Client Alert : Equatorial Guinea
Complementary Measures – Prohibition of Felling of Trees and Export of Timer
Forestry in Equatorial Guinea is a source of tax income and provides various opportunities within the aims of the national Economic and Social Development Plan Horizonte 2035. In light of this, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forest and Environment (the “Ministry”) issued Ministerial Order no. 1/2020, dated October 30th, 2020 issuing Complementary Measures for the better Application of Decree no. 84/2020, dated September 15th, 2020, Prohibiting the Felling of Trees and the Exportation of Timber, and Decree 93/2020, dated October 26th, Authorizing the Exportation of Roundwood under special Circumstances.
What are the Consequences?
- Priority is given to companies legally established in the country which have Contracts for Forestry Exploitation (Contrato de Arrendamiento por Aprovechamiento Forestal) and authorizations for tree felling;
- Prior to the signing of Applications for Contracts for Forestry Exploitation by the Presidency of the Republic, compliance assessment by the Ministry which will be in charge of processing the applications will have been conducted;
- the National Delegation of the Ministry will be in charge of processing felling authorizations for communal forests and rural real estates;
- Felling of trees is authorized for Operators with Chainsaws only for commercial purposes, even for small scale felling, and supply of local market, depending on the type of land (rural real estates and national forest) and subject to certain requirements (registration of chainsaws, payments to the Public Treasury, supporting documentation, etc);
- The requirements are set out for companies operating as transport guides;
- Forest and timber companies, as well as Operators with Chainsaws who have timber that could not be removed from the forest on account of Decree No. 84/2020, dated September 15th, 2020, will need to submit an application to the Directorate-General of Forest Protection and Reforestation and pay the corresponding fees in order to retrieve their timber;
- Transportation of timber in containers is prohibited;
- Lorries will not be allowed to transport timber without having documentation signed by the Inspector assigned to each area;
- Forest and timber companies are required to present a declaration of their monthly production within five (5) days of each month end;
- The exploitation and commercialization of protected tree species such as OVENG, NSONSO and ENVILA is prohibited. The Presidency of the Republic will establish a yearly quota for exploitation and commercialization.
What should my company do?
Contact your local advisors to review the current legislation in detail and find out how it will affect your company’s operations.
Company Policy and Notifications
- Notify the relevant department about the Ministerial Order and proceed to make an internal assessment of the current state of your company’s compliance with the requirements of the Ministerial Order.
Continue monitoring any subsequent modifications and changes to the applicable laws and regulations promulgated by the government.
Clarence Abogados & Asociados is at the disposal of its clients to assist them with legal advice and details to better understand the applicability of this government notice.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Abraham Abia is the Managing Director at Clarence and widely recognised as one of the leading energy lawyers in Equatorial Guinea, often speaking at events around the world. Abraham is particularly renowned for his ability to create and implement country and sector specific standards, policies and procedures.
Clarence offers its clients the freedom to operate in Africa. Thanks to our diverse resources, we understand Africa better than most firms. We assist clients to identify, assess and effectively minimise operational legal and regulatory risks. We develop creative and efficient solutions to operational challenges, so our clients can focus on growth and revenue. Our approach is to bridge the gap between external and in-house counsels. Our areas of practice include Energy and Natural Resources, Real Estate, Construction, Joint Ventures, Corporate and Commercial, Risk Management & Compliance, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Government Relations, Customs and Taxation, Employment and Immigration, Aviation and Telecommunications. For enquiries, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org