E-commerce in Myanmar is currently not formally regulated, and often operated through social media platforms, resulting in a lack of accountability and protection for buyers and consumers. As a consequence, the Ministry of Commerce intends to implement a regulatory framework for the registration of businesses engaged in e-commerce activities in Myanmar.
On 10 July 2020, the Department of Trade under the Ministry of Commerce issued a first draft of the new Registration Procedures for e-Commerce Platforms. Please find attached an unofficial translation for your information.
It should be noted that the draft procedures do not provide for the authorisation or approval to engage in trading activities per-se. Rather, the permission to engage in trading activities would be based on existing regulations, such as wholesale and/or retail business licenses issued by the Ministry of Commerce.
To register a platform with the Ministry of Commerce, applicants shall comply with the following criteria:
(I) Be registered in accordance with the Myanmar Companies Law 2017;
(II) Maintain a registered formal domain name (e.g. .com, .com.mm);
(III) Be engaged in e-commerce for goods and/or services within Myanmar;
(IV) Maintain all relevant permits, approvals or licenses from the Ministry of Commerce and other relevant authorities for the trade of goods and/or services; and
(V) Comply with the Consumer Protection Law 2019 and cooperate with the relevant authorities in case of consumer complaints.
It should be noted that online games, gambling, trading of cryptocurrencies (e.g. bitcoins), illegal share trading and the sale of goods that are restricted or banned from import under any applicable law are prohibited.
While the draft procedures remain vague with regard to the registration process, the Ministry of Commerce indicated that the registration will be submitted through an online application system and that the registration will be free of charge. A logo certifying the completion of the registration will be issued to the applicant for publication on its e-commerce platform. Further, the Ministry of Commerce will publish a list of registered e-commerce platforms on its website.
The registration certificate will valid for five years and can be renewed no later than three months before its expiry. The e-commerce platform must comply with all applicable laws (including the E-Commerce Guidelines 2020) and display the logo certifying the registration. Further, registered platforms must ensure that the personal data collected from the customers is protected and used only for the purpose of the e-commerce transactions.
Platforms providing e-commerce services and marketplaces (i.e. platforms allowing third-party sellers and buyers to trade) shall collect and maintain the necessary details of the participants, and shall assume responsibility to resolve any dispute arising between sellers and customers.
A list of all participants on the marketplace should be submitted to the authorities every six months.