Legal context
LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS Cameroon Gabon Republic of Congo Democratic Republic of Congo Central African Republic
Date of forestry law 1994 2001 2000 2002 2000
Land allocation plan, by zone Yes, in southern part of the country In preparation Non First tests underway[a] Planned
Permanent Forest (legally established, not established) 38 FMUs gazetted (at 30 June 2005, gazetting process underway for 57 others. No, (few gazetted forests) No, gazetting process planned Plans for « permanent production forests » No (no gazetted forests)
Concession allocation system (over-the-counter/public tender/ public tender with financial component Public tender with technical pre-selection then technical offers (30%) and financial offers (70%) Over-the-counter 45% of area is « farmed out » In principle: public tender. Technical criteria incl. industrialisation plan. « financial offer » Moratorium on new allocations pending finalisation of a public tender procedure that combines technical and financial criteria Since May 2015, public tender (same as Cameroon) but 40% for technical criteria and 60% for financial criteria
Duration of concessions 15 years Renewable rotation (usually 30 years) 15 or 25 years, renewable 25 years For the company’s lifetime
Mandatory concession management plan (MP) Yes. The MP should be prepared during provisional 3-year agreement but several such agreements have largely exceeded the planned 3-year period Yes (partly applied). Additional charge provided for but not applied Yes. Process making headway in the north but not applied in the south Yes (since new code). Will take several years Yes. The only country with joint implementation of plans between public service (PARPAF project) and concession holders.
National management standards Since 2002. Order 222/A/MINEF of 25 May 2002 Since 2003, pending decree to make it official No, but have operational guidelines No Technically validated and applied since 2001. Regulations currently being drafted.
Percentage of logs to be processed within the country 100% local processing for category 1 species and exports authorised, subject to additional charge for category 2 and 3 species. Annual export quotas planned but not applied for certain species (Ayous and Azobé) No mandatory reporting but aim is to increase local processing As a « transition » : 85% of each company's output; rule applied very unevenly. Total prohibition according to the code. Graduated additional charges beyond the 15% logs exported 70% of each company's output since the new Code. Application in the short term is difficult. 60% per permit holder (Code of 2000). A finance law in 2000 raised this threshold to 77%.
Area being prepared for management 48 FMUs (i.e. 42 concessions) already have a management plan validated by the administration, representing an area of more than 3 million hectares Process underway on 3.6 million hectares Two plans completed awaiting approval. Process underway on 5.5 million hectares Three companies have started work on preparation of management plan (total 6.7 million hectares) A management unit (PARPAF project) is preparing plans for 6 of the country’s concession holders. Process involves 2.8 million hectares.
Certified concessions 1 concession FSC-certified (Dec. 2005) 2 concessions certified under Dutch Keurhout system; 2 companies ISO 14000 certified 1 concession certified under Dutch Keurhout system; FSC certification process underway for this same company 0 Origin & legality standard (OLB-EUROCERTIFOR) certification process underway for 1 concession
Cap on cumulative area 200,000 ha per company (several large groups have up to 600,000 ha) 600,000 ha, but three companies have close to 700,000 ha of their own. No limit 500.000ha (sauf droits acquis, certain groupes ou sociétés ont près de 3 M ha) No limit
Community or local forestry Community forests (5,000 ha max): 59 approved, 225,615 ha. Communal forests (1 up to now): 16,250 ha, but planned for more than 600.000 ha (FMUs applied for by communities) Community forests provided for by law adopted in 2001. Nothing tangible yet. Nothing planned « Local community forests » recognised. No limit to surface area. Order to be issued on terms and conditions Six pilot communal forests (supported by projects) but nothing stipulated in existing law. Draft law being prepared.

LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS Equatorial Guinea Burundi Rwanda Sao Tomé and Principe Chad
Date of forestry law 1997 1985 2013 2001 2008
Land allocation plan, by zone Map of gazetted lands published in 1999 by CUREF project, and validated
Permanent Forest (legally established, not established) No
Concession allocation system (over-the-counter/public tender/ public tender with financial component Over-the-counter
Duration of concessions 15 years, renewable
Mandatory concession management plan (MP) Yes (not enforced)
National management standards No
Percentage of logs to be processed within the country 60% local processing required. Beyond this percentage, exporter pays fiscal penalty. Apparently seldom enforced.
Area being prepared for management Pilot management inventory, by CUREF project, on 50,000 ha concession
Certified concessions 0
Cap on cumulative area 50,000 ha (Shimmer International, a Malaysian company, holds close to 500,000 ha.)
Bosques communales « Bosques communales » communal forest land where State recognises rural communities’ permanent user rights

