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Myanmar Customs Department

To enhance trade facilitation through simplification of Customs procedures, without adversely effecting customs objectives to monitor the legitimate traffic of goods and to maintain power collection of revenue, the Customs department examines and monitors importation and exportation of goods, examines passengers and their baggage entering or leaving Myanmar; assesses and levies duties enforces and provisions of the Sea Customs Act, Land Customs Act, Tariff Act and other related Acts and combats commercial fraud. Customs duties collected by the Customs department account for around 20 per cent of total tax revenue.

The Customs department has seven divisions, namely:

(1) Import Export division
(2) Preventive division
(3) Outstation division
(4) Investigation division
(5) Administration division
(6) Finance and Inspection division
(7) Supply and Transport division

The Director General is the chief executive officer of the Customs department.

Customs Clearance Procedures for Export Import

The Tariff Law was enacted on March 12, 1992 with a view to assisting the market economic system in order to facilitate external trade. In accordance with the Law, a notification was issued to regulate the classification of imported goods and assessment of duties for modernisation and standardisation, in line with international practice, the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System ( H.S) was introduced in April 1992.

Current Deposit Account

The exporters, importers and Joint Venture cooperation can open current deposit accounts in the Customs department. The custom duties and other taxes levied on their imports or export can be deducted from these accounts.

Duty Exemption

In the interest of the State, the Minister for Finance and Revenue may, by notification exempt partially or wholly from levy of customs duties in respect of any of the following cases:

(a) Nature and type of goods exported from Myanmar or imported into Myanmar
(b) Nature and type of goods exported from Myanmar or imported into Myanmar by any government department
or any organization.

Valuation System

The basic principle of the present national valuation system is that the real value is taken to be the normal price or import value of goods at the time and place of importation. It presupposes that the sale has taken place in the open market between independent buyer and seller.

Being one of the original signatories of both GATT and WTO, Myanmar shall inevitably have to apply the Customs Valuation method prescribed in GATT article VII in due course and has taken measure to do so. The Myanmar Customs has made use of the Special and Preferential Treatment offered to developing countries in GATT Article VII of 1994, to exercise delay application of the GATT code until the year 2000.

Customs Tariff

The maximum tariff rate is 40% and the minimum is 0%. Customs tariff rates on imports of machinery, spare parts and inputs, generally range from 0.5% to 3%. Export duty is levied only on five categories. The rates applicable are K.10 per metric ton for rice and flour, 10 per cent advalorem for bamboo and 5 per cent advalorem for rice bran, rice dust, raw hides and skins, oil cakes, pulses and cereals, other than rice and rice products.

International Role of Myanmar Customs

Myanmar is one of the original members of both GATT (General Agreement on Tariff and Trade) and WTO (World Trade Organization).

The Myanmar Customs became the 109th member of WCO (Myanmar Customs organization) on March 25, 1991 and also became a contracting party to the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodities Description and Coding System on November 21, 1994. this convention has entered into force in Myamar since January 1, 1995.

As member of the World Trade Organization as well as the World Customs Organization, the Myanmar Customs has made every effort in complying with international trade regulations and in applying and enforcing Customs Laws while facilitating trade. The Myanmar Customs has been actively participating in international meetings and seminars. Since Myanmar has become a member of the ASEAN on July 23, 1997, Myanmar has entered into the ASEAN Agreement on Customs. Myanmar has been participating in customs cooperation programmes in ASEAN especially to promote closer links between the ASEAN customs fraternity, to enhance regional cooperation, efficiency and uniformity in customs practices in ASEAN, and to enhance the capabilities of ASEAN customs administrations. Aiming at establishing the ASEAN Free trade Area, Myanmar has joined other ASEAN members in implementing the Common Effective Preferential Tariff Scheme (CEPT). In doing so, steps are being taken to gradually reduce tariffs to the range between 0% and 5% within ten years time. Myanmar Customs Valuation System will be in line with the GATT Valuation System in the future. Regarding the Classification System, Myanmar will commence the ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature in the year 2000. However, most of the Myanmar Customs Procedures are in consonant with the Standard Practice and Recommended Practice of Kyoto Convention.

Computerization

The Myanmar Customs Administration recognizes the value of information technology in facilitating customs procedures to promote trade efficiency and has already streamlined its organizational structure and management for computerization. The first automated data processing system was introduced on April 1, 1995 by installing a Local Area Network (LAN) at Yangon Headquarters. As a preliminary stage, this LAN network is currently used for compilation of Import/Export Trade Statistics and duty calculations.

The main objective is to establish a Customs Database at the final stage for Data sharing and communication with other Customs related trade communities.

At present, information data collected from Customs Declaration Forms are fed through input terminals placed at Customs Headquarters and transferred into the main frame unit installed at Central Statistical Organization for compilation of Balance of Foreign Trade Statistics.


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