SEMARNAT EXTENDS THE SUSPENSION OF TERMS FOR PURPOSES OF ACTS AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES SUBSTANTIATED BEFORE SAID MINISTRY, DUE TO THE PANDEMIC CAUSED BY THE COVID-19 VIRUS.

Mexico City, June 8th, 2020.

 

Last May 29th, 2020, SEMARNAT published, in the Evening Edition of the Federal Official Gazette (DOF for its acronym in Spanish), the Accord by means of which the public is made aware of the days that will be considered as non-business days for purposes of the acts and administrative procedures substantiated before the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources and its administrative decentralized organs, except the specified applications and procedures, accord which entered into force as of June 1st, 2020, (herein after “SEMARNAT Accord”).

 

SEMARNAT Accord sets forth as non-business days the period running from June 1st, 2020 and until the sanitary authority determines there is no longer an epidemiological risk related with the gradual, cautious and orderly opening of activities related with the Federal Public Administration. The later, does not imply the suspension of work.

 

For its part, the following applications, proceedings, actions and procedures, are exempted with regard to the suspension of terms:

 

I. Forestry, enabling a schedule, between 10:00 and 14:00 hours Thursdays , starting June 2, 2020, for the Directorate General of Forestry Management and Land, as well as the Representation Offices (Federal Delegations), their respective Citizen Contact offices and the Citizen Contact office located at Av. Progreso No. 3, del Carmen, Coyoacan Town Hall, Zip Code 04010, Mexico City, for the following procedures:

  • SEMARNAT-02-001 Request for Approval of land use change on forest land.
  • SEMARNAT-03-003-B Authorization for the use of timber forest resources on forest land or preferably forest land. Modality B. Forest harvesting in tropical forests larger than 20 hectares, exploitation of forest species difficult to regenerate and protected natural areas on private properties.
  • SEMARNAT-03-003-C Authorization for the use of timber forest resources on forest land or preferably forest land. Modality C. Use of timber forest resources in ejidos and agrarian communities.
  • SEMARNAT-03-003-D Authorization for the use of timber forest resources on forest land or preferably forest land. Modality D. Forest harvesting in tropical forests larger than 20 hectares, exploitation of forest species difficult to regenerate and Protected Natural Areas, on ejidos and agrarian communities.
  • SEMARNAT-03-005 Notice for the use of non-timber forest resources.
  • SEMARNAT-03-008-A Authorization to carry out commercial forest plantations. Modality A. In preferably forest lands in areas greater than 800 hectares.
  • SEMARNAT-03-013 Authorization to advance the felling plan, alter the approved schedule or modify the forest management program.
  • SEMARNAT-03-020-A Request for forest referrals to prove the legal origin of forest raw materials. Modality A. For the first time.
  • SEMARNAT-03-020-B Request for forest referrals to prove the legal origin of forest raw materials. Modality B. Subsequent application.
  • SEMARNAT-03-033 Phytosanitary Import Certificate / Phytosanitary requirements sheet for the import of forest raw materials, products and by-products.
  • SEMARNAT-03-041-A Commercial forest plantation notice. Modality A. Presented by owners and holders of the resource or by third parties with transfer of rights.
  • SEMARNAT-03-046 Phytosanitary certificate for export or re-export.
  • SEMARNAT-03-052 Authorization for the use of non-timber forest resources.
  • SEMARNAT-03-056-A Request for Endorsement of the authorization to use timber forest resources at the end of a cutting cycle. Modality A. Without automatic authorization.
  • SEMARNAT-03-056-B Request for Endorsement of the authorization to use timber forest resources at the end of a cutting cycle. Modality B. With automatic authorization.
  • SEMARNAT-03-061-A Forest re-shipment request to prove the legal origin of forest raw materials. Modality A. For the first time.
  • SEMARNAT-03-061-B Forest re-shipment request to prove the legal origin of forest raw materials. Modality Subsequent application.
  • SEMARNAT-03-064 Unified forest harvesting procedure.
  • SEMARNAT-03-066 Unified procedure to change the use of forest land Modality A

 

II. In Matters of chemical substances and hazardous wastes Subject to international treaties, enabling a schedule, between 10:00 and 14:00 Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting June 2nd, 2020, for the Directorate General of Comprehensive Management of Risky Materials and Activities, as well as its respective Citizen Contact office located at Av. Ejercito Nacional No. 223, Anahuac, Miguel Hidalgo Town Hall, Zip Code 11320, Mexico City, for the following procedures:

  • SEMARNAT-07-029 Authorization for Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and Other Wastes Provided for in International Treaties.

