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Registering Property in

Equatorial Guinea

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Equatorial Guinea. It assumes a standardized case of an entrepreneur who wants to purchase land and a building that is already registered and free of title dispute.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016.

Compare Equatorial Guinea to 189 other economies.

  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    Obtain non-encumbrance certificate

    Agency: Land Registry (Registro de la Propiedad y Mercantil)

    It is a common practice to obtain a non-encumbrance certificate and a literal certificate to verify that the property has no charges or liens, and to observe past inscriptions and transactions. The certificates are issued by the Registro de la Propiedad y Mercantil

    7 days Negative certificate (2000 XAF) + Literal certificate (2000 XAF) + Search (1000 XAF)
    2

    Lawyer prepares sales contract

    Agency: Lawyer

    It is common practice to hire a lawyer to write the contract. The lawyer requires the property title (copy) and a copy of the company representative’s passport. In practice, banks hold the property title when granting a mortgage.

    2 days 5% of the property value (common practice)
    3

    Notary legalizes the sales contract and prepares the public deed (escritura publica)

    Agency: Notary

    Parties submit the sale and purchase agreement to the Notary. The Notary informs them of the fees to be paid. Official Notary fees are fixed at 1.5% property value according to law 2/2007, but in practice the parties must pay the salary of the notary at a rate of approximately another 1.5% of the property value. The fees are normally paid in cash at the Notary, although they can also be paid through stamps from the Treasury.

    3-10 days Paid in Procedure 4
    4

    Go to Treasury to buy stamps to pay the notary and registration fees

    Agency: Commercial Bank or Treasury

    The most common practice is to pay the Notary fees and the Registration fees at the corresponding accounts in commercial banks. With the proof of payment, parties can go back to the notary and to the registry to carry on with the property transfer process. Both the notary and registration fees can be paid together at this time.

    1 day 3% of property value (Notary fees) + 4%-5% property value (Registration fees)
    5

    Return to notary to present him the payment stamps

    Agency: Notary

    Parties receive the public deed at this time.

    1 day Paid in Procedure 4
    6

    Registration of the public deed at the Property Registry

    Agency: Land Registry (Registro de la Propiedad y Mercantil)

    The fee to register the public deed is between 4% and 5% of the property value. The entire public deed is hand-written into the public registry’s books at this time.

    5 days Paid in Procedure 4

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 4.0
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 0.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? Property Registry (Registro de la Propiedad y Mercantil)
    In what format are the majority of title or deed records kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Paper 0.0
    Is there an electronic database for checking for encumbrances (liens, mortgages, restrictions and the like)? No 0.0
    In what format are the majority of maps of land plots kept in the largest business city—in a paper format or in a computerized format (scanned or fully digital)? Paper 0.0
    Is there an electronic database for recording boundaries, checking plans and providing cadastral information (geographic information system)? No 0.0
    Is the information recorded by the immovable property registration agency and the cadastral or mapping agency kept in a single database, in different but linked databases or in separate databases? Separate databases 0.0
    Do the immovable property registration agency and cadastral or mapping agency use the same identification number for properties? No 0.0
    Transparency of information index (0–6) 0.0
    Who is able to obtain information on land ownership at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city? Only intermediaries and interested parties 0.0
    Is the list of documents that are required to complete any type of property transaction made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, in person 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is the applicable fee schedule for any property transaction at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city made publicly available–and if so, how? Yes, in person 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Does the agency in charge of immovable property registration commit to delivering a legally binding document that proves property ownership within a specific time frame–and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? No 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the agency in charge of immovable property registration? No 0.0
    Are there publicly available official statistics tracking the number of transactions at the immovable property registration agency? No 0.0
    Number of property transfers in the largest business city in 2015:
    Who is able to consult maps of land plots in the largest business city? Only intermediaries and interested parties 0.0
    Is the applicable fee schedule for accessing maps of land plots made publicly available—and if so, how? Yes, in person 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Does the cadastral or mapping agency commit to delivering an updated map within a specific time frame—and if so, how does it communicate the service standard? No 0.0
    Link for online access:
    Is there a specific and separate mechanism for filing complaints about a problem that occurred at the cadastral or mapping agency? No 0.0
    Geographic coverage index (0–8) 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy formally registered at the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city formally registered at the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the economy mapped? No 0.0
    Are all privately held land plots in the largest business city mapped? No 0.0
    Land dispute resolution index (0–8) 5.0
    Does the law require that all property sale transactions be registered at the immovable property registry to make them opposable to third parties? Yes 1.5
    Is the system of immovable property registration subject to a state or private guarantee? Yes 0.5
    Is there a specific compensation mechanism to cover for losses incurred by parties who engaged in good faith in a property transaction based on erroneous information certified by the immovable property registry? No 0.0
    Does the legal system require a control of legality of the documents necessary for a property transaction (e.g., checking the compliance of contracts with requirements of the law)? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for checking the legality of the documents? Registrar; Lawyer.
    Does the legal system require verification of the identity of the parties to a property transaction? Yes 0.5
    If yes, who is responsible for verifying the identity of the parties? Notary.
    Is there a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents? No 0.0
    For a standard land dispute between two local businesses over tenure rights of a property worth 50 times gross national income (GNI) per capita and located in the largest business city, what court would be in charge of the case in the first instance? Juzgados de Primera Instancia de Malabo
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? Between 1 and 2 years 2.0
    Are there any statistics on the number of land disputes in the first instance? No 0.0
    Number of land disputes in the largest business city in 2015:
    Equal access to property rights index (-2–0) -1.0
    Do unmarried men and unmarried women have equal ownership rights to property? Yes 0.0
    Do married men and married women have equal ownership rights to property? No 1.0