Legislation

With its very attractive and favorable regulatory terms, Morocco is one of the top destinations for investor in term of risk/reward ratio. Morocco has also undertaken constitutional reforms and legislative amendments that lead to its business attractiveness.

ONHYM plays the central role of a one-stop shop for oil companies interested in exploring Morocco’s hydrocarbon potential, and improves awareness of the legislation and regulation governing the upstream sector as follows:

UPSTREAM SECTOR

  • The Hydrocarbon Code   composed of :
  • • Law n°21-90 relating to the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbon deposits, enacted by Dahir n°1-91-118 dated April 1, 1992, as amended by law n°27-99 enacted by Dahir n°1-99-340 dated February 15, 2000 .
  • • Decree n°2-93-786 dated November 3, 1993 implementing the Hydrocarbon Law, as amended by Decree n°2-99-210 dated March 16, 2000.

GENERAL TAX CODE

  • • The Tax Code (le code général des impôts) instituted by the Finance Law n° 43-06 for the 2007 financial year, promulgated by dahir n° 1-06-232 of 10 Hijja 1427 (December 31, 2006), as amended and completed.

ENVIRONMENT

    Various laws relating to the environment do exist. The main laws used in the upstream sector are:

  • • Law n°11-03 relating the protection and enhancement of the environment, enacted by Dahir n°1-03-59 dated May 12, 2003.
  • • Law n°12-03 relating the environment impact assessment, enacted by Dahir n°1-03-60 dated May 12, 2003.
  • • Framework Law 99-12 on the National Charter for the Environment and Sustainable Development enacted by Dahir n° 1-14-09 dated March 6, 2014.
  • • Law n°49-17 relating to environmental assessment, enacted by Dahir n°1.20.78 dated August 08, 2020.

TREATIES

    As part of the effort to encourage investment, Morocco signed and ratified the international instruments enabling implementation of arbitral awards, i.e. the 1958 New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and the 1965 International Convention on settlement of Investment Disputes between States and nationals of other States and the agreement with the European Union establishing a dispute settlement mechanism entered into in 2011.

    Morocco grants the right to IOCs to recourse to arbitration for dispute settlement.

    As for taxation, Morocco has signed 76 treaties on the avoidance of double taxation with countries and regional and international communities.

    Morocco is an active member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 1995. In addition, Morocco is an active member of regional organizations such as the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA), and the Agadir Agreement which refers to the Arab-Mediterranean Free Trade Agreement. The Kingdom has signed bilateral Free Trade Agreements with regional groupings such as the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the European Community (EC), and with countries as the United States and Turkey. Morocco signed recently an association agreement with the United Kingdom. Discussions are ongoing with other countries including Canada with the aim to conclude new free trade agreements.

INCENTIVES

IOCs willing to operate in Morocco benefit from a very advantageous business environment granting multiple incentives:

  • • Government interest share of a maximum of 25 %.
  • • A total exemption from corporate income tax on production for a consecutive ten-year period as from the start of the regular production.
  • • A total perpetual exemption from all duties and taxes on the importation of equipment, materials and consumables, and a total perpetual exemption from VAT and all other taxes, except withholding tax.
  • • Exemption from the tax on income from shares, capital rights and similar revenues on the profits and dividends of the companies holding a producing concession and shareholders of these companies.
  • • Free transfer of the profits and dividends outside Morocco without limitation for foreign entities.
  • • The royalty rates vary between 10% and 7% for oil and 5% and 3.5% for gas, depending on the location of the producing field (whether in onshore and shallow offshore, or in deep offshore). In either case, the first 300,000 Tons of oil and 300 million m3 of gas or the first 500,000 Tons of oil and 500 million m3 of gas produced from each exploitation concession, respectively, are exempted.
  • • Surface rental of an amount equivalent to US$100 for each exploration permit and each square kilometer of an exploitation concession.