Myanmar Doing Business

Trading Across Borders

At a Glance : Trading across Borders

2020 Ranking: 168

2020 Distance to Frontier Score*: 47.7 (unchanged from DB2019)

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 Business2020 report Regional Average (East Asia Pacific)
Time to export: Border compliance (hours) Yangon 142 57.5
Cost to export: Border compliance (USD)   432 381.1
Time to export: Documentary compliance (hours)   144 55.6
Cost to export: Documentary compliance (USD)   140 109.4
Time to import: Border compliance (hours)   230 68.4
Cost to import: Border compliance (USD)   457 422.8
Time to import: Documentary compliance (hours)   48 53.7
Time to import: Documentary compliance (hours)   210 108.4



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 Business2020 report) Associated costs (hours) (as recorded in the Doing Business2020 report)
Export: Clearance and inspections required by customs authorities (at ports) (Inspection time will depend on Cargo description)  11.0 195.0
Export: Clearance and inspections required by customs Authorities (at Airport) (Inspection time will depend on cargo description)  96.0 65.0
Export: Border handling  48.0 171.7
Import: Clearance and inspections required by customs authorities (at ports) (Inspection time will depend on Cargo description)  110.0 285.0
Import: Clearance and inspections required by customs Authorities (at Airport) (Inspection time will depend on cargo description)  0.0 0.0
Import: Border handling  120.0 171.7


Trade Documents Required

Export Import
Customs Export Declaration  Bill of Lading
Bill of Lading 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
Letter of Credit or General Remittance Exemption Certificate Technical standard/health certificate
Payment advice referring Inward Telegraphic Transfer Private No./Inward Telegraphic Transfer Government No  Certificate of Origin
OGA Recommendations  OGA Recommendations 
Phyto sanitary  Certificate  
Certificate of Origin  


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
Examine the written response from the World Bank Doing Business team to Myanmar DB2021 submission when this becomes available.   Plan and initiate any necessary actions arising from that response. Short Term  
Continue to simplify procedures for export licenses (and import licenses later); and expand the negative list Short Term

Gradually, the negative list is being implemented for exports. For exports of textiles and garments, there is no need for export license (since 2013). For imports of auto parts, the import license can be obtained online. There is mixed usage for HS codes. There is a plan to liberalize all the licenses for exports.

Verify with MGMA that there is no certificate or document required for exports of textile
Short Term  
Prepare a study on the time and cost required for documentary compliance and border compliance Short Term


Streamline documents required for import and export Short Term Valuation report for imports of auto parts is not required as a preliminary step for the inspection. It will be important to assess the efficiency gain.
Prepare a document on mapping procedures with time and cost for each step for export of garment to Japan and import of car spare parts from Myanmar with justifications. Short Term Each and Every Department involved in trade supply chain should cooperate for this reform recommendation. The sample format and technical assistance will be needed to implement.

Amend Myanmar DB website accordingly

Short Term


Streamline the issuance of certificate origin

Medium Term

Among (7) FTAs, ASEAN-Korea, ASEAN-Australia, New Zealand and ASEAN-Hong Kong FTAs are allowed to use electronic signatures and stamps on CO Forms. Now, Moc is initiating to apply electronic signatures and stamps on CO Forms which are allowed to use electronically applied signatures and stamps.

Conduct inspections at the warehouse for the auto-parts instead of inspection at the port Medium Term The Notification (33/2019) has been issued by Customs Department. It is mentioned that the auto parts importation by mean of SKD/CKD inspection are conducted at the warehouse instead of at the port. It is now applied by most of importers.
Urgently review the risk-based system and selectivity for customs inspections and prepare the statistics accordingly. Medium Term

Exports of textiles go through the yellow channel. Imports of auto-parts go through the red channel (physical inspections).There is a project to review the selectivity criteria. 

MACCS system upgrade Medium Term MACCS system has been upgraded since June 21,2020. In order to change the format of IE Code in MACCS System tem to Tin No, migration is conducted. MACCS System will be extended to Muse in January 2021
Continue the clearance process to be smooth and simplified for import and export cargo Medium Term  
Fully implement Trade net 2.0 System Medium Term  
Fully implement National Single Window System( NSW)
Long Term The World Bank has provided assistance to prepare a NSW blueprint
Dematerialize the customs clearance process – with no paper involved at any stage Long Term  
Introduce electronic payment facilities Long Term  
Enact a comprehensive new framework trade law to regulate trade in Myanmar Long Term Ongoing public consultation
Update customs legislation through a new consolidated Customs Act and align procedures in customs valuation and risk management for cargo inspection. Long Term  


Lead Person

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

U Minn Minn

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