8 August 2018

Priority list of goods allowed for wholesale and retail by Foreign Companies and Joint Ventures Companies

Following our earlier Client Alert dated 15 May 2018 on Notification 25/2018 which allows for foreign companies and joint venture companies to engage in retail and wholesale business within Myanmar, the Ministry of Commerce (“MOC”) has on 26 July 2018 issued Bulletin 3/2018 (“the Bulletin”) on a priority list of goods which are permitted to be sold through wholesale and retail by foreign companies and joint venture companies (“Priority List”).

In addition to the release of the Priority List, the Bulletin states that priority for sale should nonetheless be given to value-added products that are manufactured domestically and that the Priority List may be amended and re-issued from time to time based on the needs of the country.

The Priority List are as follows:

  1. Consumer Goods (including clothes, watch, cosmetics, etc.,)
  2. Foodstuff including:
    1. Agricultural products (except the products which are not allowed to be imported)
    2. Aquatic products
    3. Animal products
    4. Instant food
    5. Various type of beverages
    6. Liquor manufactured domestically
  3. Household products (including enamel ware, earthenware, glassware, glass)
  4. Kitchen appliances
  5. Pharmaceuticals and hospital equipment
  6. Animal feed and veterinary drugs
  7. Stationery
  8. Furniture
  9. Sports goods
  10. Communication devices (including phones, cameras)
  11. Electronic goods
  12. Construction materials and equipment
  13. Electronic devices
  14. Chemical products for industrial use
  15. Seeds, agricultural supplies and other materials uses in agriculture
  16. Machinery for farming / agriculture
  17. Various type of machines and spare parts (accessories)
  18. Various type of bicycles
  19. Various type of motor cycle and spare parts (accessories)
  20. Various type of spare parts for motor vehicles and machinery
  21. Toys
  22. Home decoration (including flowers and plants)
  23. Various type of handicrafts and souvenirs
  24. Artwork, musical instruments and other related accessories (excluding antiques)

The Priority List as released is in general terms without specific references to the type of products that are allowed to be traded.  Therefore, whilst at first glance, the Bulletin appears to narrow the initial liberalisation for foreign companies and joint-venture companies to trade with the creation of a fixed list, given the broad language contained within the Bulletin, we are of the view that there remains ample opportunities for foreign companies and joint-venture companies wishing to expand and undertake trading activities in the Myanmar market.

If you have any questions or require any additional information as may be particularly relevant for your business, please contact Dr Maung Maung Thein, Geraldine Oh or the ZICO Law partner you usually deal with.

This alert is for general information only and is not a substitute for legal advice.