Legal rights to harvest
Official authorization for logging must be obtained from the services of the Ministry of Water, Forests, Hunting and Fishing (Ministère des Eaux, Forêts, Chasse et Pêche – MEFCP).
Logging operations take place in the production forests and cutting areas, and may be conducted by individual artisanal loggers or concessionaires.
To log, artisanal loggers must obtain a one year renewable permit (permis artisanal) and their operation areas should not exceed 10 hectares. This permit isawardedmainly to CAR citizens.
Each concessionaire must hold a decree (issued by the Council of Ministers) granting a forest logging and management permit (PEA - permis d'exploitation et d'aménagement). Use of the permit is subject to the signing of a provisional management agreement (CPA - convention provisoire d’aménagement), valid for 3 years and covering 3 provisional cutting areas, allowing the company to launch inventories to carry out its land use plan over the 3 years, including the forest management plan for all annual harvesting blocks.
At the end of the 3 years, the concessionaires must have and hold an approved management plan. Inspections and monitoring of the implementation of the plans are the responsibility of the water and forestry administration. The management plan may be revised every five years. In the event of a revision, the application must mention the constraints or new data that justify it.
Article 32 of the forest code stipulates that the PEA permit is granted for a period equal to the life of the company. However, failure to comply with the provisions of the management plan may result in the company being subject to the penalties provided for in Article 201 (of the forest code). This attribution is renewable as long as the beneficiary company complies with the provisions of the management plan and the currently applicable regulations.
The logging and management permit is strictly tied to the recipient company. It may not give rise to a transfer, asale or subcontracting.
As of 2014 (Order of 21 Jan 2014 issued by the Minister of the Environment), logging companies are required to carry out an environmental impact audit (for companies already established for over 3 years) or an impact study (for those that have just been established). The approval of the audit/assessment reports results in the issuance of a certificate of compliance, which must be renewed every 3 years.
The granting of any logging and management permits is strictly prohibited in ecologically sensitive areas. An implementing decree specifies the boundaries of these zones.