The following procedures may be filed electronically:

  • SEMARNAT-07-015 Authorization to import pesticides, plant nutrients, toxic or dangerous substances and materials.
  • SEMARNAT-07-016 Authorization for the export of hazardous materials.
  • SEMARNAT-07-021 Notice of imported materials under temporary regime and return of hazardous wastes.

 

III. In Matters of Environmental Impact, resulting of the essence to start, and where applicable, continue with the activities related with the construction, mining and manufacturing of transport equipment industries,, as well as with the following priority projects: (a) Felipe Cardenas General Airport, (b) Ecological Park Texcoco Lake, (c) Mexico City’s Airport System, (d) Mayan Train, (e) Guadalajara Train, (f) Development of the Tehuantepec Isthmus, (g) projects related with the maintenance and preservation of highways as well as those under construction, (h) projects corresponding to the completion of dams and canals as well as purification plants and plants for the treatment of wastewaters, (i) the Urban Improvement Program, and (j) the generation of electric Energy with the modernization of the generation plants and hydroelectric plants.

Based on the above, a schedule between 10:00 and 14:00 hours Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting June 2nd, 2020, is enabled, for the Directorate General of Environmental Impact and Risk, as well as its respective Citizen Contact office located at Av. Ejercito Nacional No. 223, Anahuac, Miguel Hidalgo Town Hall, Zip Code 11320, Mexico City, for the following procedures:

  • SEMARNAT-04-001 Reception, evaluation and resolution of the Preventive Report.
  • SEMARNAT-04-002-A Reception, Evaluation and Resolution of the Environmental Impact Assessment in its Private Modality. Mode A. Does not include highly risky activity.
  • SEMARNAT-04-002-B Reception, Evaluation and Resolution of the Environmental Impact Assessment in its Private Modality. Mode B. Includes highly risky activity.
  • SEMARNAT-04-003-A Reception, Evaluation and Resolution of the Environmental Impact Assessment in its Regional Modality. Mode A. Does not include highly risky activity.
  • SEMARNAT-04-003-B Reception, Evaluation and Resolution of the Environmental Impact Assessment in its Regional Modality. Mode B. Includes highly risky activity.
  • SEMARNAT-04-005 Notice of withdrawal of Environmental Impact Authorization.
  • SEMARNAT-04-006 Exemption from the presentation of the environmental impact assessment.
  • SEMARNAT-04-007 Notice of no requirement of Environmental Impact Authorization.
  • SEMARNAT-04-008 Modifications of works, activities or deadlines and terms established to projects authorized in environmental impact matters.
  • SEMARNAT-04-009 Notice of change of titleship of the Environmental Impact Authorization.
  • SEMARNAT-09-001-B Unified procedure to change the use of forest land. Mode B.

In addition, SEMARNAT informs that the electronic system of the submission, evaluation and resolution of Environmental Impact Assessments and derived procedures (“MIA-E”) continues operating, solely for the essential activities and the priority projects referred to above.

To such extent, the following applications may be submitted electronically:

  • SEMARNAT-04-001 Reception, evaluation and resolution of the Preventive Report.
  • SEMARNAT-04-002-A Reception, Evaluation and Resolution of the Environmental Impact Assessment in its Private Modality. Mode A. Does not include highly risky activity.
  • SEMARNAT-04-002-B Reception, Evaluation and Resolution of the Environmental Impact Assessment in its Private Modality. Mode B. Includes highly risky activity.
  • SEMARNAT-04-003-A Reception, Evaluation and Resolution of the Environmental Impact Assessment in its Regional Modality. Mode A. Does not include highly risky activity.
  • SEMARNAT-04-003-B Reception, Evaluation and Resolution of the Environmental Impact Assessment in its Regional Modality. Mode B. Includes highly risky activity.
  • SEMARNAT-04-006 Exemption from the presentation of the environmental impact assessment.

