Burma - Country Commercial Guide
Import Requirements and Documentation

Includes import documentation and other requirements for both the U.S. exporter and foreign importer.

Last published date: 2022-07-28

Before the coup, the democratically elected administration adopted required trade liberalization policies.  The deposed government abolished license requirements for 593 imported products. 

From April 2021 onwards, the regime-led administration implemented a series of harsh import restrictions in an effort to stimulate the reopening of military-owned enterprises that the democratic civilian government previously prohibited.  More than 75 percent of all imported items have been restricted, from food and soft drinks to motorcycles and automobiles.   

From March 2022 onwards, items including edible food, unfinished goods, household items, carpets, fertilizers, and bicycle and motor vehicle spare parts were included in the list of goods that required import licenses, obtained through the regime’s Ministry of Commerce procedures.  

Businesses, including those selling American goods, must now fill out import license applications for every $50,000 worth of goods they sell in Burma.  Given the unclear decision-making procedures by customs officials and the Ministry’s trade department, the regulations remain ambiguous and lead to corruption. The approval process can take up to several months due to opaque internal processes.  

As the laws and regulations governing imports are highly complex and constantly evolving, most importers rely on professional experts such as freight forwarders and customs brokers to plan and carry out import transactions.