Myanmar

With Myanmar continuously liberalising the regulatory and supervisory landscape, new opportunities arise not only for cross land-border trade and investment, most notably with China and India which share borders with Myanmar and have the highest populations in the world, but also for regional and international trade.

Although Myanmar became a member of the World Customs Organization (WCO) in 1991 and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1995, only its more recent economic opening is starting to create some real opportunities for businesses and allowing businesses to reap benefits from its membership of those organisations.

In line with the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), Myanmar has implemented an online customs clearance system: the Myanmar Automated Cargo Clearance System (MACCS). This was introduced in 2016. The MACCS has been implemented in both the Seaport and Airport of Yangon and in Myawaddy (Kayin State) at the Thai-Myanmar border.

Myanmar is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Consequently, it is also a party to various Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) that have been concluded between ASEAN as a bloc and third party countries and territories. Increasingly Myanmar businesses are utilising these FTAs, either inbound (utilising preferential duty rates) or outbound (obtaining Myanmar origin certifications for preferential access to overseas markets) to grow and further expand their business operations.

The MACCS helps Myanmar achieve its ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) commitments, as Myanmar is required to implement ASEAN Single Window Access for faster import and export customs clearance.

Our services

Myanmar services include:

  • Import and export licensing — recommendations, application support
  • Duty privileges support — opportunities identification and implementation support:
    • FTAs / preferential tariffs — monitoring, planning, trouble shooting, certificate of origin support
    • Bonded warehousing, and other duties deferment/suspension facilities — advise, evaluation and application support
    • Duty exemption under the Myanmar Investment Commission — best practice identification and monitoring process
  • Tariff classification – classification support of imported products and ruling application
  • Customs compliance reviews / "Health Checks" on past and current transactions for customs process improvements
  • Post importation audit management and support
  • Customs valuation — customs valuation planning, related party transactions and ruling application

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Case studies

(1)    A research study on illicit trade in Myanmar, in light of practices in other countries in the region to support the regulators.

How we helped

Identified key aspects of regulatory regimes to determine their impact on illicit trade of products and related revenue collection and the impact of reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers on the import of products.

Benefit for the client

Extrapolated the findings for other countries and applied the learnings to the Myanmar market. Modelled the impact of various regulatory regimes for the Myanmar market for affected products with a particular focus on the impact of reducing or eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers on imported products.

 

(2)    A study on import tariff structures as part of the optimisation of import tariff / duty privileges for both multinational corporations and Myanmar companies, including a comparative analysis of the tariff environment in ASEAN and Myanmar.

How we helped

We analysed the current trade policy in Myanmar and its integration in the world economy, with a focus on the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other Asian markets. We reviewed the macro-economic environment relevant to determining tariffs in Myanmar and future potential developments.

Our work included a presentation on factors used to determined tariffs rates (policy on world market/ASEAN competitiveness, industry promotion, etc.) and the implications of trade agreements, as well as quota and import restrictions.

Benefit for the client

From the analysis of how Asian countries are balancing their fiscal and tariff policy, we advised on how Myanmar can promote and protect national production and manufacturers, as well as providing consumers with a variety of choice through appropriate access for imports.

 

(3)    Developing operational procedures for customs bonded warehouse management in order for Myanmar Customs to adopt our recommendations to issue an official regulation.

How we helped

We studied and reviewed current Myanmar Customs practices regarding warehouse management to identify current processes, and compared them with the practices of other countries. We worked with Myanmar Customs to share our experience and knowledge and to align with their current practices. Subsequently, we shared operational procedures and our recommendations to Myanmar Customs, who  utilised our inputs for official regulations.

Benefit for the client

With regulations on operational procedures in place, our client was able to operate its business compliantly. The implementation of the regulations is also applicable to other companies who would like to utilise a bonded warehouse facility.

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Contact us

Ruben Zorge

Senior Associate, PwC Asia Pacific Customs and Trade