Guatemala: New Environmental Regulations

From September 26, new rules will apply for the categorization of development projects that require submission of environmental impact studies.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Ministerial Agreement No. 204-2019, which was issued by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and published in the Diario de Centroamérica on August 16, will come into effect on September 26. See Published Agreement.

Regarding the provisions established by the Agreement, the Guatemalan Association of Exporters explained in a statement that "... *It classifies the different activities, works and multisectorial projects of the country.

*Establishes minimum and maximum measurement parameters to catalog activities, for example: areas in square meters, number of hectares, number of workers, among others.

*Institutionalizes the possibility of being able to present an environmental management plan within the category "C", considered of low impact and environmental risk, without the obligation to obtain a surety insurance and a license.

*Creates a specific tax incentive for projects located in protected areas that include agricultural activities, forestry, services, aquaculture, wild exploitation, livestock, among others.

*Reaffirms the possibility for companies to request the recategorization of their activities based on technical criteria when they can generate an increase or decrease in their potential environmental impact

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More on this topic

Deadline for Environmental Compliance Extended

January 2020

Until December 16, 2022, businesses in Guatemala will have to comply with the rules contained in the Regulations for Environmental Evaluation, Control and Monitoring.

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) reported that after the publication of Government Agreement 317-2019 on December 24, 2019 in the Central American Journal, which reforms Government Agreement 137-2016, the period was extended by three years so that all projects, works, industries or productive activities present their respective environmental instruments in order to function.

Guatemala: Deadline to Comply with Environmental Standards

October 2017

Companies have time up until July 2018 to make the necessary modifications to comply with the new environmental rules to avoid fines or even closure of their business.

The Regulation on Environmental Evaluation, Control and Monitoring, published in July 2016, gave a period of two years for companies in operation to implement the changes needed in order to comply with the regulations.

Guatemala: New Rules for Environmental Permits

July 2016

One of the new features of the new Regulation on Evaluation, Control and Environmental Monitoring is that category A and B1 environmental diagnostic must be subject to public consultation.

From a statement issued by Agexport:

The Environmental Management Unit at AGEXPORT, wishes to inform the export sector of the publication of Government Agreement 137-2016, Regulations Assessment, Environmental Monitoring and Control, which was published on July 12, 2016 in the newspaper Diario de Centroamérica.

Panama: Changes to Environmental Impact Studies

May 2016

Entrepreneurs, environmentalists and authorities have formed a committee to review the legislation on processes for obtaining environmental permits.

The commission, which includes members of the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (APEDE) aims to have a draft ready by October of a new proposal to be submitted for public consultation.

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