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Updated to: 25 February 2015Download as PDF
Country contact on EIA
Contact details for the country contact on EIA.
Director Office of environment
Ministry of Environment and physical planning
Goce Delcev 18, 1000 Skopje
Tel:+389 (0) 3251 461
History of EIA
Brief description of the history of the EIA system in the country, including when it was introduced and any major milestones in its development.
Within the framework of the former Yugoslavia, it was obligatory to prepare studies on environmental impacts, which contained elements of an EIA process. After independence, EIA requirements were spread over
several laws (e.g. the Law on environment and nature conservation of 1996) but EIA had not been adopted by the parliament in a separate law. In 2005 the Law on Environment was introduced, which consolidated the EIA process in chapter IX. Secondary legislation dealing with screening, scoping, reviewing and reporting in EIA procedure, as well as with public participation and establishment of a certified list of EIA experts, were adopted in 2005 and 2006. The current EIA system is harmonized with the European Union directives and the ESPOO convention on EIA in a transboundary context, that was ratified in 1999.
Year of introduction of EIA legislation
NB: this field is only meant for the world map. It is a hidden cell that is not published on the website. If available, mention the year when detailed national EIA regulations were issued. If such regulations do not exist and if EIA practice is base
Legal framework for EIA
Year of introduction of enabling law
Year when the enabling law for EIA was issued
The Law on Environment (2005) has a Chapter IX on Environmental Impact Assessment of certain projects.
Approving authority of enabling law
Authority that approved the enabling law for EIA.
The Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia approved the Law on the Environment.
Year of introduction of first national detailed regulation for EIA
Year when when the first national detailed regulation (procedural requirements) through which EIA was operationalized.
The Minister of Environment and Physical Planning has adopted several ordinances and one decree related to EIA:
- Decree on determining projects for which and criteria on the basis of which the screening for EIA should be carry out (Official Gazette No. 74/05)
- Ordinance on the amount of expenses covered by the investor for implementation of EIA procedure (Official Gazette no. 33/06)
- Ordinance on the information contained in notification of intent to implement a project and the procedure for determining the need for EIA of a project (Official Gazette 33/06)
- Ordinance on the content of announcement of the notification of the intention to implement a project, on the necessity of an EIA, on the study on project EIA, of the report on the adequacy of the study on EIA (Official Gazette 33/06)
- Ordinance on the content of the requirements that need to be fulfilled by the study on EIA (Official Gazette 33/06)
- Ordinance on the form, content procedure and manner of developing the report on the adequacy of the study on EIA of the project and the procedure for authorisation of persons from the List of Experts for EIA responsible for the preparation of the report (Official Gazette 33/06)
- Ordinance on establishment the List with EIA experts, the procedure for carrying out the EIA expert exam, establishment of the Commission for evaluation of the EIA expert knowledge(Official Gazette 93/07)
- Ordinance on the amount of expenses covered by the investor for implementation of EIA procedure ( Official Gazette no. 116/09)
Approving authority of first national detailed regulation for EIA
The authority that approved the first national detailed regulation (procedural requirements) through which EIA was operationalized.
The Ministry of Environmental and Physical Planning approved the subsidiary decrees.
Recent updates and additions to the EIA legislation
Revisions of the EIA provisions in the enabling law or the national detailed EIA regulation (procedural requirements) are named. The year is listed, and the main changes since the first regulation are mentioned, if available. Also, additional EIA-re
The Law on the Environment (Official Gazette No. 53/05) was amended several times: Official Gazette No. 81/05, 24/07, 159/08, 83/09, 48/10, 124/10, 51/11 and 123/12.
The Decree on determining projects for which and criteria on the basis of which the screening for EIA should be carry out (Official Gazette No. 74/05) was amended in 2009 and 2012 ( Official Gazette No. 74/05, 109/09 and 164/12). The 2012 amendment included an updating of the screening lists in its Annex I and Annex II.
Sector specific procedures or regulations on EIA
Any existing sectoral procedural or content regulations are listed here, as well as the authority that issued each.
The Law on Waste Management (2004), the Law on Air Quality (2004) and the Law on Water (2008) specifically refer to the EIA requirement. The Law on Nature Protection (2004) requires a Nature Impact Assessment for specified plans and programmes (see also the Macedonian SEA profile).
