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Printers and Publishers Registration Act

Socialist Republic of the Union of Myanmar
1962 Printers and Publishers Registration Law
(Law No. 1 amended by the Revolut ionary Council of the Union of
Myanmar, 1971)

[unofficial translation]

The following law is enacted by the Chairman of the Revolutionary
Council of the Union of Myanmar:

Part I
Introduction
1. Name and start date of validity.

(1) This law shall be known as the 1962 Printers and Publishers Registration
Law.

(2) This law shall come into force with effe ct from the date designated by order of
the Government of the Revolutionary Council of the Union of Myanmar.

2. Explanation of the wording of this law

Lest there be any contradicti on, be it in the subject matter or in explanation of any
aspect of the wording of this law:
(a) The term “printed publishe d matter” besides including al l handwritten and printed
material shall also include handwritten material or printed material whether of the
same kind or not or a copy in entirety or nearly in entirety evident or visible in
form or in appearance or in some other way or whethe r this be apparent in the
words or the thinking
(b) The terms “article, journal, magazine” refer to some printed published matter
issued at regular intervals, whether or not the intervals are regular or not, whether
in installments or as a serial
(c) The term “book”, besides incl uding any book published in any language or part of
a book or essay or leaflet, also incl udes forms of instrumental musical
accompaniment, maps, plans which are machine-printed on sheets/layers or on
stone or by other means.

(d) The term “newspaper” means any prin ted periodical work containing public
news or comments on public news.
(e) The term “press” includes a printing-press and all machin es, implements and plant

and parts thereof and all materials used for multiplying documents.
(f) The term “printing-press” includes all e ngines, machinery, types, lithographic
stones, implements, utensils and othe r plant or materials used for the purpose of
printing.
(g) The term “printer” includes an owner of the pr ess and printing-press mentioned in
the sub-paragraphs (e) and (f) and, in the case of multiple owners, the said
expression also includes, a partnership firm, a company and a family business or in
the case of other a ssociations or organizations, th e said expression includes a
managing shareholder, a managing chai rperson, a managing director, a secretary or
any responsible personnel.
(h) The term “publisher” includes a publishe r of newspaper, periodical, journal,
magazine, book and other printed matters and in the case of multiple owners, the
said expression also includes a partnership firm, a company and a family business or
in the case of other associations or organizations, the said expression includes a
managing shareholder, a managing chai rperson, a managing director, a secretary or
any responsible personnel.
(i) The term “prescribed” means prescrib ed by rules made under this Law.

Part 2

Printing presses and newspapers
3. (1) Persons in possession of a printing-press must register it.

(2) Obligations of persons who print or publish newspapers, articles,
journals or magazines

(3) If printers or publishers move the location of printing or publishing,
the place of registration must be newly designated and signed.

(4) A First grade criminal judge [=pathama yazawut-ta yathu-gyi] will determine
the procedure in any matter concerning signed authorisation for the various
procedures mentioned above.
4. (1) Authorisation for cessation from being a printer or publisher after
signed authorisation has been obtained.
Whatever provision may be made elsewh ere in this law, after any person has
signed an authorisation such as the one above , if the person should cease to operate as a
printer or publisher handling the newspaper, article, journal, magazine which is specified
in the authorisation, then the First Grade Criminal Judg e concerned can be approached to
prepare and sign three copies of the authorisation.
(2) The First Grade Criminal Judge must sign any action concerning the original
authorisation according to subsection (1).

Part 3

Central Registration Board and registration officials
5. (1) Formation of the central registration organisation
In order to carry out the matters and obligati ons set out in this, the government of the
Revolutionary Council of the Government of Myanmar will establish a Central
Registration Board under the Ministry of Internal Affairs as indicated.

(2) Appointment of registration officials
To enable the Ministry of In ternal Affairs to carry out more effectively the duties and
obligations in this la w, registration officials and other civil serv ants and officials for
Yangon and for other regions will be appointed as required.
(3) The authority, duties and obligati ons of registration officials
Without contradicting the enactments included in this law, registration officials will
discharge its duties and obligations using designated authority, obeying the supervisory
leadership of the Central Registration Board.

