Protecting the Environment through the IAB BES: What Every Business Needs to Know

The Information poin for the Environment  for all your information about the new legislation
The Information point for the Environment Caribbean Netherlands “Informatiepunt Milieu Caribisch Nederland” is a collaboration between the Public Entity of Bonaire, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the Chamber of Commerce Bonaire and is located in the Chamber of Commerce building. The Information point for the Environment looks forward to supporting entrepreneurs and providing them with information about the IAB BES legislation. This will be done through the information desk, information sessions and a tool that is being prepared to provide immediate insight into which type of sector your organization falls under and what needs to be done to comply with the new law.

Our actions have direct consequences for the environment and our living environment. From land use to determining construction locations, and even our methods for waste management, wastewater treatment, noise production and handling of harmful substances – every aspect counts. To protect our environment, the VROM BES Act was created, with guidelines for spatial planning, construction and environmental protection. This law places responsibilities not only on the government, but also on the residents of the BES islands.

Separate environmental rules apply to companies, laid down in the BES Establishments and Activities Decree (IAB BES). On this page you will discover what this decision means for your company.

But where does your company fall under? The decision distinguishes four types of companies, also called ‘establishments’:

  1. Type 1: Companies with general rules, without reporting obligation.
  2. Type 2: Companies with general rules, but with a reporting obligation.
  3. Type 3 and 4: Companies that require an environmental permit.

The type of facility your company is depends on the nature of its activities and their impact on the environment.

Type 1 and 2 businesses generally have a limited environmental impact, such as offices, restaurants or garages. Type 3 and 4 companies, on the other hand, carry out complex or potentially dangerous activities, such as car dismantling companies or oil terminals.

But what are those general rules actually? These rules apply to type 1 and 2 companies, which vary from waste management and wastewater treatment to fire prevention and the storage of hazardous substances. In addition, there are regulations for noise production, emission control and energy management.

Would you like to know more about your type of company and what the rules entail? The Information point for the Environment is available for questions from individual companies. Furthermore, all information will be announced via the information channels of the Chamber of Commerce.

The Information point for the Environment is located in the lobby of the Chamber of Commerce Bonaire at Kaya Amsterdam 23 and is open daily from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. For detailed information, please consult the website

Frequently asked questions about setting up a business

  • What is the difference between having a hobby and running a business?

    Perhaps you do something now and then that brings in a little money: you might repair a neighbour’s car, fix a garden fence or help paint a house. In such cases, you are not running a business. The event is incidental and even though you are paid, it is still a hobby-like act. However, if you start to repair more cars, produce garden fences en masse or paint several houses a week, you are gradually becoming a business and you need to register your business in the Commercial Register. There is a large grey area between having a hobby and running a business. Please ask at the Chamber of Commerce to find out precisely whether you are running a business or not.

  • I am setting up a company; am I obliged to draw up a business plan?

    Firstly, please let us say that we think it’s fantastic that you are going into business! Opinions differ on the obligation to draw up a business plan. There are plenty of business that are successful in what they do without a business plan. But generally speaking, we strongly recommend putting a good business plan together. It means that you consider all the aspects of running a business, including thorough market research and the feasibility of the plan. There are plenty of businesses that started up too quickly and gradually discovered that they had missed certain matters. As 75% of all business world-wide are forced to close down within 5 years, it is advisable to increase your chances and consider these extremely important elements concerning your future company carefully. Not surprisingly, the Chamber of Commerce advises: yes, always draw up a business plan!

    If you want to take out a loan from a bank, etc. or borrow from an authority like Qredits (micro-financing), you are, in fact, obliged to put together a proper business plan. You won’t get a loan without that business plan.

  • Must I be registered in Bonaire’s population register if I want to set up a company?

    No, not necessarily. If you are a legal entity (e.g. a private limited company or a public limited company), you do not need to be resident of Bonaire. However, if you are opting to be a sole trader (EZ), you must be registered on the island. For more information about the different legal forms, click HERE (link to legal forms), about legal entities, click HERE (link to legal entities) or visit the Chamber of Commerce for more advice.

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