The changes into the Forestry code of the Russian Federation, which regulates the issues related with the consideration of all the converted wood and transactions with it, are made by the Federal law No. 415 FZ from 28.12.13. All agreement on the lease of a forest plot, purchase agreements for forest stands, as well as information on approval documents for logging and information about the owner are put in the system. Also from January 1, 2016 there came into force the Article 8.28.1 of the Forest Committee of Russian Federation on administrative violations, which introduced the liability for failure to submit or untimely submission of declarations of transactions with wood, as well as misleading information in declaration in the form of administrative fines. Persons using the forest make entries about the accounting of wood, which they logged, including their reports on the use of forests, and the obligation to carry out the accounting of wood is entrusted to the competent public authorities.
The minister of natural resources said that the annual losses because of the illegal felling of timber amount to 10 billion rubles. And the system is designed to reduce illegal trafficking of all transactions with wood, by requiring mandatory declaration. But for the last year due to the frequent users’ contacting USAIS support service, because of the errors in the system and the inconsistencies between the accounting of the forest resources and making them available for use, revealed many facts that the system can not cope with the tasks assigned to it.
Harm or benefit for the forest?
Moreover, Greenpeace Russia has taken a firm line on the USAIS system implementation for the last 4 years and believes that the idea of control over the circulation of wood itself will do more harm than good to the forest-based sector. As the Head of the Forestry Department A.Yu. Yaroshenko said, in actual fact, it is not illegal felling of timber that causes damage to the forest but the felling that is legally allowed according to all documents, but has no real justification, compliance with all silvicultural requirements and standards, as well as subsequent reforestation. But unfortunately the developers were not persuaded to abandon this law. And as long as the USAIS system is not perfect yet, all the proposals and information about disadvantages are sent to the Federal Agency of Forestry for elimination.