12 November 2021

The Central Bank of Myanmar (“CBM”) has recently issued a variety of directives relating to the treatment and utilisation of currency. 

This article sets out the information provided in these directives.

Limit on cash paid per transaction 

On 3 November 2021, CBM issued Notification No. 43/2021 imposing a limit on how much cash can be paid per specific transaction.  

Specifically, the Notification provides that payment in cash for, among others, the purchase, sale and transfer of basic goods and services should not exceed MMK20 million (approximately US$11,000) per transaction. Where the amount due exceeds MMK20 million per transaction, the Notification instructs that digital payment methods, including mobile banking, internet banking, card payment, or account transfer, should be utilised. 

The Notification came into effect on 3 November 2021.

Bid-ask rate for dealing with foreign currency

In Directive No. 18/2021 of 9 November 2021, CBM specifies the bid-ask rate for selling, buying, and exchanging foreign currencies. The Directive is aimed at banks authorised to deal in foreign currency and/or foreign exchange. It also applies to non-bank entities with a foreign exchange license. CBM specifies that the bid-ask rate shall be within +0.5% of the CBM Reference Rate.

The Directive came into effect on 10 November 2021.

Receipt of export earnings

On 10 November 2021, CBM expanded on its previous instructions relating to the treatment of export earnings. Notification No. 46/2021 amends the Foreign Exchange Management Regulations to stipulate that those with a license to deal with foreign exchange “shall check whether exporters receive export earnings within three months from the date of the shipment of goods evidenced by actual exports”.

This instruction follows on from CBM’s previous stipulations relating to the conversion of export proceeds. To read more, please see our article titled “Central Bank of Myanmar reduces time frame for conversion of export proceeds”.