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February 19, 2019

Trading in line with commercial ethics

  • By Taik Maung


Myanmar nationals are doing import and export trade with other countries in two established modes such as normal trade and border trade. In other words, the normal trade covers international trade system and stipulated banking transaction. The border trade means doing trade with the bordering countries at border areas in line with the prescribed procedures of the government.

New Myanmar Companies Law
A Myanmar national needs to communicate with the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) under the Ministry of Planning and Finance to register the company to enable to do business with foreign country. The Myanmar Companies Law will come into force on 1 August 2018 as per the notification No 4/2018 of the Office of the President vide 6 December 2017 and 22 June 2018 signed by the President of Myanmar.
In the past, two share holders are needed in forming a private company, but the new law allows forming the private company with a single share holder. A private company, not related with the general public company, needs only one director for management. According to the new Myanmar Company Law, foreign partners can invest 35 per cent, and therefore, foreign business partners could be invited more in numbers.

Need to re-register
A company that has less than (30) employees with the maximum ceiling annual income of (50) million MMK has the privilege to enjoy exemption of sending duly audited annual financial statement and also excused for holding annual general meeting. The re-registration is to start rolling on 1 August 2018 through electronic registry system (online), the listing can be done with ease from home and office. As the cash transaction and payment could have to be carried out online, it is most like that bribery and corruption such as tea money culture would be eradicated.
The existing companies will have to re-register during (6) months time slot from 1 August 2018 to 31 January 2019. The companies will be honoured with new registration numbers, and that the newly issued numbers would be the same with the Tax Revenue Numbers issued from the Internal Revenue Department.

Nullifying from the registration list
Those companies failed to re-register will be nullified for the existing list, and therefore, it is vital to submit registration during the stipulated time frame. Detailed procedures and requirements for registration for companies are available at web portal. Even though a company has already been registered, one could not enter into actual trade business. A company needs to apply export and import business registration and that it must be applied at Department of Trade under the Ministry of Commerce.
All relevant companies such as Limited Companies (including foreign companies), Joint Venture Corporations, Joint Venture Company Limited, Cooperative Society Limited that are already registered under the existing laws namely Myanmar Companies Act, 1950 Special Company Act, and Cooperative Society Law may have to apply export and import registration permits.

Basic Primary Reading Text Book
The companies wishing to do business on export and import must submit application online in the form available at with ease.
Validity of the license will be granted for five years in continuity from the date of issue.
When a company has established its business and acquired export and import license, then it could start trade with foreign countries. However, before moving into real business, the company must be equipped itself with the sufficient knowledge regarding existing laws, trade orders and directives issued from relevant ministries. For instance, it would be wise enough to read September 2012 Export and Import Law issued from the Ministry of Commerce.
A company trying to engage trade business with a foreign country must read thoroughly as a basic fundamental text book on Export and Import Law. The very basic knowledge on the controlled and restricted commodities for export and import must be clearly understood and remembered.

Ready to be examined
There are different categories of items for export and import. The commodities and items for export and import could be categorized as (1) names of commodities and items endorsed by relevant ministry and eventually approved for export and import by Department of Trade under the Ministry of Commerce; (2) names of commodities and items that do not require endorsement from the relevant ministry but necessitate the export and import permits; and (3) names and commodities that do not require permits or license from the Department of Trade, but need export and import declarations from the Customs Department.
There are three different treatments for different items.
When a company needs detailed clarification on the procedures, one can view at the official website at uploaded from Ministry of Commerce. The items could also be viewed in English as well as in Myanmar at which is called treasure bank of Myanmar Trade information.
A person could be recognized as a real knowledgeable businessman after studying the topics such as the needy commodities and items, the directives issued from various departments, required application forms, prescribed rules and procedures, notifications and declarations, trade statistics, and the laws and the working procedures.

One could be proud of it
A person may merely know the laws and working procedure, but he could not be termed as an ethical businessman. The ethical and moral businessman is sure to abide in accordance with existing laws by complying that of paying tax in full to the state, never ever breach the rules by exporting and importing controlled and restricted commodities, engaging only in fair and just competitions among the associates and business circle, have sympathy and empathy over working class by fulfilling humanitarian duties according to laws. The author would like to conclude that a person who values and abide the ethical norms and engages in fair trade could be termed as person who could take pride of himself.
The author wishes more ethical businessmen develop and grow in all states and regions in the country to fill in the proper taxes to the treasury of the nation in uplifting the lives of the population.

Translated by UMT (HK)


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