The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning has recently issued a Regulation on Environmental Permission and Licenses (“the Regulation”), rendering the previous regulation dated April 29, 2009 (“the Repelled Regulation”) obsolete. The Regulation will be in force as of November 1, 2014.
Although there has been several changes within the groups (categorized in accordance with the amount of environmental pollution caused by each business), similar to its revoked predecessor, Annex 1 and Annex 2 of the Regulation classifies businesses subject to environmental permission or environmental permission and licenses into 2 groups.
In order to operate, businesses listed under Annex 1 and Annex 2 shall first obtain an interim operating certificate. Businesses then need to obtain either (i) an environmental permission or (ii) an environmental permission and license certificate (together referred as “the Certificate”) within 1 year of the issue date of the interim operating certificate.
Article 11 of the Regulation provides detailed information regarding the application for an interim operating certificate and changes to the application process for an environmental permission or environmental permission and license. According to the Regulation, the Certificates shall be valid for 5 years, and businesses are obliged to apply for a new certificate at least 180 days prior to the expiration of the initial certificate, if they wish to continue to operate. Under the Repelled Regulation, this application period was 3 months.
In the event of a change of the business owner or the title of the business, within 3 months of such change, an application shall be filed to the competent authority along with; (i) an undertaking indicating that the new owner will comply with the existing terms of environmental permission and license, (ii) trade registry gazette regarding the change, and (iii) a capacity report.
The Regulation also provides comprehensive information regarding businesses that are not subject to an environmental permission or license. Despite being listed under Annex 1 and Annex 2 of the Regulation, businesses with no emission or sanitary discharge may be exempt from obtaining the Certificate, and such evaluation and decision shall be carried out by the competent authority.
The Regulation is expected to clarify and facilitate the permission and licensing procedure, and overcome the problems businesses faced with the previous regulation.