Government explains impact of new IAB BES law

Recently, the RCN announced the new IAB BES law. This law “Inrichtingen- en Activiteiten Besluit BES” is a new system of environmental regulations that will apply to companies, governments, and related organizations in Saba, St. Eustatius, and Bonaire from the 1st of April 2024. These regulations are a further step in the joint efforts of the Netherlands and the islands to better protect island habitats and, in particular, vulnerable coral ecosystems.

The Saba Government explains the immediate impact of this law:

The Establishments and Activities Decree BES (IAB BES) and the accompanying Establishments and Activities Decree Regulations BES (RIA BES) will come into effect on 1 April 2024. This concerns Dutch government legislation that applies to all the BES islands.

The decree deals with the environmental impact of establishments and makes a distinction in categories Ito IV, from light impact (I) to heavy impact (IV). Establishments are the businesses on Saba.

The IAB BES will be effective from 1 April 2024 concerning the categories III and IV. For Saba, Chapter 2 of the IAB BES and the RIA BES, concerning categories I and II, will become effective on 1 January 2026 at the latest.

The Executive Council of Saba is the competent authority regarding Categories I, II, and III. The Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management is the competent authority for Category IV.

Although Categories III and IV will have to comply from 1 April 2024 in practice that does not mean that from that time, the new rules will be enforced straightaway.

The 1st of April does not mean that establishments must comply with the new legislation from that day but can be seen as a starting point for getting the necessary elements for compliance with the legislation and proper enforcement. First, an inventory must be made to categorize the establishments on the island. An Island ordinance and a policy on how to execute the given powers is also part of the implementation process.

The implementation process will be thorough and, when possible, support will be given to help establishments meet the requirements.

The establishments will be approached later to inform them on the new law, its consequences, and the roadmap from 1 April 2024 respectively 1 January 2026. The link to an English version will be published on the government website when it becomes available

The Dutch version of the IAB BES can be found at:

https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nlistb­2023-493. html


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