Part 4

Registration of printers and publishers
6. (1) Registration of printers and publishers
As enacted by other means in this law, according to paragraph Three, all printers and
publishers having made and signed an agreemen t must apply to have their own business
registered within the period of time specified accordin g to the method of application
designated by the appropriate registration official.
(2) No-one may engage in either printin g or publishing without a registration
certificate issued in accordance with this law in compliance with the rules or
requirements relating to the certificate.
7. Information to be subm itted with applications
Applications for registration according to this law must be submitted together
with the required records and information.
8. (1) Issuing of temporary re gistration certificates
When a printer or publisher applies to be registered, the appropriate registration
official may, after carrying out such investigations an d checks as the official deems
to be necessary, issue a temporary registration certificate.

(2) Submission of the app lication pertaining to the file to the Central
Registration Board
After the appropriate registration official has determined the objectives of the
printing or publishing ente rprise and carried out an assessment of whether the
information revealed in the applicati on information is correct or not, the
official will submit the file to the Ce ntral Registration Board, either with a
recommendation to issue a registration if the application is satisfactory, or
with a recommendation that registration should not be granted if the
application is not satisfactory.

(3) When the Central Registration Board receives the file submitted in

accordance with Subsection (2), then according to the opinion reached
after consideration, it may make instruction eith er that a registration
certificate should be issued, or that such a certificate should not be issued.

9. ( 1 ) The period of va lidity of a registration certificate
A registration certificate issu ed in accordance with this law remains valid within
the designated period of time.

(2) Period of va lidity of registration certificates issued be fore this law comes
into force
Registration certificates issued before this law comes into force under the
1959 Printers and Publishers (Registratio n) Act will cease to be valid on 14
October_1962. Registration certificates indicated in section (3), subsections
( 1 ) and (2) will have to be exchanged for new applications as specified.
10. Withdrawal of regi stration certificates
If after examination it is found that any printer or publisher has obtained a
registration certificate either with the intention of deception or enticement or with
dishonest intent, or has registered with th e plan of harming the ideology and views
Revolutionary Government of the Union of Myanmar or causing harm to the Union
of Myanmar, then that registration certificate will be withdrawn by the Central
Registration Board.

Exception: However, when the Central Registrati on Board takes action according to
the provision in this Section, the printer or publisher concerned will be allowed to
come forward to rebut the allegation.

Part 5
11. Books printed after this law has come in to force must be submitted free of
charge

(1) After this law has come into force, every time any book is printed or etched
[XXX?] in the Union of Myanmar, the printer must s ubmit it free of charge in
the specified way to the Central Registration Board in Yangon.
(2) The Central Registration Board in Yangon must pl an and manage its duties
with regard to books submitted to it under Su bsection (1) above.

12. Newspapers, articles, jo urnals and magazines printed in the Union of
Myanmar must be submitted free of charge
The printer of any newspapers, articles, journals or magazines printed in the Union of
Myanmar must submit the newspa per, article, journal or magazine in question free of
charge to the Central Registra tion Board in Yangon every time it is published, just as it
is being published.

Part 6

Registration of books
13. ( 1 ) Registration of files on books
Books printed in the Union of Myanmar must be recorded in the book called the ‘book
register’ at the Central Registration Board in Yangon. Any book and the record on it
submitted according to Section ( 1 1 ) must be registered in this book register. The record
of the book should include as much of the required information as possible.
(2) Issuing of book regi stration records
Notification of records regist ered within the period of time specified in the book
register must be issued as promptly as possible after the specified period of time has
elapsed.

Part 7
Newspapers, articles, journals, magazines, books or other published printed materials
published in contravention of the points enacted in this law
14.
(1) The authority to se ize and destroy newspapers, articles, journals, magazines,
books or other published printed materials p ublished in contravention of the points
enacted in this law
Upon finding any newspapers, articles, j ournals, magazines, books or other published
printed materials published in contravention of the points enacted in this law, any police
officers or others in whom the Revolutionary Government of the Union of Myanmar
has invested authority in this matter may seize the material in any place.
(2) Any Regional Criminal Judge or State Cr iminal Judge or a First Grade Criminal
Judge or a police officer not lower than the rank of Police Chief [XXX yeh ouq] can be
authorised to obtain a warrant to enter and search a place where newspapers, articles,
journals, magazines, books or other p ublished printed materials published in
contravention of the points enacted in this law are concealed or where it is suspected
they may be concealed. A police officer may seize the documents and records he finds
in that place if in his opinion they are newspapers, articles, journals, magazines, books
or other published printed materials published in contravention of the points enacted in
this law are concealed or where it is suspected they may be concealed.
(3) All documents and records seized accordin g to Subsection (1) must be submitted
immediately, as promptly as possible, to a Re gional Criminal Judge, to a State Criminal
Judge or to a First Grade Criminal Judge. All docume nts and records seized under
Subsection (2) must be submitted immediately, as promptly as possible to the Regional
Criminal Court or the State Criminal Cour t, or the First Grade Criminal Court who
issued the search warrant.
(4) If the Regional Criminal Judge or State Criminal Judge or First Grade Criminal
Judge, or the Regional Criminal Court or St ate Criminal Court or First Grade Criminal
Court considers such documents and records to be newspapers, articles, journals,
magazines, books or other published printed materials published in contra vention of the
points enacted in this law, then they may have them destroyed.

