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Stamp Duty Update: New developments and planning for banking and finance

A new internal circular of the Internal Revenue Department dated 30 November 2015 (“the Circular”) raises questions about a possible 1.5% duty impost on a wide range of financing and security documents such as loans, term loans, guarantees and mortgages.

The Circular puts into question the existing prevailing practice of paying only small nominal amounts on certain loan instruments, and receiving assessments of 150,000 MMK for others. Instead, is it the IRD’s view that now 1.5% on the loan amount will apply in all cases?

VDB Loi’s Edwin Vanderbruggen, Jean Loi and U Myo Win take an in-depth look at the stamp duty questions in connection with loans, facility agreements, guarantees, mortgages, pledges, assignments and other banking documents. Which duty rates are the offices accepting now in practice? Edwin also presents his interpretation of the Stamp Act and his policy proposal on the subject, which permits lenders and borrowers to use reasonable stamp rates while staying within the existing law.


  • The new IRD Circular dated 30 November 2015: which loans, mortgages and pledges are now stamped at 1.5%?
  • What is the new IRD position for guarantee agreements?
  • What has been the practice to date for loan agreements by IRD and township offices?
  • Which instruments are outside the scope of the new Circular?
  • How can a mortgage or an assignment of immovable property be stamped without triggering high duties?
  • Special situations: convertible loans, loans in the context of joint ventures, options, facilities
  • Is stamp duty due again in case of an additional financing or an additional lender?
  • How should you draft your instruments to avoid unnecessary high stamp duties?

This seminar will be offered in English. The seminar will be held in the morning from 9.00am – 12.00pm.

Registration fee is 100,000 MMK per person (includes Commercial Tax). Reduced to 50,000 for each additional person. Fees are payable at our office (Level 8, Centrepoint Towers, No. 65 Sule Pagoda Road & Merchant Street, Kyauktada Township) at the latest by 8 March 2016. Seats are limited. We regret that invitations are not transferable. Venue confirmation will be sent at a later date.

To reserve a seat or request an invitation for a colleague, contact Mar Lar Thin at [email protected] or on +95 9250364580


Edwin Vanderbruggen
Senior Partner

Edwin is the senior partner of VDB Loi and a leading foreign legal advisor living in Myanmar since 2012. A frequent advisor to the Government on transactions and privatizations in energy, transportation and telecom, he is widely recognized for his “vast knowledge” (Legal 500) and his ability “to get difficult things through the bureaucracy ” (Chambers, 2016). He advises international financial institutions on their largest Myanmar transactions, oil and gas supermajors, a greenfield multi- billion US$ telecom project and the Japanese Government on the Thilawa SEZ. He assisted two newly licensed foreign banks setup in Myanmar, acted for the sponsor of an 800MUS$ urban infrastructure PPP project and worked on 6 out of 7 power deals inked in 2016.

Jean Loi
Managing Partner

Jean is one of the region’s most experienced tax and regulatory specialists with more than 12 years of experience in Indochina, Myanmar and Singapore. She has advised on a large number of project transactions and tax disputes in the specialties of structuring, power plant projects and oil & gas. As the managing partner of VDB Loi, Jean has extensive experience with projects related to the market entries of companies in the infrastructure, telecommunications and financial services industries in the region, as well as with supply chains. She lives in Yangon.

Myo Win
Senior Legal Associate

Myo Win is a Myanmar qualified higher grade pleader, legally trained in Myanmar and in France, where he completed master degrees in international and human rights law. As a litigator, he represents our clients in Myanmar courts on a wide range of commercial and criminal disputes.


March 11, 2016
9.00am - 12.00pm