For decades foreign liquor has poured into Myanmar through the porous border areas or other black market trading tactics. It’s known that many of the so called foreign liquor in Myanmar are good fakes or cheaper liquor with some of them possibly harmful to drink. Now it is possible to legally import foreign liquor into Myanmar. This will not stop illegal imports all together, but it will give people the option to buy from legal importers to ensure the safety of what they are drinking.
Below are the new laws that were announced at the end of May and the application of that law. Seems to be several investment opportunities for local and foreign companies to work together to bring liquor legally into Myanmar.
The government announced notifications 38 and 39, it should be noted that importation of liquor by duty-free shops and hotels will not be subject to notifications 38 and 39.
WHO CAN BE A LIQUOR IMPORTER?
Notification 39 sets out certain criteria that a Myanmar company must meet in order to apply for a Liquor Importer Registration Certification (“LIRC”) with the MOC, such as:
- Having a valid importer and importer registration certificate issued by the MOC
- Having a valid relevant alcohol license (i.e., FL11, FL4, or FL5) issued under one of directors’ names
- Having a valid storage license issued by the relevant district General Administration Department
- Being granted the exclusive distributorship or exclusive dealership by a foreign liquor manufacturer and distributor
TERM OF THE LIRC
The LIRC is valid for one year, and the application for renewal of the certificate must be submitted to the MOC at least three months before the expiration of the certification.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR THE IMPORTATION OF LIQUOR
Notification 39 also sets out certain terms and conditions for liquor importation:
- Liquor shall be imported through Yangon port or Yangon airport
- The minimum import price is set at CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) US$8 per liter
- Liquor importers shall comply with requirements on the label
- Liquor importers shall affix the tax stamp on liquor bottles within 21 days, under the supervision of the Internal Revenue Department, before moving liquor bottles out of the customs warehouse
- Liquor is to be stored only at licensed premises
WHOLESALE LICENSE IS INDEED REQUIRED
Although it is not mentioned in Notification 39 that a liquor importer must also obtain a wholesale license with the MOC, it does mention that the liquor importer must comply with the relevant rules for distribution and opening a shop in the country. Hence, it is likely that a wholesale license will be required, especially in the case of a company with up to 35% foreign shareholding.
If you or someone you know would like to get help in getting a liquor license or finding a partner, please contact us at Myanmar Business Answers.