If the Regional Criminal Judge or State Criminal Judge or First Grade Criminal Judge,
or the Regional Criminal Court or State Cr iminal Court or First Grade Criminal Court

considers such documents and records not to be newspapers, articles, journals,
magazines, books or other pub lished printed materials published in contravention of the
points enacted in this law, then those docume nts and records are to be dealt with using
the methods set out in Articles 523, 524 and 525 of the Criminal Legal Code.
15. The printing press which printed news papers, articles, journals, magazines,
books or other published printed materials published in contravention of the
points enacted in this law may he seized and kept as treasury property

(1) If a Regional Crimin al Judge, State Criminal Ju dge or First Grade Criminal
Judge has reason to believe a particular printing press to be producing
newspapers, articles, journals, magazine s, books or other published printed
materials published in cont ravention of the points enac ted in this law within
the area under his jurisdiction, he ma y empower a police officer of rank no
lower than police chief to obtain a warran t to enter and search location of the
printing press, or the place suspected to be the location of the printing press.
If the police officer is of the opinion that any prin ting press found in such a
place is producing newspapers, articles, journals, magazines, books or other
published printed material s published in contravention of the points enacted
in this law or is used for the produc tion of newspapers, articles, journals,
magazines, books or other published printed materials published in
contravention of the points enacted in this law, then that police officer may
seize the printing press. Besides this, he may also seize files and documents if
he thinks they are newspa pers, articles, journals, ma gazines, books or other
published printed materials published in contraventio n of the points enacted
in this law.
(2) Besides submitting a report of any such search to the court which issued the
search warrant, the police o fficer must also submit all objects seized to that
court.
Exception: However, if a printing press which has been seized cannot easily be
moved, then the police officer may submit to the court only certain parts of the
press, as he deems appropriate.
(3) After the court has carried out the investigations it considers necessary, if it
considers that the printing press has been used to produce newspapers, articles,
journals, magazines, books or other pu blished printed materials published in
contravention of the points enacted in this law, it can order the press to be
confiscated as property of the state. If the court does not reach this conclusion after
carrying out the investigations it consider s necessary, then the printing press is to
be dealt with using the methods set out in Articles 523, 524 and 525 of the
Criminal Legal Code.
(4) Any documents and records brought before the court are to be dealt with
according to the provisions set ou t in Article 14, Subsection (4).

Part 8
Punishments
16. Punishments concerning Articles 3, 11 and 12.
Any person who fails to comp ly with the regulations set out in Articles 3, 11
and 12 or who contravenes them shall either be sentenced to a term of
imprisonment no longer than three years or required to pay a fine of no
more than two thousand kyat, or both.

17. The punishment for printing or publishing without registration as set out in
Article 6.
Any person who sets up printing enterprise or a publishing business before first
registering it according to the provisions in Article 6 shall either be sentenced to
a term of imprisonment no longer than thre e years or required to pay a fine of
no more than two thousand kyat, or both.
18. The punishment for providing false information
Any person who, either in securing approval or in making application according
to this law or according to bye-laws made accordin g to this law, provides
information which is false an d which that person knows or believes to be false,
or if that person has no belief that the information is true, then the person will
either be sentenced to a term of imprisonment no longer than three years or
required to pay a fine of no more than two thousand kyat, or both.

19. The punishment for continuing to opera te a business after a registration
certificate has been withdrawn
Any person who continues, after the registration certificate issued to him has
been withdrawn or after its period of validity has el apsed, to operate either a
printing business or a publishing business, shall either be sentenced to a term
of imprisonment no longer than three years. or required to pay a fine of no
more than two thousand kyat, or both.