Any government issued guidelines on EIA (general, or sectoral) are listed here, as well as the authority that issued each. Describe the legal status of the guidelines.
The Ministry for Environment and Physical Planning has produced Guidance on the implementation of the EIA procedure, as well as for preparation of EIA Studies for the following sectors: Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP) Development, Landfill Development, Dams Construction, Slaughterhouse Development, Overhead Transmission lines Construction, Mineral Resource Extraction Part I – extraction of groundwater and gas extraction, Mineral Resource Extraction Part II – quarries.
Guidelines on undertaking specific EIA steps (screening, scoping and reviewing of EIA) have also been produced by the Ministry, to support the work of their own staff.
Objective of EIA
The objective of EIA as stated in the above described legal basis.
EIA is a means to achieve the objectives of the Law on Environment, which are: 1) the preservation, protection, restoration and improvement of the quality of the environment; 2) protection of human life and health; 3) protection of biological diversity; 4) rational and sustainable utilization of natural resources; 5) implementation and improvement of measures aimed at addressing regional and global environmental problems.
Scope of EIA application
Describes which types of activities require EIA (public and/or private activities; national and/or foreign initiated project; or all such projects)
The projects subject to EIA include public and private activities. Specific provisions exist for foreign projects with transboundary impact in Macedonia and vice versa.
Exemptions from EIA application
Describes any (groups of) activities identified in the regulation that are exempted from the requirement to do EIA (e.g. military or emergency activities).
Article 78 of the Law on Environment (48/10) promulgates that the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, by proposal from the MOEPP, may decide in exceptional cases that an EIA has not to be carried out, either for the whole project or parts of it. This decision is made on the basis fo a case-by-case examination. An exemption can be granted in case of:
- war or state of emergency,
- defense needs of the Republic of Macedonia, or
- need for urgent prevention of events that could have not been predicted and are likely to have a serious impact on health, security or property of people, or on the environment.
The Ministry needs to inform the public the decision on exemption, and on the outcomes of the alternative assessment method applied.
Institutional setting for EIA
Central EIA authority
Is there a central authority in charge of implementing EIA? Is it independent or linked to a higher body (e.g ministry)? What are its tasks related to EIA?
The Ministry for Environment and Physical Planning (MoEPP) is responsible for implementation of the Environmental Law, including the EIA procedure. MoEPP also has specific responsibilities in screening, scoping, and review of the EIA report. The responsibities for implementing EIA procedures are settled within the Office of Environment (Environmental Adminsitration) which is a constituent part of the MoEPP. It has a specific Unit for EIA.
Other key (governmental) parties involved in EIA, and their roles
Lists other key parties (e.g. a review commission, knowledge institute) that have a role in many or all EIAs.
- Ministries, State institutions and Local Self Government Units provide information necessary for the definition of the scope definition and preparation of the EIA Study and give input during review.
- The State Environmental Inspection is in charge of supervising enforcement of the Law on Environment, including checking that EIAs have been undertaken for project requiring them, and monitoring that mitigation measure proposed in EIAs are in fact carried out.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs is involved in transboundary EIA processes, and ensures proper notification and consultation with the relevant countries.
Mandate for exemption of EIA obligation
Describes if there is a legal mandate for a competent authority to make exemptions of EIA obligation. And if yes, under which conditions (e.g. national security, disasters or no conditions/when deemed necessary).
The Government of the Republic of Macedonia, by proposal from the MOEPP, may exempt a specific project or part of a project from EIA, under specified conditions.
(De)centralisation of EIA mandates
Describes if EIA mandates are (de)centralised. Vertical decentralization refers to the extent to which the responsibility for EIA processes are delegated by the central government to the provincial or local authorities. Sectoral or horizontal decen
The EIA system in Macedonia is centralized. The MOEPP has the main responsibility for decision-making processes in EIA.
Overview EIA procedure
Characterizes the overall EIA procedure. If relevant, interesting aspects of the EIA procedure are mentioned such as: which procedural steps are part of the EIA procedure? How are they linked to each other? Are there different levels of assessment di
The EIA process in Macedonia requires Screening, Scoping, Assessment, Review and a decision on the consent of the EIA process allowing the proponent to obtain other relevant permits.
