SUMMARY OF FORESTRY ACT 7575 Costa Rica

Frida Burnet 25th May 2008

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originally written in Spanish. firstly. while the remainder of the document offers a brief summary of each article. each containing a number of chapters which themselves contain between 3 and 8 Articles per chapter. The document can be used as a reference to access the original document or as a simple and broad introduction to it. The structure of this document presents. The Forestry Act 7575 is split into six titles. 1996. There are a total of 75 Articles presented in the original Act. 2 . the word-by-word translation of those articles that refer to Incentives for Forestry Conservation. Introduction The present summary offers an accessible and quick overview of the articles outlined in the Costa Rican Forestry Act 7575.1.

b) The exemption from taxes on assets. the conditions that owners who benefit from them must comply with. In addition. whose beneficiaries will be determined by the Ministry of Environment and Energy. b) The protection mentioned in Article 36 of this Act. or government fees. established by the Act 3 . which the State Forestry Administration will use to cover monitoring costs. Article 23 – Incentives To reward them for the environmental benefits that they generate. which may not be less than twenty years. May 9. Five percent (5%) of the value of the certificate must be deposited into the Forestry Fund account. 1995. The National Forest Fund will draw. holders of certificates may benefit from the following incentives: a) An exemption from paying tax on real estate. According to the resources available and their relative importance for the environmental services that need to be maximised. issue and sign annually these certificates. will be determined in the regulations. and the areas to be prioritised for incentives.2. created by the Act No. Within ten years of the issue of these certificates the Executive Branch shall evaluate the results to determine whether or not it will continue to grant them. Incentives for Conservation Article 22 – Certificate for Forest Conservation The Certificate for Forest Conservation (CCB) is created to reward the owner or holder for those environmental services generated by preserving his/her forest as long as timber harvesting has not occurred within the last two years preceding the application for the licence or during its term. the Executive Branch will establish priorities for the granting of licences and will distribute certificates proportionate to the area owned by every owner or holder. c) An exemption from paying tax on assets. The value of the certificates. 7509. The fact that these benefits apply to the property must be registered in the Public Registry by the deadline established by the relevant regulations. The certificates will have nominative value and can be sold or used to pay any taxes. owners who manage their natural forests will have the following incentives for those areas: a) The exemption from payment of tax on real estate. Translation of Incentives for Forestry Conservation This chapter presents the literal translation of Article 22 through to Article 30 from Chapters II and III in the Third Title of the Act..

and once the regulatory requirements are met. However. subject to authorization from the Regional Environmental Council. 7761 of 24 April 1998) Chapter III Promoting Forest Plantations Article 28 – Exceptions to Felling Permits Forest plantations. Article 26 –Prohibition The export of timber pieces or logs without bark from forests is prohibited. industrialised or exported without permission. Article 27 – Authorization to cut down Only three trees per hectare per year may be cut down on agricultural land where there is no forest. 4 . it will include interested parties in a register. because of their state of deterioration and environmental necessity. The benefits of this provision shall be registered in the Public Registry as pertaining to the property. based on technical criteria determined by the Ministry of Environment and Energy. including agroforestry systems and trees planted individually and their products can be cut down. for a period determined by the relevant contract. The State Forestry Administration will need to approve tree felling that exceed ten trees per property. (So reformed by subsection a) of Law no. must be converted to forest use. The forest can be included in any valuation of the real estate. from 19 September 1995. c) The protection provided for in Article 36 of this Act. the felling must be carried out in accordance with the management plan approved by the State Forestry Administration. This period may not be less than twenty years. if the land is passed to them in case of default. but in no case will this automatically entitle financial entities or third parties to logging rights. Article 24 –Voluntary Forest Regeneration The owners of denuded forest land with potential who voluntarily agree to regenerate their lands will enjoy the incentives included in article 22 of this Act for the areas that.No. 7543. The State Forestry Administration will issue the necessary documentation that they may enjoy these benefits. in cases where a forestry contract with the State to receive Forestry Bond Certificates or deduction from income tax were in existence before this Act came into force. Article 25 – Guarantee to the National Financial System Land which includes forest and is owned by individuals can be used to secure mortgages in the National Financial System. transported.

