The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (“MMH”) recently approved Ministerial Order No. 1/2020 dated 13 April 2020, by which the period of provision of services by expatriate professionals in the Hydrocarbons’ Sector in Equatorial Guinea is limited.
• Administrative and technical staffmay only provide services in EG for a period of 3 years;
• The period for transfer of skills will begin on the second year after the hiring of the expatriate and the contract must be terminated once the 3 years elapse;
• Expatriate Administrative Staff are defined as expatriate staff with the following roles: General Directors, Department Managers (administration, finance, human resources, legal managers and similar);
• Technical Expatriate Staff are defined as expatriate staff with the following roles: Production, Operations, Maintenance, Logistics and HSE Managers or similar;
• In the event that the “technology transfer” process has not been completed within the aforementioned deadline, the expatriate employee must leave. The company shall inform the MMH and said Ministry shall decide whether to renew the authorisation for the expatriate employee o stay in country for an additional period not exceeding 1 year or not;
• Work permits, visas, residency and all the documentation related to the stay of expatriates employees within the Hydrocarbons’ Sector in EG, will be carried out under strict supervision of the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons through the General Direction of Local Content;
• Exceptions to the aforementioned rules might be made under the supervision and prior authorisation of the MMH before, during and after the hiring of expatriate employees and the implementation of a project;
• The MMH will apply penalties in the event of:
o provision of incomplete or wrong information to the MMH, regarding the obligations imposed by this Ministerial Order to companies, operators, contractors, associates, subcontractors and suppliers;
o applications for work permits in fraud of the law. In this case, the Ministry of Labour, Employment Promotion and Social Security will cancel the work permits of the expatriate employees who are not in compliance with the Ministerial Order;
o simulation of fraudulent strategies to circumvent compliance with this Ministerial
• In order to verify the compliance with the Ministerial Order, the MMH, through the General Direction of Local Content, will conduct “as many inspections as it deems necessary” to companies belonging to the Hydrocarbons’ Sector.
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