The following documents are important outputs of the EIA process: Notification document (for Screening), Scoping opinion document, EIA report, Consent decision document.
Screening requirement and authority
Describes if a formal screening decision required, and if so, which authority is responsible for this decision. Is this decision published?
Screening is carried out by MoEPP and the screening decision is published.
Describes the screening process: steps in screening, the stakeholders involved and outcomes of the process, status of screening advice of different stakeholders, etc. Also describes any prescribed methods for screening. If preliminary EIA's / light EIA's / Initial Environmental Evaluations (IEE) are done in this country and which criteria determine whether a preliminary or a full EIA is requested
The proponent submits a notification of intent document to the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning (MoEPP), in which it announced that it intends to initiate a project that may be subject to EIA. Together with the notification, the proponent gives an opinion on whether EIA is needed or not. If the proponent considers EIA necessary, then they can submit a request for the Ministry to give an opinion on the scope of the EIA, together with the notification.
The Ministry makes use of the decree on screening to make the screening decision, which prescribes a combination of a positive list and case-by-case screening. An EIA is requested for all activities listed in Annex I of the relevant Decree and for those listed in Annex II when there is a significant impact, because of such characteristics as type, dimension or location of the project and/or because of the environmental sensitivity of the proposed location.
Once the screening decision is made, the Ministry notifies the proponent and publishes the screening decision, which includes an explanation of the reasoning for the EIA.
Articles 80 and 81, Law on Environment
Effectiveness of the Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment procedures in the Republic of Macedonia, 2009, Macedonian Green Centre.
Provision for sensitive areas
Are specific requirements formulated for environmentally sensitive areas? (e.g. no minimum thresholds, full EIA instead of partial EIA)
Environmental sensitiveness of an area should be considered, and may trigger the EIA requirement.
Contents of the starting document
Describes the required content of the starting document (if any) that the proponent should submit to the competent authority for EIA screening. Mentions if the starting document is published.
The notification document that an initiator of a project submits shall contain the following information:
- Information on the investor
- Characteristics of the project, including documentations of capacity or size if relevant for the screening decision
- Description of which category in annex 1 or 2 the project falls
- If the investor is considering the EIA not necessary he/she needs to specify the reason
- The municipality in which the project is intended to be realized
- Location of the project and a brief description of the surrounding
- Indication of potential emissions to water, air and soil
- Characteristics of the potential impacts on the environment and the landscape, historical and cultural heritage
- Indication of which other competent authorities the notification is sent to.
The Ministry publishes this notification.
Maximum number of (working) days allowed between submission of the starting document and the screening decision.
The Ministry announces its screening decison within 30 days of submission of the notification of intent. If the proponent has asked for the scoping opinion and screening decision simultaneously, then the Ministry gives both within those 30 days. In that case, 15 days are given, within the 30 day period, to receive comments from other authorities on the scope.
Is a formal scoping step required as part of the EIA process?
Scoping is required (article 82, law of environment).
Describes who carries main responsibility to undertake scoping and what the roles and responsibilities of the involved parties during the process are. Specifically, is there independent formulation and/or review of the scoping document, approval of the scoping document? Are any methods prescribed, e.g. participation, checklists. What guidance is provided?
The Ministry for Environment and Physical Planning (MoEPP) determines the scope of the study on environmental impact assessment. The MoEPP can engage the help of certified EIA experts in preparing its scoping opinion.
MoEPP consults the proponent and the municipalities in the area of which the project is to be carried out, as well as other relevant bodies of the state administration and institutions. These bodies have to provide their information and opinions within 15 days of the day of submission of the request for consultation.
The opinion of the scope of the study on project environmental impact assessment shall in particular contain:
- alternatives to be taken into consideration;
- basic review and research required;
- methods and criteria used for anticipation and assessment of the effects;
- measures for improvement to be taken into consideration;
- legal persons that should be consulted during the preparation of the study on the project environmental impact assessment; and
- structure, content and extent of environmental information.
The scoping opinion of the Ministry is published.
Article 82, Law on Environment
Contents of the scoping document
Explains if there are there specific requirements for the content of the scoping document, and if so, what these are.
