Ukraine restricts domestic consumption of raw timber and bans exports
According to the Interfax-Ukraine news agency, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has placed a 25 million m³ restriction on domestic use of unprocessed timber a year for the length of a ban on raw timber exports out of Ukraine. The actions come as some laws in Ukraine are amended with the prevention of illegal timber exports of unprocessed timber and preservation of Ukrainian forests in mind.
The administrative and criminal liability for illegal logging and its exportation have been significantly strengthened, and according to the amendments, the Code on Administrative Offences introduce the norm of a fine of 15 to 30 non-taxable minimum income of citizens and officials for illegal cutting and transportation. In the case of a repeated fine within one year, the fine is now 30 to 60 non-taxable minimums.
Additionally, concealment or moving of either valuable sawn timber, timber of rare species, or unprocessed timber has been made punishable by imprisonment for three to five years.
If the same action is repeatedly committed, there is a prior conspiracy, or if an official used his or her position, according to the amendment, the penalty of imprisonment would be five to ten years, with rights to certain positions and property revoked or confiscated accordingly.
If the actions are committed on either a large scale or by an organised group of individuals, the term of imprisonment would be 10 to 12 years, and rights to conduct or engage in certain activities would be revoked for three years along with confiscation of property.
For the eight years from the date of entry of the amendment to law enforcement, a temporary ban was also placed on the export of raw firewood outside the customs territory of Ukraine under the customs regime.
“This law removes the recent warnings of our international partners regarding the compliance of the moratorium on the export of round wood to our international agreements,” Viktor Halasiuk, head of the Verkhovna Rada’s industrial policy and entrepreneurship committee and co-author of the bill, said to Interfax-Ukraine news agency. “Secondly, it provides extremely strict criminal liability for the smuggling of round wood that has exceeded ₴1 billion (US$37.9 million) over the past five years. The law also prohibits the export of firewood, from which we can also make pellets.”
The document will come into effect on the 1st of January, 2019.
Source: Interfax-Ukraine news agency