Previously, the average processing time was between three and six months, often exceeding the stipulated limit of 90 days. The new procedure has been streamlined to eliminate overlapping functions and reduce the number of public authorities involved. Processing times will now average from one to a strict maximum of three months, depending on the type of business.
IPPC permits are required for businesses engaged in chemicals, metal processing, waste management, agricultural product processing, livestock farming, and other industries that have the potential to impact the environment.
"Simple rules and fast processes are essential criteria for companies deciding where to invest. The streamlined procedure for issuing pollution permits improves the business environment and will boost Lithuania’s standing in the international ratings," says Milda Dargužaitė, Managing Director of Invest Lithuania, which initiated these changes in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment.
Now, all a company has to do is contact the Regional Environmental Department or the Public Health Centre, depending on the type of permit it needs, without dealing with the municipality, as before. The municipalities will now contribute to the area planning process for greenfield investments and the significant expansion of existing operations.
The Regional Environmental Department serves as the principal coordinating authority responsible for providing sound feedback to businesses and ensuring compliance with the permit issuance rules.
Dargužaitė notes that the new rules are in line with the principle of one-stop-shopping, as investors are provided with a single point of contact while coordination issues are handled by the government.
A revision to the regulations on the issuance, renewal and cancellation of IPPC permits came into effect on 20 June. Some 2,700 IPPC permits have been issued to date.