Stay up to date with legal developments in Myanmar.
On 7 June 2016, the Union Government of Myanmar issued Notification No.43/2016, which constituted the new Myanmar Investment Commission (“MIC”). This is a welcome move, given that the status of MIC has been uncertain following the recent change in Government.
On 17 May 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control amended the “Burmese Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 537” (“BSR”), and updated the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (“SDN”) List. While the primary sanctions prohibiting U.S. persons from dealing with “blocked persons”, including persons on the SDN list (as well as any entity owned in the aggregate, directly or indirectly, 50% or more by one or more such persons, commonly known as 50% rule) still remain, the amendments to the BSR support trade and facilitate the movement of goods within Myanmar to a greater extent. For example, the amendment now permits U.S. persons residing in Myanmar to conduct a wider range of transactions, and allow most transactions with Myanmar financial institutions.
Changes to the list of restricted economic activities under the Myanmar Foreign Investment Law were recently announced by the Myanmar Investment Commission ("MIC"), in the form of MIC Notification No. 26/2016 dated 21 March 2016 ("Notification No.26/2016"). These changes are brought in more than 18 months after the release of the previous notification on foreign ownership restrictions, being Notification No. 49/2014 dated 14 August 2014 ("Notification No. 49/2014"). Notification No. 26/2016 retains the framework previously set out in Notification No. 49/2014, but now provides for further liberalisation and re-calibration of foreign investment policy towards certain business activities, as well as additional prohibitions and restrictions in respect of certain business activities.