Retailers flag need to regulate e-commerce industry

The Myanmar Retailers Association last week submitted a request to regulate the e-commerce industry to Vice President U Myint Swe and the government’s Private Sector Development Committee during a meeting between the latter and local businesses.

Retailers say that while a rising number of consumers are now purchasing goods from individuals and businesses online, many have no legal recourse when the products they receive are damaged or simply not what they ordered. As such, regulations should be put in place to protect consumers.

The association suggested making it compulsory for e-commerce platforms and the businesses or individuals using such platforms to trade to pre-register.

It said unregistered traders are directly competing with registered e-commerce sites as well as physical stores, which pay taxes to the government. In contrast, unregistered traders do not pay taxes and regularly get away with scams and false advertising.

Last May, BarLoLo.com, an e-commerce platform in Myanmar, released a survey revealing that the main challenge in e-commerce Myanmar is establishing trust between the seller and the buyer.

Currently, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) is in the process of drafting an e-commerce law for Myanmar. However, the process is expected to be long drawn. “As such, we would request that some regulations be put forward before the law is enforced,” said U Myo Min Aung, vice chair of the Myanmar Retailers Association.

“We hope that with the right supervision and regulations the e-commerce industry can develop sustainably and legally. We will work closely with the government to implement the needed regulations for this industry, including the need for registration, tax collection and protection for seller and buyer,” he said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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