ESG Litigation Guide




In force

The Malian State and Defenders of human rights (whether individuals, groups or institutions)

This law sets out the rules relating to defenders of human rights (who are defined as anyone, whether individuals, groups or institutions that seek to promote, protect or realise human rights or fundamental freedoms at the local, national, regional or international level.)

They have freedom to:

  • meet in a peaceful way;
  • create organisations or associations;
  • communicate with others with similar aims, including international organisations and both governmental and non-governmental entities;
  • research and seek information on human rights and fundamental freedoms
  • evaluate the effectiveness of these rights and freedoms, and draw the public’s attention to them
  • not be arrested or detained because of opinions they express and reports published in the framework of their activities.

They must:

  • respect the organs and institutions of the State;
  • remain impartial, respect others and safeguard public security and the general interest;
  • contribute to upholding democracy.

The State must:

  • promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, and adopt any necessary legislation to ensure this;
  • facilitate the task of defenders of human rights including by providing access to information and documents necessary for them to carry out their activities and access to those detained
  • guarantee the confidentiality of sources of information provided by defenders of human rights;
  • protect any defender of human rights on their territory, as well as family members and collaborators.

Labour law

In force

Physical persons and legal entities

This Code governs investments in Mali. The texts ensure:

  • Equality of treatment between foreign and local investors;
  • Protection against nationalisation and expropriation or requisition of a company;
  • Free access to raw materials and to land;
  • Rights to transfer funds or to undertake capital and financial transactions

However, it states that Investors should give priority to local employees, unless the former cannot meet the requirements for the position. The hiring procedure is the same for both local and foreign employees


Labour Law

In force

Physical persons and legal entities

While the hiring procedure is the same for both local and foreign employees (see above), employment contracts for foreign employees must:

  • be in writing;
  • be subject to prior approval and issuance of a visa from the National Directorate of Labour. (Foreign employees also need to obtain a work permit);
  • consist of four signed original copies; and
  • provide information on the foreign employee and their local employers.
  • For the first two years of their residence in Mali, their employment contracts must be for a fixed term.
  • Failure to comply with this can lead to fines (which can be doubled for repeat offences).

Environmental law

In force

Any physical person or legal entity

This law sets out the fundamental principles controlling pollution and nuisance.

Any activities which could harm the environment require preapproval from the Minister for the Environment based on an environmental impact report (Art.3).

Furthermore, an environmental audit is required for any industrial, agricultural, mining, artisanal, commercial or transport work which could cause any pollution, nuisance or degradation of the environment (Art.5).

There are rules relating to domestic waste (Art. 9-14) and to agricultural waste (art. 15-16)

Biomedical and industrial waste disposal requires pre-authorisation from the Minister of Environment. Liquids must be treated before disposed of. Solid waste must be disposed of in specified areas and incineration requires a licence. (Art. 17-20)

Buildings, industrial, artisanal and agricultural establishments, mines and quarries, motors (such as vehicles, generators, mills) or other movable objects owned, used or held by individuals must be built or used in such a way as to avoid atmospheric pollution. (Art. 27)

Use of an industrial unit cannot exceed the usual emission limits, polluting the air with smoke, dust, gas or liquids. (Art. 28)

Importing, using, storing or distributing chemical substances is illegal without prior approval or certification.  Waivers can be granted by an order issued jointly by the Ministers of Health, Environment and Scientific Research, to institutions specialised in research and experiments. (Art. 35)

Anyone involved in import, production and distribution of chemical substances must obtain authorisation from the Ministers of Environment, Health, Agriculture and Industry. (Art. 36)



In force

Importers of renewable energy equipment

This law ensures from May 2020 that the importation of materials and equipment for the production of renewable energy is exempt from taxes, with the exception of the community solidarity levy and the statistical fee. This means VAT and import taxes will no longer be levied on equipment such as solar panels, wind turbine blades, pump turbines and others.

This decision was taken by the Council of Ministers in  March 2020 to “allow the improvement of the energy mix, the continuation of investments in solar energy and the respect of the commitments made by the Government in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting clean energy and safeguarding the environment.”


Law on agricultural development

In force

Anyone (physical or legal entity) involved in the agriculture sector

This law sets out the policy for agricultural development in Mali. It aims to promote sustainable agriculture which is both modern and competitive, and create a structured environment for development of the sector.

The law takes into account Mali’s programme of decentralisation and looks at the specific situation of each region to determine ways of reaching its objectives. For example there is a section relating to desertification in the north of the country.


 Law creating a Fund

In force

Those involved in sustainable development projects

This legislation created a Fund for Sustainable Development (“Fonds pour le Développement durable (FDD)”) which finances projects and programmes for sustainable development spread equally throughout the regions of Mali.

The Fund’s resources are agreed annually by the finance law and come from these sources :

  • General Solidarity Contribution (see Law N°2018-010 below)
  • 50% of the solidarity contribution on aeroplane tickets
  • Solidarity tax on tobacco controls (see Law N°2018-010 below)
  • 50% of the special tax on the import of tourism vehicles whose power is great than 13 horsepower.
  • Tax on the export of cotton (see Law N°2018-010  below)
  • Grant from the State budget
  • Gifts

A decree from the Council of Ministers (see below) sets out the organisation and management of this Fund.


Tax Law

Taxes that applied from February 2018-February 2021

All physical persons and legal entities

This law set up some new taxes solely to provide resource for the FDD mentioned above.

  • General Solidarity Contribution – levied for a period of three years from 12 Feb. 2018, at a rate of 0.5% on the business turnover.
  • Solidarity tax on tobacco controls – again for a period of three years. Applies to both imports and exports. Rate of 5% of the custom duty.
  • Tax on the export of cotton – again for a period of three years. Cotton exporters to pay a tax of 0.75% of the value of the product being exported.

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