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30 January 2019 New shades of green: forestry laws to be amended from 1 July 2019

Legal update No 662

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP, formerly Goltsblat BLP in Russia, advises that a new Federal Law (No. 538-FZ dated 27 December 2018) titled ”Amending the Forestry Code and Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation to Improve Legal Regulation of Relations Providing for Conservation of Forests on Forestry Lands and Other Lands” has been published.

Most importantly, the Law makes certain changes to the Forestry Code structure. It replaces Chapters 15 Protective Forests and Special Protective Forest Sites and 16 Usable Forests and Reserved Forests with Chapter 17 Protective Forests, Usable Forests, Reserved Forests and Special Protective Forest Sites and adds a new Chapter 18, Forests on Lands Other than Forestry Lands.

There are some other notable developments:

  • Forest parks, a territorial unit for managing use, protection and regeneration of forests, are now scrapped. Only forestry precincts (“lesnichestvo”) remain. Forest parks created before 1 July 2019 are to be converted into forestry precincts by 1 July 2020.
  • When setting or altering forestry precinct boundaries, the competent federal executive authority will produce a textual and graphical description of their location, also listing the boundary feature point coordinates in the geographical coordinate system or in the system established for the Realty Register by the Federal Law “State Registration of Real Estate” (No. 2018-FZ dated 13 July 2015).
  • The Law accentuates that boundaries of forestry land are set by reference to forestry precinct boundaries.
  • The Russian Government is expected to approve the use, protection and regeneration specifics for forests located on urban and agricultural land.

The Law will take effect on 1 July 2019.

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