18 August 2023

On 21 July 2023, the Myanmar Ministry of Commerce (“MOC”) issued three notifications relating to a new requirement that local entities, including locally registered companies and local residents, engaged in e-commerce (collectively, “Notifications”) register with the Department of Trade (“DOT”). At this stage it does not appear that overseas entities are within the Notifications’ purview.

The main purpose of each Notification is set out below.

  • Notification No. 49/2023 whereby MOC authorises DOT to issue notifications, orders, and directives relating to online retail businesses.
  • Notification No. 50/2023 classifies online retail businesses as essential services under the Essential Supplies and Services Law. This Notification requires such businesses to register with DOT by 21 January 2024, being six months from the issuance of the Notification.
  • Notification No. 51/2023 sets out the criteria for the registration of online retail businesses.

These Notifications came into effect upon their issuance and registration is now mandatory for all e-commerce regardless of scale. Failure to register by 21 January 2024 will be punishable by imprisonment of six months to up to three years and a fine of up to MMK500,000.

Registration must be done online and a fee is payable. Certificates of registration will be valid for two years and can be renewed. Commerce Minister Aung Naing Oo is reported to have indicated that an online registration system is in the works. MOC is expected to issue further information on forms, certificates, fees, and the online registration system.