A unified timber accounting system to be created in Russia
The State Duma has passed the bill in its first reading to create a unified system of timber accounting and transactions to improve transparency in the timber industry. The document is a starting point of the reform which is being performed following the instructions of the Russian President after the meeting on decriminalization of the forest sector.
The project involves the creation of a unified state information system. In the case of unreliable information about the volumes of timber harvested, its type and assortment composition, the transportation and transactions will be blocked. At the same time, it provides for mandatory registration of timber yards and timber processing facilities, as well as agreements on the use of forests.
In addition, the document introduces a ban on the presence in the forests of persons with the relevant machinery and equipment who are not permitted to use them. A ban is also introduced on the subleasing of forest areas, which will eliminate the existence of the so-called rentier in the industry. And the responsibility for extinguishing forest fires is to be passed to forestry tenants.
The government supports the bill, should it be finalized for the second reading, said Sergey Anoprienko, head of the Federal Forestry Agency last week. He said that the draft law would allow digitalizing the forestry complex of the Russian Federation, including the traceability of timber at all stages, from logging site to consumer or export outside the Russian Federation. The head of the Federal Forestry Agency claimed that the law should be adopted as a whole by the end of this year.
Let us remind you that in September Vladimir Putin spoke about the need to “put a firm barrier to uncontrolled export of unprocessed timber”. He proposed to do this by launching a federal forest information system, including the state forest registry in the digital form according to the rules common to all the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.