imported for the development of the agriculture sector. (1) Fertilizer (2) Farm implements (3) Agriculture Machinery (4) Insecticides
(c) Commodities transported through the territory of the Union of Myanmar under the Transit Trade System.
(d) Materials used in the business during the construction and production period under the foreign investment permit issued by the Union of Myanmar Investment Commission.
(e) Commodities imported for departmental use by the state organizations.


Agricultural Products

(1) Rice , Borken rice, Rice bran (2) White sugar, Red sugar, Brown sugar (3) Brown slab – sugar (4) Groundnut, Groundnut oil (5) Sesamum, Sesamum oil (6) Groundnut cake, sesamum cake (7) Gramwhole / Gramdhal (8) Cotton

Minerals and metals

(9) Petroleum (10) Gems and jewellery (11) Gold (12) Jade (13) Pearl (14) Diamond (15) Lead (16) Tin (17) Wolfram (18) Tin – scheelite (19) Silver (20) Bronze (21) Zinc (22) Coal (23) Other metals

Animal & animal products

(24) Ivory (25) Buffalo, cow, elephant, horse and rare animals (26) Leather

Marine Products

(27) Shrimp bran


(28) Arms and ammunitions (29) Antiques

Forest Products

(30) Rubber


Agricultural Products

(1) Rice , Borken rice, Rice bran (2) White sugar, Red sugar, Brown sugar (3) Brown slab – sugar (4) Groundnut, Groundnut oil (5) Sesamum, Sesamum oil (6) Groundnut cake, sesamum cake (7) Gramwhole / Gramdhal (8) Cotton

Minerals and metals

(9) Petroleum(10) Gems and jewellery(11) Gold(12) Jade(13) Pearl (14) Diamond(15) Lead(16) Tin(17) Wolfram(18) Tin – scheelite(19) Silver(20) Bronze(21) Zinc(22) Coal(23) Other metals

Animal & animal products

(24) Ivory (25) Buffalo, cow, elephant, horse and rare animals (26) Leather

Marine Products

(27) Shrimp bran


(28) Arms and ammunitions (29) Antiques

Forest Products

(30) Rubber (31) Teak


1. Machinery and spare parts (as per list)
2. Industrial raw materials (as per list )
3. Agriculture related materials

1. (a) Fertilizer
2. (b) Pesticide, Insecticide
3. (c) Hybrid seeds

4. Foodstuffs

1. (a) Wheat Grains

5. Construction Materials

1. (a) Cement
2. (b) Round bars
3. (c) Pipes (both G.I and P.V.C)
4. (d) Refractory bricks

6. Building materials

1. (a) Galvanized corrugated iron sheets
2. (b) Other roofing sheets
3. (c) Wire nails
4. (d) G.I wires
5. (e) Paints and varnishes all sorts

7. Materials for fisheries

1. (a) Assorted fishing nets and mending twines and ropes
2. (b) Steel wire ropes
3. (c) Outborad motors
4. (d) Marine gear, engines and spare parts (up to 240 H.P)
5. (e) Cold storage, Ice plant, chemical and spare parts for them
6. (f) Fish / prawn processing materials, equipments for the export of marine products

8. Components and spare parts for transportation

1. (a) Logging trucks
2. (b) Dump trucks ( 3 ton and above )
3. (c) Bus for 45 passengers and aboveContinued
4. (d) Truck ( 3 ton and above )
5. (e) Bicycle
6. (f) Vehicles tyres, tubes and flaps
7. (g) Brand new motor vehicle spares
8. (h) Battery

9. Medicines

1. (a) X-ray flim
2. (b) Surgical goods instruments
3. (c) Optical frames / lenses
4. (d) Medicines and medical equipment

10. Materials for livestock breeding

1. (a) Pure livestocks of high quality
2. (b) Foodstuff additives
3. (c) Veterinary medicines

11. Electrical goods

1. (a) Fluorescent lamp, Bulbs, switch and related component parts
2. (b) Street Lantern

12. Stationeries
13. Paper all sort
14. Petroleum products

1. (a) Lubricants ( brake oil, engine oil, grease, gear oil. hydraulic oil )

15. Agricultural supporting items.
16. Sports supporting items.
17. Educational supporting items.
18. Health supporting items.
19. Items to be prescribed from time to time.


Personal Goods

1. Baby Powder
2. Blades Assorted
3. Razors
4. Tooth Paste
5. Tooth Brush
6. Baby Diaper
7. Umbrella
8. Foot Wears
9. Hats
10. Watches And Clocks All Sorts

Household Goods

11. Glue All Sorts
12. Dried Cell Battery All Sorts
13. Flask All Sorts
14. Mosquito Coils All Sorts
15. Soaps
16. Detergent
17. Powder for Auxillary Washing Preparation
18. Sanitary wares 19. Torch Lights 20. Mirrors All Sorts 21. Kitchen Wares ( Glass, Earth, Ceramic And Steel Wares )

Food stuffs

22. Malted Food 23. Cereal 24. Corn Flour/Wheat Flour 25. Coffee Mix, Tea Mix 26. Sweetened Condensed Milk 27. Evaporated Filled Milk

Construction Materials

28. Tiles All Sorts 29. Ceiling Board All Sorts 30. Painting Brush All Sorts


31. Ready – Made – Garments 32. Cotton, Polyester, Suiting Fabrics 33. Vest All Sorts 34. Nylon Mosquito Nets 35. Bed sheet 36. Towels All Sorts 37. Socks And Stockings

Electrical Products

38. Electric Fans 39. Emergency Lamps 40. Electric Stoves / Ovans 41. Gas Stoves / Ovans
42. Hair Dryer 43. Exhaust Fans 44. Rice Cooker 45. Calculators 46. Radios 47. Cassettes 48. Cassettes Tapes

Electronic Products

49. Washing Machines 50. Freezer 51. Refrigerator 52. Air Conditioners 53. Laser Disc ( Video / Audio ) 54. Video Tapes 55. Video Camera All Sorts

Miscellaneous Items

56. Paper Linens 57. Photographic Papers 58. Film All Sorts 59. Camera All Sorts
60. P.V.C Floor Coverings

Currency Exchange Rate