Restrictions on trading activities on foreigners in Myanmar

Foreigners are not allowed to operate a trading business in Myanmar i.e. foreigners will not be able to obtain an import or export licence. There are several exceptions to the rule:

  • Foreigners traditionally cannot be involved in trading i.e. you will not be able to apply for an import or export licence. However since 12th June 2017 the Myanmar government pass a notification allowing foreigners to operate trading business without having the need to JV with a Myanmar citizen in the following areas:
    • Construction materials
    • Hospital equipment
    • Fertilizers
    • Pesticides
    • Seeds
  • Foreigners can also invest legally in the following business activities without the need to have a Myanmar citizen as a JV partner i.e. a foreigner can own 100% pf the following economic activities
    • Production and distribution of hybrid seeds
    • Production and propagation of high yield seeds and local seeds
    • Manufacturing of rubber and rubber products
    • Ecotourism
  • For car dealership must JV with Myanmar citizen
  • Establishment of business cum warehouse in Thilawa Special Economic Zone that deals in goods or services that add-value to the country; investment must be more than USD 3 million excluding lease on the land,etc
  • Import of Used Machinery is allowed but the importer must ensure the the machinery is < 10 years old and is in good condition by specifying its brand, capacity, country of origin or manufacture, type of fuel required to power it. Importer must also obtain an import recommendation from the Directorate of Industrial Supervision and Inspection and the Environmental Conservation Department. MOC Notification No. 14/2017 in 17th Feb 2017.

Of course a foreign company can appoint a Myanmar agent in Yangon to be the importer or exporter of its products and thus legally circumvent this restriction. For more information – please contact us for a consultation