Law No. 2003-10 of 19 Joumada El Oula corresponding to 19 July 2003 on environmental protection in the context of sustainable development

Last updated: 24 August 2022

This law aims at defining the rules of environmental protection (including air, atmosphere, water, soil, subsoil, fauna, flora) within the framework of sustainable development (Article 1). This includes setting the fundamental principles and rules of environmental management, promoting sustainable national development, preventing any form of pollution or nuisance caused to the environment, restoring damaged environments, promoting the rational use of natural resources and the use of cleaner technologies. Among the main objectives of this law, Article 2 mentions the prevention of any form of environmental pollution, including atmospheric pollution. 

This law is based on the following general principles (Article 3): 

  • the principle of non-degradation of natural resources (to avoid damaging natural resources);
  • the principle of substitution (an action that is likely to have a detrimental impact on the environment shall be substituted for another action less risky and damaging for the environment even if entails higher costs);
  • the principle of preventive action and correction of environmental damage (use of the best available technologies at acceptable costs);
  • the precautionary principle; 
  • the polluter pays principle.

Under Article 45, buildings, industrial, commercial, artisanal, or agricultural establishments and vehicles must be constructed, operated, or used in accordance with environmental protection requirements, avoiding and reducing atmospheric pollution. 

Articles 76 and 77 state that industrial companies importing equipment to eliminate or reduce greenhouse gases or other forms of pollution from their production processes can benefit from financial and customs incentives.

Under article 84, any person generating an atmospheric pollution as defined by this law would be punished with a fine from 5000 dinars (DA) to 15 000 DA, which is about 35 USD to 100 USD.

There is no specific mention of methane.

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