 

IV. In matters of biological-infectious hazardous wastes, for the proper management of Said wastes, which are generated by the patients and the health sector units, and since the procedures related with such require special and immediate attention; a schedule between 10:00 and 14:00 hours Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting on June 2nd, 2020, is enabled, for the Directorate General of Comprehensive Management of Risky Materials and Activities, as well as its respective Citizen Contact office located at Av. Ejercito Nacional No. 223, Anahuac, Miguel Hidalgo Town Hall, Zip Code 11320, Mexico City, for the following procedures:

  • SEMARNAT-07-017 Record as a hazardous waste generator.
  • SEMARNAT-07-022-A Extension of authorizations for handling, storage and import and export of hazardous waste. Modality A. Extension of authorizations for hazardous waste management.
  • SEMARNAT-07-031 Modification to the records and authorizations in matters of hazardous wastes.
  • SEMARNAT-07-033-A Authorization for the management of hazardous waste. Modality A. Collection Centers.
  • SEMARNAT-07-033-F Authorization for the management of hazardous waste. Modality F. Incineration.
  • SEMARNAT-07-033-I Authorization for the management of hazardous waste. Modality I. Transportation.
  • SEMARNAT-07-033-J Authorization for the management of hazardous waste. Modality J. Collection and transport systems for micro generators.

 

V. In matters of air emissions, under the responsibility of the Directorate General of Air Quality and Emission Record and Pollutants Transfer, the electronic system for the usual reception of the procedure SEMARNAT-05-001 Annual Operating Certificate (“COA”), remains operational.

For the COA, the electronic mail addresses sinatec@semarnat.gob.mx, coa@semarnat.gob.mx, rene@semarnat.gob.mx y sgpa.coa@semarnat.gob.mx are enabled for the clarification of any query, as well as the COAweb System, in a schedule between 09:00 and 18:00 during all business days running from June 1st, 2020 and until the sanitary authority determines there is no longer an epidemiological risk related with the gradual, cautious and orderly opening of activities related with the Federal Public Administration, for its submission.

 

VI. In matters of exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons; Distribution and public sale of natural gas; Distribution and public sale of liquified petroleum gas; and Distribution and public sale of petroleum, enabling a schedule between 10:00 and 15:00 hours and between 16:00 and 19:00 hours Wednesdays, starting on June 3rd, 2020, of the Attention Area for the Regulated Activities of the National Agency of Industrial Safety and Environment Protection of the Hydrocarbon Sector (“ASEA” for its acronym in Spanish), located at Boulevard Adolfo Ruiz Cortines No. 4209, Jardines en la Montaña, Tlalpan Town Hall, Zip Code 14210, Mexico City; for purposes of all administrative acts related to each and all procedures and proceedings under the jurisdiction of ASEA’s Industrial Management Unit, related with the regulated activities of the Hydrocarbon Sector.

 

VII. For the obtaining of new vehicles certificates and environmental certificates, a schedule between 09:00 and 14:00 hours Wednesdays and Fridays, from June 1st, 2020, is enabled, for the offices of the Federal Attorney of Environmental Protection (“PROFEPA” for its acronym in Spanish) located at Camino al Ajusco No. 200, Jardines de la Montaña, Tlalpan Town Hall, Zip Code 14210, Mexico City as well as the online Environmental Audit System SAAEL, for the following procedures:

