Timber Tenure Transfers and Dispositions

Licensees who hold timber tenures can transfer them to another party, with notice given to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

All transfers undergo ministerial review to assess the impact on the public interest, Indigenous communities and the marketing of fibre in B.C.

Dispositions can occur in three ways:

  • the transfer of an agreement,
  • a change of control, or
  • an amalgamation of a corporation that holds an agreement.

To dispose of an agreement means to transfer by any method and includes assign, give, sell, grant, charge, convey, bequeath, devise, lease, divest, release and agree to do any of those things. A change of control results from the change in ownership of the corporation that holds the agreement, and an amalgamation is when a corporation holding an agreement is merged into another corporation, but the ownership of both corporations is the same.

A disposition of a forest licence, tree farm licence or pulpwood agreement requires prior written approval to proceed, and must undergo a market concentration and public interest test. Some types of agreements, such as woodlots, first nations licenses, or community forest agreements, can only be transferred to a person or corporation that is eligible to hold that type of licence.

Prior written approval is not required for a transfer that results from a change of control or an amalgamation. However, a ministerial review is conducted after this change has occurred.  A number of administrative actions are available to the decision maker under certain conditions, and these actions include suspension of the rights under the agreement and cancellation of the agreement. Therefore, it is very important that a corporation understands the conditions that must be met, and the risks associated, with a change of control or amalgamation.

For more information on Requests for Transfer Approval, please contact the Forest Tenures Branch.