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Regulations for operating a car dealership in Myanmar

The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) has just issued notification 24/2021 on 8 March 2021, their latest import regulations for the import of vehicles by car showrooms. This is an annual occurrence with the MOC updating the import requirements every year.

In Myanmar, a car showroom refers to a new car dealership, which are normally branded dealerships which must also included workshops able to provide after sale services as well as be appointed by the car manufacturer as an official dealership. These can be operated by a foreign investor through a joint venture with Myanmar partner.

Car sales centres are re-sellers of cars who are not appointed as distributors for a specific brand and are permitted to sell second hand as well as new cars. These will often not have a workshop and not be required to provide an after-sale service. Foreign investors are restricted from operating a car sales centre.

Some of the conditions for being permitted to operate a car show room include:

  • the car showroom must be appointed as an official distributor by the vehicle manufacturer

  • only brand-new left-hand drive vehicles may be imported

  • the distributor must make a bank deposit of MMK100,000,000 (approx. USD USD65,000)

  • a tax clearance certificate issued by the Internal Revenue Department needs to be provided, proving that there is no outstanding tax liability

  • vehicles must be imported on a consignment basis, paid through a letter of credit or through a telegraphic transfer

  • the import period and quantity being imported needs to be approved by the MOC

  • every showroom must be approved by the MOC

  • cars can only be driven on roads after being sold

  • local government approval for setting up the car showroom must be obtained

  • vehicles may only be stored in the same state or region where the showroom is located

  • the licence to operate a showroom in non-transferable

  • local registration of the vehicles must be complete within 2 years of import

What is new?

Regulations on operating car showrooms are updated on an annual basis. The requirements for 2021 are similar to those in previous years, the key differences are as follows:

  • a specific requirement to obtain a tax clearance from the Internal Revenue Department

  • the minimum bank deposit has increased from MMK50,000,000 to MMK100,000,000

  • a clause specifying that the deposit can be returned after vehicles are sold and the ceasing of business operations. Why this was no longer included in unclear

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