The regulation refers to an opinion on the scope of the EIA, which is published by the Ministry.
Number of (working) days for the decision on approval of the scoping document by the competent authority.
The Law for general administrative procedures determines that the timeline available for scoping is 30 days.
Assessment and reporting
Steps and roles of stakeholders in the assessment and status of the input of the stakeholders. Also sets out methods for assessment of the environmental impacts of the activity, if prescribed, and whether the assessment covers environmental, social, economic and/or transboundary effects.
In preparing the preparing the EIA Study the proponent is obliged to engage at least one person from the list of recognised EIA experts, who signs off on the EIA Study, thereby vouching for its quality.
The assessment focuses mainly on effects on the biophysical environment.
Contents of the EIA report
Explains what should be contained in the EIA report. Specifies if a potential Environmental Management Plan is part of the EIA report or if it is a separate document that contributes to the EIA process.
The following content is required in an EIA:
- description of the project with information on the location, character and the size of the project and the land area needed
- description of the environment and its media on the location
- description of historic and cultural heritage and the landscape
- description of the type and quantity of emissions and wastes expected, especially emissions in the air, solid wastes and waste water, as well as other information necessary for evaluation of significant effects of the project on the environment;
- description of the measures for prevention, diminishing and elimination of the impact on the environment, as well as the substitution measures in case of intervention in the natural environment and landscape;
- description of the effects of the project on the environment having in mind the level of scientific development and accepted evaluation methods;
- description of the characteristics of the technology used;
- description of the alternative solutions for realization of the project that the investor had considered and the main reasons for the choice of the proposed option; the zero-option shall always be included;
- summary of the study submitted without technical details;
- review of the difficulties (technical defects or lack of knowledge) that the investor or the expert were faced with in the course of study preparation;
- suggestion for the size and the characteristics under which the environmental impact assessment study should be updated.
Overview of the review process, including: steps in the process and roles of the stakeholders, status of the input of the stakeholders. Is the process open to public? Review method: internal review, external review, panel/commission (permanent or temporary), are the review results documented? Are the review criteria general or case by case? Are the review results documented? Is a potential review
Once it is ready, the proponent submits the EIA report to the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning (MoEPP). The Ministry can request additional information of the proponent if the EIA report is not sufficient. If the proponent fails to supplement the EIA report within a maximum of 40 days, if this is requested, the Ministry can appoint an EIA expert to prepare the EIA report with the requested supplements.
The Ministry announces that the EIA report is ready, and publishes the summary on its website. The Ministry also submits the EIA report for consultation to the relevant municipalities. Any person, state administration body, or Mayor, may submit their opinion in writing to the Ministry within 30 days. The Ministry then organises a public hearing.
The MoEPP prepares a review report on the EIA study. The MoEPP may appoint registered experts for this (but not the same experts that were involved in EIA report drafting). If during review information is considered missing, then the proponent is asked to provide this additional information within 30 days. The review report states whether the EIA study was done in accordance with the requirements of the Law on Environment and it proposes conditions to be set out in the permit for the implementation and measures to prevent and mitigate harmful impacts. The review should be based on the EIA study and on the received comments. The review report is forwarded to the relevant government bodies, and published as well.
Describes if the EIA is checked by external parties, and if so to what extent these represent required disciplines/expertise. Also sets out if measures have been taken to ensure that reviewers are impartial?
External experts can be asked to assist in review. The experts involved in foregoing stages of the EIA process are by law not allowed to review the EIA study.
Law on environment, article 86
Number of (working) days for review of the EIA by the competent authority.
A maximum of 60 days is given for review, but in certain circumstances this may be extended to 90 days, at the most.
Integration of EIA into decision-making
Describes what kind of decision-making processes the EIA is intended to support. We look specifically at the decision on EIA approval, and how this relates to envirionmental approval for the project, and other project approval decisions (permits) needed before a project can proceed. This category describes which decisions are influenced by EIA and how they are linked to each other.
Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning needs to grant a consent on the basis of the EIA before other permits needed for the project to proceed can be given. For example, EIA approval is needed before a permit for abstraction of water or exploitation of quarries of the by the Ministry of Economy is given or prior to considering technical designs by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
Describes which authority/authorities is/are responsible for each of the main decision-making processes on EIA (EIA approval, environmental approval and/or project approval). It is explained if those decisions are taken by the same or different authorities.
The Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning issues a decision on whether to grant consent to or reject the application for the project implementation, on the basis of the EIA. Before the government authority (line ministry or local government, for example) responsible for approving the project can give the permit required, the proponent has to provide either a decision to grant consent from the Ministry of Environment and Planning, or a screening decision by the same Ministry showing that no EIA is required.
Mentions if the decision (on EIA approval and/or environmental approval) is linked to certain documents (e.g. environmental management plan, permit conditions) in order to facilitate the management of environmental risks during project implementation. Also describes if commitments of the proponent are incorporated into legally binding instruments.
The decision on the consent of the EIA process contains permit conditions for the project implementation as well as measures for prevention and reduction of the harmful effecs.
Sets out requirements for justification of the consideration of the EIA information in decision-making (on EIA approval, environmental approval and/or project approval).
The announcement of the consent decision by the Ministry shall contain information about whether the project EIA study fulfills the prescribed requirements .
Does the decision (on EIA approval, environmental approval and/or project approval) have to be published? Also, is the decision justification published as well?
The decision is published by the Ministry.
Maximum number of (working) days available to the competent authority to make the EIA based decision (EIA approval, environmental clearance and/or project approval).
The Ministry must decide on the consent within 40 days of submission of the EIA review report.
Monitoring, Compliance and Enforcement
Is compliance monitoring required to check if the project is implemented as described in the EIA documents and/or if mitigation of environmental impacts complies with applicable standards and other measures set out in the EIA documents? Who is responsible for ensuring compliance? How does this authority ensure compliance (for example, through inspections)? And what requirements are there for the p
The Ordinance for EIA requires that a monitoring plan is submitted as an integrated part of the EIA study. The State Inspectorate for Environment and the municipalities which are affected by the project are responsible for ensuring that the monitoring plan is being implemented.
Are there monitoring requirements that involve external parties, such as citizen monitoring (for example, through a complaints procedure), or third party auditing?
Are there penalties that the authority responsible for compliance can apply if environmental conditions are not met? What are these? (for example, fines, suspension of license)
The Law on the Environment prescribes fines for the various misdemeanors, for instance if:
- a legal person fails to inform the respective authority about the intention to carry out a project (Article 80),
- an EIA study has not been developed and submitted to the respective authority (Article 83)
Are there any requirements to monitor if the impacts in reality are as they were predicted in the EIA, with the purpose of evaluating the EIA itself and improving future EIA practice?
Focus of the monitoring activities should be the environmental effects from applied mitigation measures, as stipulated in the EIA study and the decision for project undertaking.
Is the proponent required to pay a fee when applying for an EIA? Is this fee linked to a permitting fee, or separate? If yes, when is this paid and to whom (to the agency that issues the license or to a central agency)?
The proponent pays for the screening decision (salary of the civil servant per hour spent plus average overhead costs per hour spent) and scoping decision (same methodology as screening) and for the EIA review (costs are determined by the Ministry for Environment and Physical Planning). Costs for the public hearing are borne by the MoEPP.
Public participation requirements for EIA process stages
Describes for which of the EIA process stages public participation is required.
Provisions for public participation are made in the Law on Environment: public may make written comments during for the scoping stage and a public hearing is part of the review of the EIA report.
Public participation arrangements
Relevant information regarding the arrangements for public participation are provided here (e.g. who is responsible for it, who is consulted, does the legislation mention consultation or participation, for which project should consultations be held, are public hearings held etc.)
The MoEPP ensures the availability of all information to the public. The regulations suggests that the proponent may at an early stage involve the public by a direct dialogue. The MoEPP may assist in identifying the concerned public. All governmental agencies should make available, upon request, relevant/requested information for review, on the spot or by sending a copy after a request is made.
Public participation guidance
Has any guidance on participation been provided?
Access to information
Which of the information that is generated in the EIA process is available to the public? Specifically, which reports and decision statements?
The public's access to environmental information is governed by chapter VIII in Law on the Environment. The access of information and/or the documents shall be sent as soon as possible and in time in order for the public to comment within the stipulated deadline for comments.
