On 23 August 2023, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued the first Determination Pursuant to Section 1(a)(i) of Executive Order 14014, which extends the application of section 1(a)(i) of EO 14014 to the jet fuel sector of the Burmese economy. On the same day, OFAC also published two related Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ 1132 and FAQ 1133.
The Ministry of Planning and Finance issued the Customs Rules relating to Protection of Trade Mark Rights (Notification No. 50/2023) (“Customs Rules”), which took effect from 14 July 2023.
The Customs Rules set out the requirements and procedure with respect to the recordal of trade mark rights with the Myanmar Customs, as well as the suspension order against the release of counterfeit goods depicting unauthorized marks into free circulation.
On 30 August 2022, the Indonesian House of Representatives agreed to pass a law ratifying the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the largest regional free trade agreement outside the World Trade Organization — involving 10 ASEAN countries and five non-ASEAN countries, i.e., China, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and South Korea. With the passing of this law, which still requires promulgation by the President, RCEP is set to come into force for Indonesia, possibly before the end of the year.
On March 24, Canada amended its sanctions measures imposed on Myanmar by designating an additional 4 individuals and 2 entities. The Canadian Government indicated that these new sanctions are intended to target arms flows, individuals and entities who procure and supply arms and military equipment to Myanmar. These new measures were developed in coordination with the United Kingdom and United States.
On 26 January 2022, the US Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, Labor, Homeland Security and the Office of the US Trade Representative issued a joint advisory that highlights certain supply chain-related risks for companies whose business and supply chains may touch Burma/Myanmar.
The revised draft Cyber Security Law released by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC) on 13 January 2022 (“Draft Law 2.0”) sets out certain requirements on a digital platform service provider (DPSP). Failure to comply with the requirements could result in a fine, suspension of the relevant digital platform service (DPS) or revocation of any existing license held by the DPSP. Additionally, the MOTC may act in the public interest and shut down any DPS in Myanmar. These provisions under the Draft Law 2.0, if enacted, may have a material impact on international digital platform operators with a substantial user base in Myanmar.
The revised draft Cyber Security Law released by the Ministry of Transport and Communications on 13 January 2022 appears to impose a broad prohibition on the use of virtual private networks in Myanmar unless specific permission is granted by the MOTC. The Draft Law 2.0 does not distinguish the use of VPN between consumers and businesses; any person found guilty of the offense shall be punishable by imprisonment of a minimum of one year to a maximum of three years or a fine not exceeding MMK 5 million (approximately USD 2,500) or both.
In December 2019, Myanmar’s first Anti-dumping Law (“ADL“) was passed by the Assembly of the Union of Myanmar (Pyidaungsu Hluttaw), marking the introduction of a legal framework for the imposition of anti-dumping measures in Myanmar for the first time. Although Myanmar has been a member of the World Trade Organization (“WTO“) since 1995, Myanmar did not have a national anti-dumping law until the passing of the ADL. The new legislation is expected to enter into force on 1 July 2021.
On 21 June 2021, the UK and EU both announced further sanctions targeting individuals and entities linked to Myanmar’s military regime.
The EU announced that it was imposing sanctions against an additional 8 individuals, 3 economic entities (Myanmar Gems Enterprise; Myanmar Timber Enterprise; and Forest Products Joint Venture Corporation Limited) and the War Veterans Organisation.
On 17 May 2021, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued an additional round of sanctions pursuant to Executive Order 14014 “Blocking Property with Respect to the Situation in Burma.” This client alert discusses some of the legal implications of the latest round of measures and their impact on businesses’ day-to-day operations in the country, including their dealings with ministries or government agencies that are headed by an SDN.