Burma - Country Commercial Guide
Standards for Trade

Describes standards, identifies the national standards, accreditation bodies, and lists the national testing organization(s) and conformity assessment bodies.

Last published date: 2019-10-13

Overview
Myanmar is progressively looking outward and supports the multilateral trading system (MTS).  An open global trading system, including access to export markets and inward flows of FDI will enhance Myanmar’s economic development.  The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) oversees trade and enhances Myanmar’s economic reform by encouraging private sector participation, promoting international trade activities and setting policies, rules and regulations.  Under the umbrella of the MOC, the Department of Trade, the Department of Consumer Affairs and the Myanmar Trade Promotion Organization have formed five policy objectives: free market policy making, using ICT to promote exports and trade, promoting regional cooperation to enhance trade activities, upgrading overall trade environment and maintaining price stability to ensure a favorable trade sector.

The English translation of the Law on Standardization of 2014 can be accessed at Myanmar’s Standards for Trade webpage: https://myanmarstandards.org.mm.  Technical regulations exist in many sectors. Myanmar’s extensive black market, filled with counterfeit or unregistered products (notably pharmaceuticals and motor vehicles) that are imported illegally from neighboring countries, exacerbates the problem of regulatory enforcement.

Myanmar became a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1957, withdrew in 1965, and on July 1, 2005, rejoined as a corresponding member.  Myanmar’s trade policy is strongly influenced by its participation in ASEAN, where it  participates in the ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality and is a signatory to various ASEAN agreements on standards and regulatory harmonization.

Standards
The Law on Standardization can be found at https://myanmarstandards.org.mm/law .
Responsibility for drafting and enforcing various technical regulations rests with myriad government departments, although it should be noted that government agencies responsible for setting and enforcing standards are generally underfunded and inefficient.  The primary organizations that set and enforce technical regulations are:

  • Inland Water Transport Department (under the Ministry of Transport and Communications) sets and enforces standards for water vehicle safety and operation (spot checked).
  • Myanmar Engineers Association, which has some private sector membership, is working on establishing building codes and standards (though they do not yet exist comprehensively).
  • Road Transport Administration Department (under the Ministry of Transport and Communications) sets and enforces standards for motor vehicle safety and emissions (checked annually).
  • The Department of Research and Innovation (DRI) (under the Ministry of Education) maintains a standards library with national and international standards references and is the designated contact point for standardization issues.
  • The Ministry of Health’s Food and Drug Board of Authority (FDBA), oversees the national Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its provincial and township affiliates.  The FDBA and FDA are responsible for promulgating and enforcing regulations and standards in the food and pharmaceutical industries (including imports).
  • The Ministry of Health’s Public Health Department, in cooperation with various city governments (or “Development Committees”), is responsible for licensing and enforcing hygiene standards at restaurants and street stalls.
  • The Timber Certification Committee of Myanmar (TCCM) is the national governing body to monitor timber certification and distribute Myanmar timber to the international market.
  • The Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC), Yangon’s municipal government, is responsible for establishing weights and measures used countrywide and for enforcing violations of metrology standards.

Testing, inspection and certification    
Publication of technical regulations
Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are required under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) to notify to the WTO proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures that could affect trade.  Notify U.S. (www.nist.gov/notifyus) is a free, web-based e-mail registration service that captures and makes available for review and comment key information on draft regulations and conformity assessment procedures.  Users receive customized e-mail alerts when new notifications are added by selected country/ies and industry sector(s) of interest, and can also request full texts of regulations.  This service and its associated website are managed and operated by the USA WTO TBT Inquiry Point housed within the National Institute of Standards and Technology, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.”

Contact Information
Dr. Zar Ni Aung
Director of National Standards and Quality Department (NSQD)
Department of Research and Innovation (DRI)
Ministry of Education
No. 6, Kabar Aye Pagoda Road, Mayangone Township, Yangon, Myanmar
Phone: +95 1 664817
Fax: 067-668033
Email: znaung579@gmail.com