Myanmar Bans MLM

In a bold move, Myanmar has banned MLM.

The Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on September 18 issued notification (46/2018) which prohibits multi-level marketing (MLM) businesses in Myanmar. The ban will take effect immediately.

Action will be taken against all MLM businesses found to still be in operation after the date of the issued notification, under the Essential Supplies and Service Law. The law states that those found to be in violation of the regulations could be punished with a minimum of six months up to a maximum of three years in jail. There will also be a fine not exceeding K500,000.

The department had received many complaints about MLM. They could do nothing because they had not received an order to deal with these complaints. Now the Consumer Affairs Department has been tasked with doing it. The department will take legal action against MLM when it receives complaints.

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Consumers can lodge their complaints to the department via and phone contacts provided.

Ko Zin Zay Lwin who monitors and criticizes the MLM businesses said: “In my opinion, many people have to suffer losses for a decade due to MLM. The MLM is still rampant in some regions and states. The issuance of statement is a good idea.”

People who buy goods sold by MLM companies suffer at least 80 per cent in losses. In practice, consumers are not OK, he added.

MLM companies may change their names due to the statement by The Consumer Affairs Department. Some MLM companies use the name of direct selling to hide who they are when MLM businesses are notorious. The authority needs to release orders and follow-up on news in order to give full protection to people and let them thoroughly understand what MLM is. It also needs to educate people about it in the long-term.

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More and more countries are standing up to MLM companies that wish to take advantage of consumers.