In 2019, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources decreed a 3-year extension to the period for regularization of environmental instruments in Guatemala contained in Government Agreement 237-2016. Thus, existing projects have until December 16, 2022 to request their respective environmental license, under penalty of a fine ranging from Q5,000 to Q100,000.
The environmental instrument is a technical document that establishes the environmental impacts or risks and the actions that will be carried out to mitigate those damages; Said instrument is approved through an environmental license. The obligation to have an environmental instrument exists since 1986 according to article 8 of the Law for the Protection and Improvement of the Environment (Decree 68-86).
In 2016, the Environmental Control and Monitoring Regulation -RECSA-, Government Agreement 137-2016, was issued, setting a two-year term for companies to regularize by presenting their environmental instrument.
Due to the large number of interested parties who decided to regularize their situation, on December 24, 2019, the reform to RECSA was published in the Diario de Centroamérica and established two important modifications:
- A term of 3 more years (expiring on December 16, 2022) was set for the process of regularization of environmental instruments, with the imposition of a fine of Q. 5,000.00 regardless of the category of the project.
- The obligation to present a bond or better known as surety insurance, which was a requirement to obtain an environmental license, was eliminated.
Let us remember that the purpose of all of the above implies being in compliance with local legislation, guaranteeing the protection of our environment and seeking to mitigate the damage that we produce.