The Ministry of Commerce (“MOC”) under the State Administrative Council (“SAC”) issued an Exporter and Importer Registration Order (“Order”) on 10 May 2023. This Order has established guidelines and regulations for the registration, renewal, and modification processes related to Exporter/Importer Registration, Export/Import Business Registration, and Exporter/Importer Verification Card. Consequently, this new Order effectively revokes the Registration (Imports and Exports) Order 42/1954 issued under the 1947 Control of Imports and Exports (Temporary) Act, along with the Export and Import Newsletter 6/2018 released by the Directorate of Trade (“DOT”) under the MOC on 9 August 2018.
The Order establishes two distinct types of registration: Exporter/Importer Registration and Export/Import Business Registration. Exporter/Importer Registration is a specific registration granted and authorized by the DOT, as outlined in this Order. This registration enables individuals or entities to trade goods by either exporting goods from the country or importing goods into the country.
On the other hand, Export/Import Business Registration is another form of registration authorized and conferred by the DOT under the provisions of this Order. This registration type allows individuals or entities to export goods from the country or import goods into the country without intending to engage in trading activities.
To summarize, Exporter/Importer Registration allows for the trading of goods, while Export/Import Business Registration permits the import or export of goods without intending to conduct trading activities. Say, an organization wants to import equipment for their factory; such an organization will have to apply for Export/Import Business Registration.,
Those eligible to apply for the Exporter/Importer Registration
Entities/Individuals that meet the criteria mentioned below are eligible to apply for Exporter/Importer Registration:
- Companies incorporated under the Special Companies Act of 1950 and the Myanmar Companies Law of 2017.
- Cooperative societies established per the Cooperative Societies Law.
These companies and cooperative societies limited, which intend to engage in trading activities involving the export and import of goods, can apply the DOT to obtain an Exporter/Importer Registration.
Those eligible to apply for the Export/Import Business Registration
Entities and individuals intending to export and import goods for non-trading purposes can apply for an Export/Import Business Registration with the DOT. The following categories of entities can apply this type of registration:
- Government departments and organizations.
- State-owned enterprises.
- Associations that are registered with the relevant departments.
- Religious officials and diplomatic personnel.
These entities and individuals that do not intend to engage in trading activities can seek an Export/Import Business Registration to facilitate their import or export activities specifically for non-trading purposes.
The privileges granted to those in possession of Exporter/Importer Registration
Entities/Individuals holding Exporter/Importer Registration are granted the following privileges:
- They can trade goods through exportation or importation via maritime, aerial routes, or designated trading stations in the border area. These activities must adhere to the specified procedures and can be carried out within the conventional or border trade systems.
- They are privileged to export or import a wide range of goods, subject to specific terms and conditions. However, it is essential to note that any goods prohibited from export or import under applicable laws, regulations, notifications, directives, orders, and procedures are exempt from these privileges.
The term and fees for the Exporter/Importer Registration
For companies, the registration period spans five years from the approval date, and the registration fee is MMK 200,000.
If the registration period for a cooperative society limited spans up to five years, the validity of the Exporter/Importer Registration will correspondingly extend for the same duration. However, if the registration period exceeds five years, the Exporter/Importer Registration will be limited to a maximum of five years.
The registration fee for a cooperative society limited varies based on the duration of the Exporter/Importer Registration as follows:
- Up to 1 year: MMK 50,000
- Up to 2 years: MMK 100,000
- Up to 3 years: MMK 150,000
- More than 3 years, up to 5 years: MMK 200,000
As mentioned, associations registered with government departments, government organizations, state-owned enterprises, and relevant departments, including religious officials and diplomatic personnel, are granted a one-year registration term. The registration fee for these entities/individuals is waived or exempted.
Exporter/Importer Verification Card
Companies or cooperative societies limited can apply for a maximum of five Exporter/Importer Verification Cards per company or cooperative society limited. These verification cards grant them the necessary authorization to manage administrative responsibilities associated with their export and import activities in collaboration with the DOT under the MOC.
Denial of the application, temporary suspension, or permanent cancellation
If the DOT determines that the evidence provided by an organization or individual seeking Exporter/Importer Registration, or by a company or cooperative society limited applying for the renewal or modification of their Exporter/Importer Registration, does not meet the requirements outlined in the Order, the DOT reserves the authority to reject or revoke the application. Additionally, the DOT has the power to temporarily suspend the Exporter/Importer Registration or Export/Import Business Registration for a period ranging from three months to one year. In more severe cases where the organization or individual fails to comply with the requirements stated in the Order, the DOT can cancel the registration entirely.
Suppose an organization or individual faces rejection, suspension or cancellation of their registration application. In that case, they retain the right to file an appeal with the MOC within 30 days of receiving the notice from the DOT. The final decision on the appeal rests with the Management Committee of the Ministry, presided over by the Union Minister, and their decision is considered final. Suppose the DOT determines that the trading activities of an Exporter/Importer Registration holder are not in the best interest of the public. In that case, the Management Committee of the MOC, led by the Union Minister, holds the authority to decide whether to suspend or cancel the Exporter/Importer Registration.
Allowing to re-submit an application for an Exporter/Importer Registration
Upon the completion of the suspension period or being granted an exemption, organizations or individuals with suspended Exporter/Importer Registration or Export/Import Business Registration can reapply. To proceed, they must acquire a recommendation from the relevant department and fulfil the requirement of paying fines corresponding to the number of actions taken. The DOT will assess the applications and reinstate the registration if the information provided is accurate.
The information provided here is for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Legal advice should be obtained from qualified legal counsel for all specific situations.