  • PROFEPA-03-005. Review, evaluation and, if applicable, certification of new vehicles in plant, with regards to Mexican Official Standards NOM-042-SEMARNAT-2003 (air emissions), NOM-044-SEMARNAT-2017 (air emissions),  NOM-076-SEMARNAT-2012 (air emissions), NOM-079-SEMARNAT-1994 (noise emissions) and NOM-082-SEMARNAT-1994 (noise emissions).
  • PROFEPA-02-001-A Obtaining of Environmental Certificate, Modality A Environmental audit prior application, without action plan.
  • PROFEPA-02-001-C Obtaining of Environmental Certificate, Modality C Environmental audit after application of environmental certificate, with action plan.
  • PROFEPA-02-002-A Request of renewal of environmental certificate, Modality A Renewal by Environmental Diagnosis report.
  • PROFEPA-02-002-B Request of renewal of environmental certificate (Renewal by Environmental Diagnosis report), Modality B Renewal by Environmental Diagnosis report related with the mexican standard NMX-AA-162-SCFI-2012 (Environmental Audit).

 

VIII. In matters of hydraulic infrastructure, a schedule between 09:00 and 18:00 hours Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from June 1st, 2020, is enabled, for the offices of the Technical General Technical Office of the National Water Commission (“CONAGUA” for its acronym in Spanish) located at Avenida Insurgentes Sur 2416, Copilco El Bajo, Town Hall Coyoacan, Zip Code 04340, Mexico City as well as COAGUA’s offices in the states (Basin Organizations and Local Directions) for the following procedures:

  • CONAGUA-02-002. Permit to conduct hydraulic infrastructure works.

For purposes of the abovementioned procedure and with the purpose of conducting acts, processes and corresponding notifications of this procedure, the “Con@gua en Líne@” system is enabled in the schedule indicated above. Nevertheless, for personal acts, processes and corresponding notifications of this procedure, the above-mentioned scheduled is enabled in the offices indicated above.

 

IX. In matters of Natural Protected Areas:

  • Activities and terms foreseen in the Accord by means of which the Rules for the Operation of the Conservation Program for the Sustainable Development (PROCEDES), 2020 Tax Year, published in the DOF on December 28th, 2019, are not suspended.
  • Activities and terms foreseen in the Guidelines for the Execution of the Program for the Protection and Restoration of the Ecosystems and Species at Risk (PROREST), of the Technical Studies Components for the Management of Natural Protected Areas and Community Conservation of Natural Protected Areas, 2020 Tax Year, published on the webpage of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas on February 28th, 2020, are not suspended.

 

X. In matters of procedures of acquisitions, leases and services and in matters of Public Works and Services Related with the later, activities and terms will not be suspended for the procedures on this topic, as well as the formalization of the corresponding legal instruments; which execution are of extreme urgency or result necessary of the continuity of the operations for the compliance of the essential functions of SEMARNAT and its decentralized administrative organs. Based on the later, the terms and deadlines in this topic will continue its due course and will continue operating as per the respective legal dispositions.

For its part, on May 29th, 2020 as well, SEMARNAT published in the Evening Edition of the DOF the Accord by means of which the suspension of terms period to continue with the home visits or cabinet reviews due to the impediment of the authority to continue the exercise of powers of verification, as well as the terms and deadlines of procedures other than the above, substantiated by the General Coordination of Collections and Inspections and the Directorates of Collections and Control in the Basin Organizations of the National Water Commission, is extended, due to unforeseen circumstances or force majeure caused by the pandemic caused by the coronavirus COVID-19, same that would enter into force as of May 30th, 2020, (herein after “CONAGUA Accord”).

 

The CONAGUA Accord establishes that, for purposes of the audit procedures, consisting of home visits and cabinet reviews that, in exercise of their powers, are being carried out by the General Coordination of Collections and Control and by the Directorates of Collections and Control of the Basin Organizations of CONAGUA; the suspension of the terms for its continuation is extended as of June 1st, 2020, and until the new Accord to be published in the DOF enters into force, once the sanitary authority determines that there is no longer an epidemiological risk related with the gradual, cautious and orderly opening of activities related with the Federal Public Administration as per the Accord establishing a strategy for the reopening of social, academic and economic activities, as well as a traffic light system by regions to assess, on a weekly basis, the epidemiological risk related to the reopening of activities in each federal entity, as well as establishing extraordinary actions and article 46-A, second paragraph, section VI, of the Federal Tax Code (“CFF”).

