Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Electronic import-export licensing system to launch in June


An online platform for import and export licences is expected to go live on June 7, helping to streamline approvals, cut costs and reduce opportunities for agents to sell counterfeit documents, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

The system will initially be limited to trade in products that do not also need approval from other ministries, such as textiles, said U Min Min, deputy director in the Trade Development Department.

Companies applying for licences through the new website will need to have a bank account, and can fill out the application form and pay fees online, before printing out their licences.

“Companies are often unable to travel to our offices in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw. They have to pay agents to get a license, which is expensive,” said U Min Min.

“Now applicants can meet the ministry directly online, and agents will not be able to sell imitation documents. If the applicants fill out their forms correctly they will be able to get a licence within 10 minutes.”

This is the ministry’s second attempt to set up an online platform; its first attempt failed because it created additional work for traders, who were still required to visit the ministry in person to pick up their licences.

Companies hoping to import products that could be harmful to public health or to the environment will still need to meet a ministry official face-to-face, said U Min Min.

“Anyone who wants to import food, medicines, live animals or insects cannot apply for a licence online,” he said.

The Customs Department is also setting up its own online platform which is likely to be finished this November.

Translation by Khine Thazin Han