In 2019, the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources decreed a 3-year extension to the period for the 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 Q 5,000 to Q 100,000.
The environmental instrument is a technical document that establishes the environmental impacts or risks and the actions to mitigate those damages. Article 8 of the Law for the Protection and Improvement of the Environment (Decree 68-86) has required a license since 1986.
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 status, on December 24, 2019, the reform to RECSA was published in the Diario de Centroamérica and established two significant modifications:
- The extension of 3 more years (expiring on December 16, 2022) to regularize the environmental instruments, subject to the imposition of a fine of Q 5000 regardless of the project category.
- The obligation to present a bond (surety insurance), as previously required to obtain an environmental license, was eliminated.
Let us remember that the purpose of the modifications is compliance with local legislation, guaranteeing the protection of our environment, and seeking to mitigate the damage that our activities produce.