Myanmar Doing Business

Trading Across Borders

At a Glance : Trading across Borders

2019 Ranking: 168

2019 Distance to Frontier Score*: 47.67 (unchanged from DB2018)

Regional Average (East Asia Pacific): 71.55

More information on Myanmar’s performance in Trading Across Borders -Click Here

* The distance to frontier (DTF) measure shows the distance of each economy to the “fron-tier,” which represents the best performance observed on each of the indicators across all economies in the Doing Business sample since 2005. An economy’s distance to frontier is reflected on a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 represents the lowest performance and 100 rep-resents the frontier. The ease of doing business ranking ranges from 1 to 190. (Source; World Bank)

What it measures

Time and cost to export the product of comparative advantage and import auto parts

Why does it matter?

Simplification and harmonisation of international trade procedures.

  • Access to international markets: economies of scale. 
  • Economic growth - poverty reduction.
  • Participation in global supply chains. 
  • Transfer of know-how.
  • Positive impact of single windows and digitalisation on growth and increasing trade flows (WTO2013, Bali agreement; Sá Porto, Morini and Canuto 2015)

Administrative and regulatory trade frameworks.

Administrative and regulatory trade frameworks are necessary for safety and consumer protection, but vary in efficiency from economy to economy.

Note : DB Trade indicator captures efficiency through time and cost.

  • Only marginal costs of trading internationally are considered, not fixed (entry) costs.
  • Time is recorded in hours to account for electronic platforms and single windows.

Time and Cost

Indicator Border/ Port As recorded by the Doing Business2019 report Regional Average (East Asia Pacific)
Time to export: Border compliance (hours) Yangon 142 54.7
Cost to export: Border compliance (USD)   432 382.2
Time to export: Documentary compliance (hours)   144 57.6
Cost to export: Documentary compliance (USD)   140 109.4
Time to import: Border compliance (hours)   230 69.2
Cost to import: Border compliance (USD)   457 415.8
Time to import: Documentary compliance (hours)   48 57
Time to import: Documentary compliance (hours)   210 109.5



Characteristics Export Import
Product HS 07 : Edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers HS 8708: Parts and accessories of motor vehicles
Trade Partner India China
Border Yangon Port Yangon Port
Distance (km) 12 12
Domestic transport time (hours) 5 5
Domestic transport cost (USD) 200 200


Components of Border Compliance

Procedure Time to complete (hours) (as recorded in the Doing Business2019 report) Associated costs (hours) (as recorded in the Doing Business2019 report)
Export: Clearance and inspections required by customs authorities (at ports) (Inspection time will depend on Cargo description)  60 minutes  
Export: Clearance and inspections required by customs Authorities (at Airport) (Inspection time will depend on cargo description)  30 minutes  
Export: Border handling  48 minutes  
Import: Clearance and inspections required by customs authorities (at ports) (Inspection time will depend on Cargo description)  20 ~ 60 minutes  
Import: Clearance and inspections required by customs Authorities (at Airport) (Inspection time will depend on cargo description)  30 minutes  
Import: Border handling  120 minutes  


Trade Documents Required

Export Import
Customs Export Declaration  Bill of Lading
Phyto sanitary  Certificate SAD delivery order
Export Licence Customs import declaration
Commercial Invoice Commercial Invoice
Packing List Packing List
Sales Contract Cargo release order
Shipping Instruction Terminal handling receipts
  Technical standard/health certificate
Payment advice referring Inward Telegraphic Transfer Private No./Inward Telegraphic Transfer Government No  Certificate of Origin
OGA Recommendations  OGA Recommendations 