c) Exemption from payment of the assets tax during the period of planting. The State Forestry Administration will issue the necessary documentation so that these incentives may be enjoyed and will list interested parties in a register.) 5 . When only a percentage of the cost of reforestation has been covered without the benefit of the Forestry Bond Certificates or income tax deduction.Article 29 – Incentives to reforest People who reforest will have the following incentives: a) Exemption from real estate tax for the reforested area. once they have met regulatory requirements. once they have fulfilled the requirements laid down in the regulations of this Act. Expenses not covered by forestry incentives. (Note: Repealed exemption from payment of income tax mentioned in this article as provided in subsection l) of article 22 of Act 8114. d) The protection provided for in Article 36 of this Act. b) Exemption from payment of the uncultivated land tax. which the owner of the plantation may incur to meet with the management plan. e) Any other incentive established in this Act. will be deductible from the calculation of gross income. the exemptions referred to in this article shall apply for that same percentage. growing and thinning which is considered pre-operational. Article 30 – Other incentives People who reforest without the benefit of income tax deduction or Forestry Bond Certificates will enjoy exemption from income tax on the profits made by selling products in their plantations. The State Forestry Administration will issue the necessary documentation so that these incentives may be enjoyed and will list those interested in a special book set up for that purpose. from 04 July 2001.

and environmental services. it will see to the generation of employment and an increased living standard for the rural population through their effective incorporation into forestry activities. agroforestry systems. mangroves. exploitation.” Article 2 – Expropriation The Act empowers the Executive Branch to establish protected wildlife areas on private land. industrialization and promotion of the country’s forest resources destined for this purpose. protected areas. Summary of Each Article FIRST TITLE General Dispositions Chapter I General objectives Article 1 – Objectives The Act establishes the conservation. Article 3 – Definitions The Forestry Act provides detailed definitions for forests. protection and administration of the natural forests and the production. protection and administration of forests as a priority function of the state. wildlife refuges and state-owned forest reserves. In addition. according to the principle of appropriate and sustainable use of renewable natural resources. Article 4 – Positive Silence Stipulates the need to penalise liable officers who fail to resolve issues presented to the State Forestry Administration within a given time frame. irrespective of their current management category (land use). It prohibits the cutting or the utilisation of forests in national parks. biologic reserves.3. forest plantations. 6 . “The presented law establishes as an essential and priority function of the state to care for the conservation.

Article 11 – State Contributions The State will contribute a specific percentage of earnings to the National Forestry Agency 7 .Chapter II Competency and Attributes of the State Forestry Administration Article 5 – Governing Bodies Appoints the Ministry of Environment and Energy as the government body and announces the organisation of the country into forestry regions. Article 6 – Competencies Specifies the duties of the State Forestry Administration. Article 10 – Functions It specifies the duties of the agency.e. including environmental groups. Chapter I National Forestry Office Article 7 – Creation The National ForestryOffice is created as a semi-autonomous agency with independent legal status. Article 8 – Board of Directors The board of directors shall be composed by representatives of organisations that benefit from forestry activities. i.: a) Maintain the country's forest resources b) Approve plans for forest management c) Issue guidelines for forest management plans d) Manage the Forest Fund e) Establish limits for forest species that are endangered or in the process of extinction f) Coordinate forestry and fiscal controls (enforcement) g) Prevent and control any logging that does not comply with the provisions of this Act. Article 9 – Members’ Appointment Members of the Board shall be appointed by each sector in their respective assemblies. for a period of three years.

Chapter IV Regional Environmental Council This chapter refers to the Act No. 8 . 7554 of October 14. 1995.

9 . Certain farms and forests will become the States property. Article 17 – Forest Land Registry It will aim to regulate the areas falling within the Natural Heritage of the State and to those who voluntarily undergo the forest regime. Administration will be controlled by the Ministry of Environment and Energy.SECOND TITLE State’s Natural Heritage Single Chapter Article 13 – Constitution and Administration Explains what types of forests and forest lands constitutes the Natural Heritage. Article 14 – Inalienable Condition of the Natural Heritage State’s Natural Heritage shall not be enrolled in the Public Registry as privately owned and its invasion and occupation shall be punished. Article 18 – Authorisation to work The State may undertake or authorize research. training and ecotourism. once approved by the Minister of Environment and Energy. Article 15 – Impediments Bodies of the Civil Administration have restricted use of rural lands unless it has been previously classified by the Ministry of Environment and Energy. Article 16 – Limits The Ministry of Environment and Energy will demarcate the areas that make up the Natural Heritage of the State.

THIRD TITLE Private Forestry Property Chapter I Forest Management Article 19 – Authorised Activities The State Forestry Administration may grant some permission for purposes mentioned in this article. The Forestry Manager (forester – regente forestal) will be responsible for ensuring implementation of and compliance with plans. Article 31 – Permission for Wood Transportation Removal from the farm to any part of the national territory will require a certificate of origin issued by the Forestry Manager or the Regional Environmental Council of the area. proportional and reasonable. cut down of forests will be limited. Article 32 – Charges The land owned by individuals can be used to secure mortgages and other loans. Chapter II Incentives for Conservation Refer to the word-by-word translation in the first section of this document. Article 21 – Forestry Managers Forest management plans ought to be developed by graduate professionals of Forestry Science . Chapter III Promoting Forest Plantations Refer to the word-by-word translation in the first section of this document. Article 20 – Forest Management Plan Forests may be exploited only if they have a management plan containing the environmental impact it may cause. 10 . In the cases mentioned.

