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Registering Property in

Gabon

Below is a detailed summary of the steps, time and cost involved in registering property in Gabon. 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 Gabon to 189 other economies.

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

    Buyer and seller contract the notary

    Agency: Notary

    It is standard practice for the buyer and the seller, as companies, to contract a notary to conduct all Procedures. They pay his fees and the transfer taxes/fees to be incurred at the time of contracting him.

    1 day 10.5% property value (notary fees plus other taxes and fees)
    2

    Search the title at the property registry (Conservation Fonciere)

    Agency: Property Registry (Conservation Fonciere)

    One obtains an official copy of the title from the registry. The title includes all relevant information on the property, such as its history of ownership, delimitations of the property and the building.

    1-2 months (included in Procedure 1)
    3

    Check for unpaid utilities bills at the SEEG (Service de l’Eau et de l’Electricite de Gabon)

    Agency: Utility company (SEEG, Service de l’Eau et de l’Electricite de Gabon)

    It is standard practice to check for any unpaid utilities bills associated with the property prior to the transfer. The parties or the notary can do this.

    1 day no cost
    4

    Notary drafts and parties execute the sale-purchase agreement

    Agency: Notary

    It is standard practice for a notary to draft the sale-purchase agreement for the parties, which they then sign. The notary then notarizes the signed agreement.

    1 day (included in Procedure 1)
    5

    Register the sale purchase agreement at the land administration (Service des Domaines)

    Agency: Direction Generale des Impots, Service de l’Enregistrement et timbres

    The sale purchase agreement is registered at the Direction Generale des Impots, Service de l’Enregistrement et timbres, or the administrative authority that keeps the technical records on lands. The notary will then prepare all the necessary documents to request a change of name on the property title at the Conservation Foncière. Note: If there is a mortgage on the property, there is an additional 0.3% property value fee.

    10 days 8% of the property value (paid in Procedure 1)
    6

    Register the sale-purchase agreement at the property registry (Conservation Fonciere)

    Agency: Property Registry (Conservation Fonciere)

    The registrar transcribes the transfer and publishes it in the registry books under the name of the new owner. Two copies of the sales contract are submitted: one without stamps, for the Conservation Fonciere, and one with stamps,which the buyer will get back. The original sales contract stays with the notary.

    1-2 months 0.6% property value (registration fees–included in Procedure 1)

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 3.5
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 0.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? La Conservation Foncière et des Hypothèques
    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? No 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? 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 (notaries, lawyers, etc.) 0.0
    Is the applicable fee schedule for accessing maps of land plots made publicly available—and if so, how? No 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) 4.5
    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? Yes 0.5
    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? Notary; 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? Registrar.
    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? Le tribunal de Libreville
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? Between 2 and 3 years 1.0
    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