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Registering Property in

Guinea-Bissau

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

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

    Obtain property title from the property registry (certidão de registro predial)

    Agency: Property Registry (Conservátoria do Registo Predial, Comercial e Automóvel de Bissau)

    Once the signature of the seller has been verified by the notary, the form to obtain the certificate of ownership (certidão) is submitted at the Property Registry (Conservatória do Registo Predial).

    1 to 2 weeks XOF 7500
    2

    Pay property transfer tax and obtain tax clearance from tax authority

    Agency: Tax Authority

    The tax clearance states that no taxes are owed on the property prior to its transfer. The transfer tax (Sisa) is paid at the same time.

    1 - 2 days 5% of property value
    3

    Parties request the notary to prepare and execute the sale purchase agreement

    Agency: Notary

    Only the notary can record the transaction in the Notary Nooks where all contracts are registered. The seller must present the property title and a proof of payment of the Property Transfer Tax (SISA, obtained in Procedure 2). Both the seller and the buyer must present their identification documents.

    3 weeks (i) XOF 10,000.00 fixed fee for a transaction with a specific value (Valor determinado);
    (ii) XOF 2,000.00 for the Justice budget (Cofre Geral da Justiça);
    (iii) XOF 4,800.00 for 8 pages of the sale and purchase agreement ("laudas": XOF 600,00 per page);
    (iv) XOF 7.700,00 for the written lines, assuming 100 ("linha"-- XOF 77,00 per line);
    (v) XOF 1.000,00 for the fiscal stamp ("Selo Fiscal");
    (vi) XOF 500,00 for the National Reconstruction Stamp (Selo Reconstrução Nacional);
    (vii) XOF 500,00 for the assistance stamp ("Selo de Assistencia")
    4

    Obtain copy of the public deed (certidão de escritura) from the notary

    Agency: Notary

    After the public deed is handwritten in the books, a copy of the deed is given to the parties.

    1 day included in previous Procedure
    5

    Pick up Form at the property registry

    Agency: Property Registry (Conservátoria do Registo Predial, Comercial e Automóvel de Bissau)

    In order to be registered as the new owner of the property, the buyer must first complete a form requesting it. The request must be submitted along with the certification of the deed ("certidão de escritura"). The registry notes the new owner in their books.

    1 day XOF 250 for the Form + XOF 2000 for the stamps
    6

    Verify signatures at notary

    Agency: Notary

    The notary must verify that the signature of the buyer is authentic. Although not required by law, it is still carried out in practice since firms prefer to secure the transaction of any possible liabilities.

    1 day XOF 250 for one signature
    7

    Obtain the new property title (certidão predial)

    Agency: Property Registry (Conservátoria do Registo Predial, Comercial e Automóvel de Bissau)

    The buyer obtains a new property title. After the property transfer is registered in the Registry´s books, the buyer receives an authentic copy of the inscriptions. The fee scale is as follows: (i) Description, Inscription and issuance of a Certificate: XOF 15 000 (=XOF 5000 x 3); (ii) Fee for the specific value of the contract: XOF 8 900 for every 1 million; (iii) Participation fees ("participação emolumental"): 20 % of (XOF 15 000 + XOF 8 900); (iv) “Construção prisional” : 1 % of (XOF 15 000 + XOF 8 900); (v) Reimbursement fee ("taxa de reembolso"): XOF 822; (vi) Printing cost: XOF 250; (vii) Certificate: XOF 5 000; (viii) Lodging for 3 books ("apresentaçao") : XOF 9 000

    12 days (i) Description, Inscription and Certificate: XOF 15 000 (=XOF 5000 x 3);
    (ii) Determined value: XOF 8 900 for every 1 million;
    (iii) Participation fees ("da participação emolumental"): 20 % of (XOF 15 000 + XOF 8 900);
    (iv)“Construção prisional”: 1 % of (XOF 15 000 + XOF 8 900);
    (v) Tax ("taxa de reembolso"): XOF 822;
    (vi) Print Cost: XOF 250;
    (vii) Certificate: XOF 5 000;
    (viii) Apresentacao for 3 books: XOF 9 000
    8

    Submit a copy of the property title to municipality

    Agency: Municipality

    The buyer must submit a copy of the property title to the municipality to inform about the property transfer for tax purposes. In Bissau, the municipality acts as the Cadastre, but outside of the capital there are separate Cadastres in which to perform this procedure. Note that land is leased and buildings are owned. When the land and building are first registered, the certificate that is provided is unified and contains both sets of details on lease and ownership of building. The seven procedures outlined describe the process of transferring a unified title.

    1 day no cost

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Quality of the land administration index (0-30) 3.0
    Reliability of infrastructure index (0-8) 0.0
    What is the institution in charge of immovable property registration? Conservatoria do registo predial de Bissau
    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) 1.0
    Who is able to obtain information on land ownership at the agency in charge of immovable property registration in the largest business city? Anyone who pays the official fee 1.0
    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? Yes, in person 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) 3.0
    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; Notary.
    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; 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? Tribunal Regional de Bissau
    How long does it take on average to obtain a decision from the first-instance court for such a case (without appeal)? More than 3 years 0.0
    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