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Implementation of IAB BES (BES Establishment and Activities Decree) for Environmental Protection in Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba

As of April 1st, 2024, IAB BES (BES Establishment and Activities Decree) has gone into effect. The decree is concerned with the protection of the environment in the public entities of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.  It is aimed at the environmental impact of activities carried out by businesses.


The law will not be enforced until 2026, which grants local businesses the opportunity to transition into proper alignment with the IAB BES. The first step to be taken is the assessment and categorization of businesses into Type I, Type II, Type III and Type IV establishments. Type I, II and III establishments fall under the authority of the Executive Council, while Type IV falls under the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.


Type I and II establishments have a notification duty and must adhere to general rules but will not require a permit. However, Type III and IV establishments will need a permit, for which they will apply at either PES or the Ministry of I&W. In addition to these rules, there will be reporting requirements and tailor-made regulations which can be imposed at the business owner’s request or by the Executive Council. Each establishment will also assume a duty of care, meaning that any business that reasonably knows of any adverse environmental impact being made at their business, must take measures to avoid, or at least limit, these negative consequences.  


To facilitate the classification and permitting process for businesses on Saba, the Inspectorate of Human Environment and Transport (ILT) will conduct a visit to the island on May 7th, 2024. This visit aims to engage with local businesses regarding the IAB BES, paving the way for necessary steps to be taken. The time and location of the meeting will be announced when additional details are finalized.


Further explanation on the law can be found at IAB BES (Brief Explanation) and any questions can be sent to info@sabagov.nl.

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