Rajah & Tann Regional Round-Up

your snapshot of key legal developments in Asia

Issue 3 - Jul/Aug/Sep 2023


DICA Announcement: Important Guidelines for MyCO System Users

On 6 September 2023, the Directorate of Investment and Company Administration ("DICA") issued an important announcement addressing concerns related to the information of directors and shareholders of companies that are registered with the Myanmar Companies Online ("MyCO") system. There have been reported incidences where the details of directors and shareholders were deleted from the MyCO company registry without their knowledge. To prevent such situations, DICA has recommended MyCO System Users to follow these guidelines:

  1. Proper maintenance of regulatory registers. DICA underscores the importance of maintaining the relevant records as stipulated in Sections 90 (record of members), 95 (records and indexes to be kept at the registered office), and 189(a) (record of directors and secretaries) of the Myanmar Companies Law.
  2. Directors and shareholders should create their own MyCO accounts. Each director and shareholder should establish their own MyCO accounts and obtain authorisation from the company where they hold such a position.
  3. Submission of contact information. Directors and shareholders are obligated to provide their contact details, including email addresses and personal phone numbers, in the MyCO registration system. This step ensures more convenient communication with the company registrar when necessary.

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Mandatory Registration for Online E-Commerce Businesses by 21 January 2024

On 21 July 2023, the Ministry of Commerce ("MOC") issued three notifications that (i) classify online retail businesses as essential services under the Essential Supplies and Services Law, and (ii) require Myanmar entities (which includes both companies registered in Myanmar and local residents) that are engaged in online retail businesses to register with the Department of Trade.

The registration for all e-commerce businesses must be completed by 21 January 2024 (i.e. six months from the date of the issuance of the MOC notifications. Failure to register by the given date is punishable by imprisonment ranging from six months to three years and a fine of up to MMK 500,000.

The registration process is to be completed online with a fee payable. Successful registrants will receive a certificate of registration which is valid for two years and can be renewed. 

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Central Bank of Myanmar Lowers Mandatory Conversion of Export Earnings to Myanmar Kyats

On 13 July 2023, the Central Bank of Myanmar issued Notification 15/2023 allowing exporters to convert up to 50% of their export earnings into Myanmar Kyats. This amended the previous requirement set by Notification 36/2022, released on 5 August 2022, which required the conversion of 65% of export earnings into Myanmar Kyats.

The change in the exemption for currency conversion is connected to Notification 12/2022, issued on 3 April 2022. This earlier notification required all foreign currency earned by residents of Myanmar to be deposited in authorised dealer banks and converted into Myanmar Kyats within one day of receipt. Notification 15/2023 signifies a relaxation of these previous regulations, granting exporters the flexibility to convert a lower percentage of their export earnings into Myanmar Kyats. This change is likely to be viewed positively by exporters in Myanmar as it reduces the mandatory foreign currency conversion.

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Revocation for Advance Payment Requirement on Export Earnings

The Department of Trade ("DOT") under the Ministry of Commerce has announced, via Bulletin 11/2023 dated 28 June 2023 and Bulletin 13/2023 dated 6 July 2023, the revocation of the requirement to make advance payments on export earnings for exporters exporting pulses, corn, sesame, and peanuts. Previously, such exporters were required to make advance payments with the Foreign Exchange Supervisory Committee ("FESC").

Bulletin 11/2023 and Bulletin 13/2023 instead require companies that have been established for three years and above to deposit 20% of the total export value with the DOT. Companies that have been established for fewer than three years must deposit 35% of the total export value. Such deposits are to be paid in Myanmar Kyat calculated based on the border market rate. Exporters are further required to deposit their export earnings into the companies’ bank account within 15 days after making an export declaration. 

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Please note that whilst the information in this Update is correct to the best of our knowledge and belief at the time of writing, it is only intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and should not be treated as a substitute for specific professional advice.


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Chester Toh
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Jainil Bhandari
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