Article 90 of the Law on Environment stipulates that the following documents should be made available to the public: the notification document, the screening decision, the EIA report, the review report, consent decision document, announcement of public hearing.
How can the public receive the information that is publicly available? Are there public announcement on the proceedings? How/where are these published? Is information made available locally? Is information sent on request? etc.
The application document and screening decision are announced in at least one daily newspaper and on the web site of the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning. The screening decision is also published on the notice board of MoEPP. The EIA report is announced in at least one daily national newspaper and through a local radio/TV station. The non-technical summary of the EIA is published on the website of the MoEPP. The review document is published in at least one daily national newspaper and on the website of MoEPP. The announcement of the public hearing is made in at least one daily national newspaper and on the local TV and radio station.
Timeline for public comments
The number of (working) days available for the public to make comments on the EIA decision document.
The public has 30 days to comment on the draft EIA report.
Costs for public
Are there any specified costs public parties will incur if they partake in EIA?(e.g. costs for the receiving report, costs of losing an appeal, etc. Costs associated with travel to meetings or such are not included here)
The proponent generally has to take over the costs associated with public participation. Article 92 from the Law on Environment determines that the investor shall pay for the organization of the public hearing. Also costs for providing the public with information on the environmental impacts of the project are covered by the proponent (Article 90).
What options do the public have to provide their comments. Should comments be written, or may they also be verbal? To which agency should they provide their submissions?
Written comments received and all comments made during public hearings should be taken into account.
Public comments in decision-making
Do the EIA and/or project approval decisions have to be justified on the basis of public participation results? Do legal texts indicate how public participation results should be used and to which decision-making processses they should contribute?
The regulation states that the decision to give consent or not should be based on the public debate. There are not specific requirements on the extent to which public comments should determine the decision.
Possibilities for appeal
What are the legal recourse options to challenge EIA decisions are provided for within the legal framework?
The screening decision and the project consent decision, including its conditions, can be appealed to the State Commission for deciding in administrative procedure and the procedure employed in the second degree.
Decisions that can be appealed
Which EIA decisions can be appealed?
The screening decision and project consent decision.
Who can appeal
Who can make an appeal (in other words, has legal standing)?
Appeal is open to everyone. The Law on Environment states that any legal or natural persons concerned, as well as the citizens’ associations established for the purpose of environment protection and improvement shall have the right to lodge an appeal.
Annual no. of EIAs
Gives an estimation for the number of full EIAs that are produced annually in this country.
In 2012, for about 10 projects the EIA procedure has been finalized.
Central EIA database
Is there a central database or library where information on EIAs is kept (i.e. where all EIAs are registered and/or copies are archived). If so, what is kept there and is this information publicly accessible?
There is not yet a central EIA database, but EIA studies can be found on the website of the Ministry.
Any EIA practice review studies that have been done (by governmental agencies or others) are listed here. Where relevant, links to studies are included, and the main conclusions of the studies are summarised.
The NGO Macedonian Green Centre published a study on the "Effectiveness of the Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment procedures in the Republic of Macedonia" in 2009.
Accreditation of consultants
Is there and accreditation system operational in the country to certify consultants to do EIAs?
The legislation stipulates that EIA can only be undertaken by experts that are certified and have been incorporated into the list of recognised EIA experts. Under the responsibility of the Ministry for Environment and Physical Planning, a committee certifies the experts, according to a prescribed procedure.
Professional bodies relevant to EIA practice in the country, such as EIA Associations, Environmental Expert Associations, etc are listed here.
The Macedonian regulation requires that EIAs are undertaken by certified EIA experts. A committee has been appointed under the Ministry for Environment and Physical Planning to certify experts and a public register of certified experts is kept.
Non-governmental EIA guidance
Lists any EIA manuals and good practice publications (including checklists, case studies) that have been published by parties other than government.
Ongoing training programmes (including professional and academic training) and major training events held in the past (with focus on recent events) are mentioned here.
Links to laws/regulation
Any relevant links to laws or regulations are included here.
The Law on Environment is available, in Macedonian and in English, on the website of the Ministry for Environment and Physical Planning.
Other relevant links on EIA
Any other relevant links (for example to country specific guidance documents) are included here.