20. The punishment for not complying with byelaws or intructions
Any person who fails to comply with or who contravenes a byelaw enacted
under this law or an instruction issued by a person authorised under this law
shall either be sentenced to a term of imprisonment no longer than three years
or required to pay a fine of no more than two thousand kyat, or both.

Note:
The State Law and Order Restoration Coun cil’s law making amendments to the
1962 Printers and Publishers Registration Act, concerning Articles 16, 17. 18, 19 and
20, is set out on Page 23.

Part 9
General
21. Appeals to the Minister of Internal Affairs against instructions issued
by the Central Registration Board
If not satisfied with any instruction issued by the Central Registration Board
in accordance with this law or any bye-law enacted from it a printer or
publisher may, in the desi gnated way and within the designated period,
appeal to the Minister of Internal Affa irs. Any decision taken by the ministry
shall be final.
22. The authority to grant exemptions
(1 )
The Revolutionary Government of the Union of Myanmar may, by public
order, grant an exemption from all the pr ovisions set out in this law or from a
matter relating to one of them to any printer or publisher or any published

printed matter either by establishing rules or without doing so.
(2) The provisions in this law do not apply to the printed publications which
are shown in the table appended to this law.
23. Prevention from bringing a lawsuit
A civil lawsuit, a criminal lawsuit or any other kind of charge may not be
brought against any person ac ting on any matter being undertaken with honest
intent to conform with law or with any bye-law enacted in connection with this
law or with any instruction.
24. Designation as public servants
When members of the Central Registrati on Board, registration officials working
under the direction of the Central Regi stration Board and other officials and
employees act or intend to act to confor m with this law or with any bye-law
enacted in connection with this law or with any inst ruction are considered to be
public servants in the sense of Article 21 of the Criminal Code.
25. Amending the table
The Revolutionary Governme nt of the Union of Myanmar may, by public order,
amend the table appended to this law.
26. The power to enact bye-laws
( 1 ) The Revolutionary Government of the Union of Myanmar may, by
public order, enact bye-laws in order to accomplish the matters
included in this law.
(2)
In particular, any bye-laws so enacted may rule on the following matters, provided
they do not harm the main intentio n of the powers listed above.
(a) The length of terms of office, the powers, responsibilities and
duties and the fees to be paid to members of the Central
Registration Board;
(b) The methods by which invest igations and examinations
should be carried out under the auspices of this law;
(c) The fees to be charged for issuing registration
certificates and renewing registration certificates;
(d) The rules and requirements to be observed by printers and
publishers in connection with registration certificates;
(e) Which kind of matters require certification on the office
copy of an agreement;
(f) registration records which printers and publishers will
have to keep and reports, st atistics and information they
will have to submit to the appropriate authorities;
(g) The information which must be printed in newspapers,
articles, journals, magazines, books and other printed
publications;
(h) Other matters which need to be determined by means
of bye-laws under the auspices of this law.

27. This law shall revoke the Press (Regis tration) Act and the 1959 Printers and
Publishers (Registration) Act.

Exemption: – However, the revocation shall not harm:
(a) Former authority of any provisions of that law

(b) The fine or sentence handed down for br each of any provision of that law
(c) Protection of the rights or investigation or prosecution in matters
regarding fines or sentences received
Moreover, the aforementioned fine may be sentenced besides having the authority to
investigate or charge or protect rights or continue to carry out
or confirm as though this law were never en acted. Moreover, without contradicting the
exemption, any licence or registration card is sued or any undertaking made or rank
gained or authority given or any order, rule or directive issued or summons or form set
shall stand in force so long as it does not contradict the exemption and has not been
revoked by any licence or registration :card issued or any undertaking made or rank
gained or authority given or a ny order, rule or directive issued or summons or form set.
Moreover any licence or registra tion card issued or any undertaking made or rank gained
or authority given or any order, rule or directive issued or summons or form set in
accordance with this provision may be taken
as valid.

Appended Table

(a) printed publications di stributed by the Govern ment and Government
departments;
(b) printed publications distribu ted in the course of carrying out the normal work
and duties of authorities of universities, schools, boards, corporations, banks.
municipal bodies, local organisations;
(c) printed publications distri buted in the course of carrying out the duties of
associations, branch associations, groups in accordance with the law;
(d) printed publications distributed in the course of the trading activities of retail
shops, agents, merchants, cooperative associations;
(e) publications for religion, public notices of births, marriages and deaths
etc, social relations, or for elections.

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