Table 8.7. Comparison of legislation on forest sector in Central African countries

FISCAL REGIME Cameroon Gabon Congo DRC CAR Equatorial Guinea
Approximate estimate of average fiscal pressure per m3 product (FCFA/m3) 30,000 (exported Ayous logs), i.e. 28.5% of FOB 36,500 per m3 raw timber, i.e. 14% of FOB About 26,000 for exported logs (28% of FOB) under managed concession permit; 27,000 under non-managed concession permit (29% of FOB). Veneer: 12,700 managed concession permit i.e. 5.4% of FOB, at 14,400 non- managed concession permit, i.e. 6.1% du FOB 21,618 (South) to 23,137 (North), i.e. 11.6 to 14.6% FOB value “export basket” per zone. Sapelli log exports North: from 19,300 to 34,350 (depending on additional tax) Okoumé log exports South: 18,240 to 29,800 39 $/m3 (2004), i.e. 14.4% of FOB value of an “export basket” composed of 70% export logs and 30% sawn timber. 33,8$ for 1 m3 Sapelli exported, i.e. between 12 and 19% of FOB 41.7 $ for 1 m3 sawn Sapelli i.e. 8-10% of FOB About 26,500 for exported Sapelli logs i.e. 17.6% of FOB and 34,900 for 1 m3 sawn timber i.e. 11.8% of FOB 41,000 per m3 sawn Okoume logs exported i.e. 39% of FOB. 31,000 per m3 veneer (about 15%)
Amount of concession area fee Minimum: 1000 FCFA/ha Average observed since 1996: about 2700 FCFA/ha 600 FCFA/ha in 2000, 300 FCFA/ha only for companies working on management process 350 FCFA/ha (North) 500 FCFA/ha (South) 20% average reduction considering useable area 0,0014 $/ha until 2002 0,067$/ha in 2003 0.10$/ha in 2004 0,20$/ha in 2005 0,50$/ha in 2007 Fee on annual logging permit: 2$ in 2004, 10$ in 2005 500 FCFA/ha/yr Between 2500 and 3000 FCFA/ha depending on the zone
Felling tax 2.5 de FOB LM minus 20% 3%, 5% or 9% (depending on the zone) of market value (typical value range) 3% FOB LM value 1.25% ExWorks value (EXW: FOB minus average transport cost 50 or 80$) 7% of market value (FOB LM minus 40%) 80% of « stand value » defined as 8% of FOB
Exit tax on logs 17.5% FOB value + additional tax depending on species 17% of FOB value Depending on the zone (4), between 8.5% and 10% of administrative FOB value, fairly close to real prices 6% market value (rather far from real prices) + reforestation tax of 4% of EXW value (FOB minus average transport cost) 10.5% value of FOT (reduced FOB) + reforestation tax: 11% on market value 30% official FOB value
Exit tax on processed products Replaced by tax on logs entering sawmill (2.25% of FOB value of logs entering) No Between 0.5 and 4.5% of administrative FOB, poor reflection of real prices In 2005 (expected): 1% unseasoned wood, 0% seasoned. In 2006 (intended): 2% unseasoned wood 4.5% FOT value for certain species only 10 official FOT values
Incentives and specific measures None Reduced concession fee for managed concession permits. No export tax on processed products Concession fee on estimated « useable » area only Concession fees only on production batches (after management introduced). Lower reforestation and felling tax for more remote areas (EXW). Export tax reduced to 50% for “promotional” species such as Tola. No export taxes on seasoned sawn timber Concession fee levied on estimated « useable » Lower export tax on more remote areas None
Tax Department and Forest Fund revenues (billions FCFA) 25 (2000-2001) 19,8 (2001) 12 (2003) 2 million $ (2002) (c. 1.2 billion FCFA) 8,335 (2001) Unavailable

FISCAL REGIME Equatorial Guinea Burundi Rwanda Sao Tomé and Principe Chad
Approximate estimate of average fiscal pressure per m3 product (FCFA/m3) 41,000 per m3 of Okoume log exported, i.e. 39% of FOB. 31,000 per m3 of veneer (about 15%)
Amount of concession area fee Between 2500 and 3000 FCFA/ha depending on the zone
Felling tax 80% of « standing value » defined as 8% of FOB
Log exit leviess 30% of official FOB value
Exit levies on processed products 10% of official FOB value1
Incentives and special measures None
Tax Department and Forest Fund revenues (billions FCFA) Unavailable

Table 8.8 Comparison of fiscal regimes for forestry in the countries of Central Africa

  • [a] I see that there is an operational guide to Land Use Standards, but not a plan