The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has scrapped fees it charges environmental experts to reduce the operational costs.
“In order to facilitate ease of doing business in Kenya, Nema has scrapped application fees and annual fees for all categories(associates, lead and firm) with immediate effect,” said Nema in a public notice in February 2017.
Notice “Please note that Nema will still continue to register qualified experts and firms as per provisions of the law. Membership to the Environment Institute of Kenya remains a mandatory requirement for all experts.” The agency has categorised environmental experts into associate and lead experts. Previously, associate experts were required to pay a registration fee of Sh4,000 while the leads would pay Sh6,000.
Local firms were required to pay Sh10,000 as registration fee. Foreign experts and foreign firms have been paying Sh12,000 (associate), Sh18,000 (lead) and Sh30,000 (firm of experts). Licence renewal In addition, the experts and environmental consultancies were required to pay an annual licence renewal fee of Sh6,000 (associate expert), Sh10,000 (lead) and Sh40,000 (local firms). Expatriate experts will now pay Sh18,000 (associate), Sh30,000 (lead) and Sh120,000 (foreign firms).
Going forward, lead experts will be required to pay Sh2,000 as annual membership in the Environment Institute of Kenya. Associate experts will pay Sh15,000 and a firm of experts will pay Sh5,000. The scrapping of these fees follows the removal of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) fee in January. Nema in the past charged 0.1 per cent of project value as EIA fees but the National Treasury scrapped it also.
Nema, however, said the companies they work for will be required to remain paid-up members of their professional body, the Environment Institute of Kenya. The agency says this will help the regulator keep tabs on industry practices and root out quacks and rogue firms.
This comes about two months after the cabinet scrapped construction levies charged by deifferent bodies. In November last year, a statement from State House said the charges by agencies such as the Nema and NCA have been a barrier to investments.