One Stop Service Centre (OSSC), including appraiser group and related departments for gold and jewelleries export/import, was launched at Culture Valley, People’s Park, Yangon yesterday. OSSC has taken tight security measures, like screening for anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism.
“The OSSC will monitor implementation of anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism, in cooperation with the Ministry of Home Affairs. These measures are according to ‘know your customer’ procedure. Gold will now become certified in the ‘good delivery list of Myanmar’ and bring good reputation to the country”, said U Khin Maung Han, chair of Myanmar Federation of Mining Association and member of Market Monitoring and Steering Committee.
The opening of the OSSC signals the commencement of gold export/import businesses, following the 22 January announcement of the Ministry of Commerce, and permits will be issued for the businesses beginning next month.
Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein graced the opening ceremony of the OSSC and said that there are plans to set up a gold exchange market after establishing a systematic gold market. The OSSC is to facilitate businesses rather than tightening the rules for gold export/import, providing better services for the entrepreneurs. Once the gold market becomes developed domestically, the country can begin to host gold and jewellery international expos, which in turn will support other related industries, he continued.
The Department of Mines, under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, the Department of Trade, under the Ministry of Commerce, Customs Department, Internal Revenue Department, Myanmar Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association, Myanmar Gold Entrepreneurs Association will be providing their services regarding gold export/import licence permits at the OSSC.
An international standard laboratory is in the pipeline for quality assessment of gold and jewellery items. Payment can also be made through bank transactions. Gold prices will be standardized, depending on global and local gold prices. Checked and permitted items will be sealed and ready for export/import by linking, at present, with Brink’s, a logistics company which provides secure transportation, cash management, and other security-related services worldwide.
Gold and jewellery export/import will be monitored and regulated. Currently, entrepreneurs would be carrying out their export/import at prevailing market price. Gold export will be prioritized for now, said U Ohn Myaing, secretary of Myanmar Gold Entrepreneurs Association.
“We might face challenges and difficulties in running this business. We have not found out what experiences are waiting for us yet. There’s bound to be some practical solutions to whatever negative experience we will have at the start. It will definitely go well later on”, he maintained.
In order to avoid unnecessary problems, the Ministry of Commerce will form a team at the airport to check the imported gold and ensure whether or not the items tally with the approved list.
Export and import of gold and jewellery products are valid through sea, border trade and air routes. International buyers can transfer their payments, Letters of Credit (L/Cs) or use telegraphic monetary transfer systems, regulated by the Central Bank of Myanmar, according to the Ministry of Commerce’s announcement on 22 January.
Seeking import and export licences and registration, and evaluating prices, value, quality and volume, are obligatory for importers and exporters.
Registration requires a certificate from the Myanmar Gems Enterprise and the Department of Mines, or a business permit from the Yangon City Development Committee.
If unscrupulous activities are discovered, those committing fraud will be given the first warning. If they commit the same offence a second time, their import-export licences will be revoked and they will face legal actions, according to the law.
Issuing new permits for gold import and export aims to eradicate illegal trade, earn revenue for the country and maintain the market’s stability. It also seeks to assure that Myanmar’s gold products are able to penetrate the global gold market, according to an official statement of the Ministry of Commerce.
By May Thet Hnin