Once the suspension is concluded it will be understood that any act, requirement, request or promotion conducted before CONAGUA must be conducted on the following business day.

In relation with the diverse proceedings provided pending on the basis of articles  192-E, 230-A, 236-B, 286-A of the Federal Rights Law (“LDF”); 22, 22-A, 22-D, 23, 34, 41, 63, 66, 66-A, 67 and 74 of the CFF; as well as the Rules that establish the methodology to determine the volume of efficient use of National Waters referred to in the Actions Program foreseen in article transitory sixth of the Decree by means of which diverse dispositions of the Federal Rights Law are reformed, added and repealed, published on November 18, 2015, published in the DOF on February 22nd, 2016; and as per article 365 of  the Federal Code of Civil Procedures, supplementary applied in terms of the second paragraph; the suspension period for the terms and deadlines foreseen for the abovementioned legal dispositions is extended, by reason of unforeseen circumstances or force majeure, from June 1st,  2020 and until the new accord mentioned above is published.

 

Finally, on June 4th, 2020, SEMARNAT published Accord enabling days and hours for the Industrial Supervision, Inspection and Surveillance Unit of the National Agency of Industrial Safety and Environment Protection of the Hydrocarbon Sector, in order for the indicated administrative acts to be carried out inherent to the procedures of its competence (“ASEA Accord”), same that entered into force on the same date.

ASEA Accord:

  • Enables a schedule, between 10:00 and 15:00 hours Thursdays, starting on June 4th, 2020, for ASEA’s filing office, located at Boulevard Adolfo Ruiz Cortines No. 4209, Col, Jardines en la Montaña, Zip Code 14210, Mexico City, for the Industrial Supervision, Inspection and Surveillance Unit to be able to continue with the activities relating to administrative procedures in which urgent security measures, referred to in the following regulations, have been instructed:
  1. Act of the National Agency of Industrial Safety and Environment Protection of the Hydrocarbon Sector;
  2. General Act for the Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection; and
  3. Federal Act on Metrology and Standardization.

The above, in terms of article 13 of ASEA’s Internal Regulation and article Second of the Accord by means of which the indicated powers are delegated to the Heads of ASEA’s Industrial Management Unit and the Industrial Supervision, Inspection and Surveillance Unit, published in the DOF on March 29th, 2016.

  • Enables a schedule, between 10:00 and 15:00 hours Thursdays, starting on June 4th, 2020, for ASEA’s Industrial Supervision, Inspection and Surveillance Unit to be able to continue with its supervision powers, through petitions of information, with regards to the compliance of:
  1. The General Act for the Prevention and Comprehensive Management of Wastes;
  2. The General Administrative Dispositions;
  3. The Regulation of the General Act for the Prevention and Comprehensive Management of Wastes;
  4. The Mexican Official Standards; and
  5. The ASEA accords.

The above, in terms of article 13 of ASEA’s Internal Regulation and article Second of the Accord by means of which the indicated powers are delegated to the Heads of ASEA’s Industrial Management Unit and the Industrial Supervision, Inspection and Surveillance Unit, published in the DOF on March 29th, 2016.

The abovementioned acts may be notified Monday through Friday, as per article 35, section II, of the Federal Act of Administrative Proceeding.

In order to attend any query related with the ASEA Accord, the later enabled the following emails: reportes@asea.gob.mx and contacto@asea.gob.mx, as well as telephone number (55) 9126-0111.

 

The lawyers of the Environmental Law, National Waters and Climate Change Practice will continue to monitor and inform you of any new developments in this subject and are at your service to clarify any query you may have over these topics.

S I N C E R E L Y,

 

Daniel Del Río

delrio@basham.com.mx

 

Ricardo Evangelista

revangelista@basham.com.mx

 

Mariana Arrieta

marrieta@basham.com.mx