Ministry of Commerce institutes mandatory e-commerce registrationSeptember 5, 2023
The Ministry of Commerce (“MOC”) has now classified e-commerce, defined as the practice of selling goods or services through an online consumer platform on the internet, as an essential service under Section 4(c) of the Essential Supplies and Services Law via Notification No. 50/2023 dated 21 July 2023. Coupled with this, the MOC issued an e-commerce registration order via Notification No. 51/2023 (“Notification 51”) dated 21 July 2023, which requires individuals, companies, and business organizations engaging in e-commerce to obtain a registration certificate from the Department of Trade (“DOT”).
In addition to their corporate documents, applicants must provide the following:
- A list of the goods or services being sold
- The necessary government licenses or permits for the goods or services being sold
- Recommendation letter from the relevant government authority or ward or village tract administrator validating the location of the business
To apply for a registration certificate, applicants must submit the required forms and documents via the online e-commerce registration system, which is still under development by the DOT but is expected to launch sometime around the end of October 2023.
Validity of the certificate
The DOT will issue an online registration certificate that will be valid for two years and is renewable. To renew the certificate, the holder must apply at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the certificate. If renewal is not done on time, the registration certificate will be revoked automatically.
Punishment for failing to register within six months from the issue date of Notification 51, i.e. by 21 January 2024, is imprisonment for from six months to three years and a fine of up to MMK500,000.
The MOC is still developing the online e-commerce registration system as well as finalizing the registration fees, prescribed forms, and registration process, details of which are not expected to be announced for at least one to two months. Thus, although the MOC has set the deadline for registration and the penalty for failure to do so, we expect that if the registration system is not ready by the end of October 2023, the MOC may extend the allowed registration period. However, we urge businesses to begin to gather the information required as outlined above to be read to apply once the system goes live.