In order to provide more specific guidance to foreign investors; a notification listing the types of economic activities allowed for foreign investment has been issued. It s not an exclusive list but it covers most activities with the exception of those reserved under the State-owned Economic Enterprises Law (SEE Law). However, if a foreign investor is interested in an activity not specified in the notification or an activity defined in the SEE Law, he can apply to MIC stating his interest and reasons as to why it will be mutually beneficial to the State and to himself for the activity to be undertaken. If MIC is satisfied that the proposed activity will indeed be in the interest of our Nation, it may put up the application for approval from Trade Council and Cabinet.
Regarding the import policy, import is allowed against the export earnings with a view to promote export and to overcome the balance of trade deficit problems.
The private businessmen are encouraged to import capital goods, industrial machineries including raw materials and other essential items while the consumer choices can be fulfilled equally at the same time.
License should be applied for any export or import. The authority to issue export/import licenses and permits is dedicated to Directorate of Trade and Department of Border Trade under the Ministry of Commerce. Directorate of Trade is authorised to issue export/import licenses and permits for conventional export/import by overseas. The Department of Border Trade is authorised to issue export/import licenses for overland trade with the neighbouring countries.
The validity of export / import license / permit issued by the Directorate of Trade is three months from the date of issue, and it cannot be extendable.
Export license fee is not payable on export of any commodity including agricultural crops. All the imports are subject to pay the licence fees, customs duty and commercial tax.
Customs duty together with the commercial tax are collected at the point of entry and the time of clearance of imported goods. 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 cigarettee, 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.
There are three state banks namely Myanma Foreign Trade Bank - MFTB, Myanma Investment and Commercial Bank -MICB and Myanma Economic Bank (MEB), conducting foreign trade transactions of the Union of Myanmar. MEB opens branch offices at the border checkpoints for the commercial transactions of overland trade with the neighbouring countries.