The measures taken (listed in this article) will be binding for all authorities of the country. It offers an exception for projects declared by the Executive Branch to be for the benefit of the nation. Article 37 – Natural Resources Inspectors The Ministry of Environment and Energy may formulate programmes to introduce the necessary measures to safeguard the integrity of the country's forest resources. or are devoted to forestry activity. for example within a certain distance from the shores of lakes and rivers. Article 34 – Prohibition to Cut Down Trees in Protected Areas Is is prohibited to cut down trees in protected areas. 11 . Article 36 – Evictions Police authorities should evict those who invade properties belonging voluntarily to the forest scheme.Chapter IV Forestry Protection Article 33 – Protected Areas Gives specific measurements to the areas which shall be protected. at the request of the owner of the property or the representative. Article 35 – Forest Fire Prevention It is declared that actions undertaken to prevent and extinguish forest fires are in the public interest.

Article 44 – Minimum Value of Non-industrialised Longs It will be set by the State Forestry Administration annually and by decree. Article 43 – Tax Distribution It specifies the distribution of tax revenue from timber. Article 40 – Administration of Resources The State Forestry Administration will possess and administer the resources of the Forest Fund. what generates tax. This article expands on the procedures. including the establishment of a trust. Article 39 – Resources It specifies the possible sources of financing for the Forestry Fund. Article 41 – Resources Management The Forestry Fund is authorised to conduct any legal. which will be determined by the State Forestry Administration. and who will pay the tax. Expands on how to pay the tax. 12 . Article 45 – Authorisation to include Tranche State institutions are authorised to include in their budgets the annual tranche deemed convenient to contribute to projects of the State Forestry Administration. Article 42 – Forest Tax It establishes a general forestry tax of three percent (3%) on the transfer value in the market for wood logs. non-speculative business needed for the proper administration of the resources.FOURTH TITLE Forestry Funding Chapter I Forestry Fund Article 38 – Establishment of the Forestry Fund Establishes the Forestry Fund and appoints the development programmes that shall be financed.

regulations or other credits. 13 . non-speculative business. Article 50 – Contracts and Procurements It allows the contract of personnel and acquisition of equipment required to carry on the National Forestry Financing Fund’s duties.Chapter II National Forestry Financing Fund (FONAFIFO) Article 46 – Creation of FONAFIFO States the objectives of FONAFIFO. and approving financial transactions. Article 49 – Resources Management The National Forestry Financing Fund is authorised to conduct any legal. Article 47 – Source of Funds Indicates the different sources of possible funding for FONAFIFO. Article 48 – Board of Directors The board will be responsible for issuing general guidelines. needed for the proper administration of the resources. where appropriate. including the establishment of a trust. This article expands on the procedures. Article 51 – Prohibitions The board is prohibited from condoning acts that imply any reduction of FONAFIFO’s resources. It shall be composed by five members: two from the private sector and three from the public sector.

Article 53 – Taxation It stipulates a percentage on imported wood. 14 .FIFTH TITLE Forest Industrialisation Chapter I Forestry Industrialisation Article 52 – Industrialisation Objectives Achieve optimization of the forest industry through more efficient techniques for development of forestry resources.

Article 56 – Wood Transportation Allowed only with appropriate documentation.SIXTH TITLE Control of Forestry Activity. i. Articles 64 – 67 Penalties These articles elaborate on the result of illicit acts. inhabitation of land and auction of confiscated goods.e. 15 . Article 68 – Registration of Affectation and Limitation It specifies the actions that need to be taken to make the law effective and register the limitations stipulated in this Act. Penalties and Procedures Article 57 – Offences Offences to the present Act will be treated as illicit acts and treated accordingly. Offences and Penalties Chapter I Control Article 54 – Officials of the Forestry Administration It identifies the hierarchy and responsibilities of officials of the Forestry Administration. Articles 58 – 63 Penalties These articles specify those acts which will be charged with imprisonment from three months up to three years. Article 55 – Permit Demonstration Those in possession or processing wood will have to prove they own the related permit. Chapter II Offences.

to invest in forestry plantations. Article 70 – Investment in Forestry Plantations Identifies a minimum amount.75 Revokes other Acts and validates the present Act. Final Dispositions Article 73 . Articles 71. Transient Dispositions Signatures 16 . in US dollars. 72 – Modifications It refers to the articles of the present Act that were modified.Article 69 – Support to Programmes of Compensation It earmarks a third of the tax on the consumption of fuel and other hydrocarbon to financially support the programmes on environmental services.