YANGON, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar has allowed its citizens holding foreign exchange account to import cars freely with at least 2007 model and above except passenger buses regardless of left-hand or right-hand steering, official media reported Tuesday.
Their accounts shall be opened with the state-run Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank (MFTB) or the Myanmar Investment and Commercial Bank (MICB), the Car Import Supervisory Committee was quoted by the New Light of Myanmar as saying.
Similarly, taxis with 2007 model and above are also granted for import with the endorsement of region or state governments, said Minister of Commerce U Win Myint, who is head of the committee.
As for passenger buses, vehicles manufactured between 1996 and 2006 can be imported if car owners surrender their old buses in exchange for permits to buy the prescribed ones, but for the case of importing totally brand new passenger buses, permission will be given to import 2007 model and above ones with left-hand steering only, he added.
According to U Win Myint, Myanmar is taking step-by-step measures to enable the public to buy cars freely from car showrooms or through importation.
Since September 2011, Myanmar has laid down a program to substitute private-owned vehicles of more than four decades of age with new ones, canceling the validity of such registered vehicles which amounted to about 55,000.
Permits are being issued to such old vehicle owners to purchase new models not earlier than 1995 on surrender of their old ones.
According to the Department of Road Transport Administration, there is a total of 2.3 million registered motor vehicles in Myanmar, of which 279,066 are passenger cars while 64,888 are trucks, 20,944 buses, 1.9 million motorcycles and 59,665 others.