What has improved

In July 2015 the Ministry of Commerce announced the creation of a negative list for import licenses. With this announcement, around 5.600 products (HS Codes) out of a total of over 9,600 were automatically exempted from licenses. This resulted in annual cost compliance savings to business of USD 3.8 million for the period of 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016 
MACCS system was launched on November 12, 2016 in Yangon Area (including Thilawa SEZ) as a first step. Since MACCS system is fruitful in Yangon Area, it was extended to Myawaddy Border Trade Zone and it was materialize on June 5,2018. Myanmar Customs is considering to extend the outreach of MACCS System to  other border areas” to read “The Myanmar Automated Cargo Clearance System (MACCS) was launched on November 12, 2016 in Yangon (including Thilawa SEZ) as a first step. It was extended to the Myawaddy Border Trade Zone and on June 5,2018. Myanmar Customs is considering to extend MACCS System to  other border areas.
In 2017 the Ministry of Commerce launched the Myanmar Trade Portal Website, allowing traders to search by product, HS code etc. The MTP has just been revamped
On 8 February 2018 the Ministry of Commerce issued a notification reforming export licensing
  • Prior to this policy, Myanmar’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) imposed license requirements on about 80% of product lines (11,167 HS codes).
  • Under the new regime, 71% of products (those not on the negative list) can be exported without a licence.
  • Only 27% of vegetable products now need export licences, down from 76% previously. This simplifies the export requirements for HS 07 (Edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers, measured by Doing Business)


Action Plan

Action Item Timeline Status
Consider reducing number of documents required for import/export Short Term Customs has already relieved the phytosanitary Certificate for export according to the instruction no (27/2018) which was dated on 27.12.2018 
Consider instituting joint inspections wherever possible and examine other ways of reducing time taken for customs clearance and inspections Short Term At present, joint inspections are carried out by Customs and other competent authorities at border check points, Mayanchaung checkpoint and Yay Pu check point. 
Continue to simplify and automate procedures for import and export licenses
  • Form a technical working group to review and streamline issuance of non-automatic licenses (e.g., recommendation letters, mandatory inspection)
Medium Term Forming and Implementating of the procedure of Technical Working Group
Food & Drug Administration to notify Customs, the list of products that do not require health certificates for import or export  Medium Term Detailed Implementation Plan will be submitted later by FDA
Ensure that simplified border procedures for import agreed between the Myanmar Customs Department and the Myanmar Port Authority are fully implemented, and communicated to and followed by the private sector Medium Term [Update required]
Develop a strategy to streamline port procedures Medium Term This is and area which has greater potential to improve Myanmar's ranking in this indicator
Establish a one stop service (OSS) desk for non- automatic license applications Long Term The Department of Trade in the Ministry of Commerce is re-engineering the E-Trade Licensing System with the help of USAID. on completion, the E-Trade licensing system will connect with all line ministries and departments to allow  required recommendation letters for export/import licenses to be issued online
Ensure that MACCS is fully implanted and that it has a clear impact on the time taken to import or export Long Term
MACCS has been implemented in Yangon and Myawaddy, resulting in.
  • Reduced transaction time during declaration process.
  • Increased clarity about duties, taxes and requirements of Import/Export procedures.
  • Increased reliability of trade data
Streamline and automate the process of issuance for Phytosanitary Certificates and Health Certificates Long Term [Update required]
Develop a risk categorization system for Sanitary and Phytosanitary which is connected to MOC and Customs’ clearance systems Long Term Although Customs and other Government Agencies connect with MACCS system directly, it has not developed yet a risk categorization system for Sanitary and Phytosanitary. Related OGAs examine the import/export cargo that needs their approvals and customs proceed Customs Clearance Procedures according to OGAs approval or disapproval. After implementation of Myanmar National Single Window, National Single Window Steering Committee (NSWSC) will negotiate with related OGAs to implement Risk categorization system for e-SPS. 
Draft a new Customs Law to replace the current Sea Customs Act and Land Customs Act Long Term New Customs Law is being drafted.
Enact a comprehensive new trade law in Myanmar Long Term MOC has consulted with trade related department on trade law (draft). And then MOC will consult with other stakeholders on draft next month
Continue the implementation of the National Single Window Long Term In Myanmar, the Blueprint for Myanmar National Single Window has been implementing with the aid of World Bank. After drawing Blueprint, it will be proposed to the State Level and continued for the implementation of Blueprint procedures. 
Coordinate and monitor implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO-TFA) Long Term Categories A,B and C have been notified to WTO and indicative dates for Categories B and C will be approved at the third NTFC Meeting. 


Lead Person

Director General of the Department of Trade, Ministry of Commerce,

U Minn Minn

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