Law Updates

EA Overhauls Environmental Permits Framework

The Environment Authority (EA) published in this week’s issue of the Official Gazette Decision 107/2023 Issuing the Regulation Governing Environmental Permits that provides a new simplified framework for obtaining environmental permits for all commercial activities.

Prior to the issuance of Decision 107/2023, obtaining environmental permits was governed by two separate instruments: the Regulation Governing Environmental Requirements for Service and Industrial Activities issued by Ministerial Decision 16/2010 and the Regulation Governing the Issuance of Environmental Permits issued by Ministerial Decision 48/2017, both of which have now been repealed by Decision 107/2023.

Even though Decision 107/2023 replaces two separate instruments, this new decision is actually shorter as the Environment Authority has simplified the regulation and also removed the actual table of classification of the activities (Class A, B, or C activities) from the decision stating that they will be issued by a separate instrument. It is unclear whether this instrument will be published in the Official Gazette.

The new regulation introduces a number of changes including not restricting Class B permits to activities taking place in the areas of the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates, free zones, and approved ports; modifying the fees and guarantees for obtaining permits—with the most significant change being the increase of the guarantee for the permit for mining gold and other metals from 30,000 Rial Omani to 50,000 Rial Omani; placing new limitations in regard to the grounds on which the authority may require a project owner to conduct an environment audit and other specialised studies; and imposing new obligations on the project owner including establishing an environmental register and providing environmental monitoring reports.

You can read the decision in full in English on the link below: