London Cigarette Company to be inspected for legal breach

British American Tobacco Myanmar Ltd, which manufactures and distributes London cigarettes in Myanmar, is under inspection by respective authorities for its alleged breach of export rules, according to government officials.

It is one of the cigarette companies approved by the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) and so is required to abide by the 1/2013 notification of the MIC, which says “90 percent of their total production output must be exported.” This means that, if 10 packs are sold locally, 90 packs must be exported.

The cigarette company, however, had not yet applied its export licence by last Thursday (March 20), according to the commerce ministry.

“No licence has been issued under the name of British American Tobacco Myanmar Ltd or of London,” said an official from the commerce ministry.

Meanwhile, a local journal has reported that the company has obtained revenue stamps for 114,000 cartons of cigarettes to sell locally. If the company had actually sold out 114,000 cartons, then they must have exported more than 1 million cartons. (A carton of cigarettes contains 500 packs.)

“This fiscal year ends on March 31. According to the law, 90 percent of the output must be exported. Customs records and accounts from the ministry of commerce and respective departments will be compared to audit. If there is something against the rules, we will take action against them,” said an MIC official.

Since the new government came into power in 2011, at least two cigarette companies and seven alcohol companies have received approval to run businesses. British American Tobacco Myanmar Ltd received its approval from the previous government.

Source: ELEVEN Myanmar

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