New Deadline Established By IBAMA For The Conversion Of Environmental Fines

Author:Mr Paulo de Bessa Antunes, Vilmar L.G. Gonçalves and Bárbara Colaço
Profession:Tauil & Chequer

On August 10, 2018, Normative Instruction IBAMA No. 18/2018 was published, which has extended the deadline for all legal entities to express their interest in the conversion of environmental fines to within 240 days, calculated from the date of publication of IBAMA Normative Instruction No. 06/2018 (February 16, 2018). That is, an interested party has until October 15, 2018, to file the "Expression of Interest Form for Conversion of Environmental Fines" ("Formulário de Manifestação de Interesse pela Conversão de Multas Ambientais"), in which the legal entity must indicate the option of either the direct or indirect conversion method, independent of the project's submission, through a document addressed to the competent authority for the judgment of the notice of infraction or hierarchical appeal ("recurso hierárquico").

Regulation of the necessary proceedings for the enforcement of fine conversions in services of preservation, improvement and recovery of the quality of the environment is established through IBAMA Normative Instruction No. 6/2018 ("IN IBAMA 6/2018").

It is important to note that the conversion of environmental fines is discretionary, based on the rules established by Federal Decree No. 9,179/2017, which amended the Federal Decree No. 6,514/2008, as well as by IBAMA Normative Instruction No. 6/2018, and the legal entity may request the conversion of fines until the presentation of its closing statements to the competent authority for the judgment of the notice of infraction.

However, for those notices of infraction that were in pre-trial and trial phases in the administrative instance prior to the publication of IN IBAMA 6/2018, and whose fines are not yet constituted as a public credit, the following transition rules shall be applied:

If a notice of infraction is imposed on the legal entity up to the date of publication of IN IBAMA 6/2018, the company can request the conversion of fines pursuant to the provisions set forth in Federal Decree No. 6,514/2008, or adapt the previous request even if the closing statement phase has passed; If the request is formalised and accepted by IBAMA, the notice of infraction judgment will be suspended, without prejudice to the pre-trial stage procedure until (i) the conclusion of the selection process of the project by means of the First Public Call for Projects for indirect conversion carried out by IBAMA headquarters, in the case that the company has chosen the indirect method, and...

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