Moscow (Russia), September 23: State Duma of RF adopted in the final reading the law, which allows the government to reduce the number of checkpoints for the export of Russia's logs. It is supposed that this will help to reduce the number of illegal export of timber abroad.
According to Boris Gryzlov, Lower House speaker, “today there are 421checkpoints, but according to the normative documents their number will be reduced up to 121.” He added that the forest is Russia's wealth, like oil and gas, so it means that the overwhelming smuggling must be stopped shortly.
The Government, in particular, drew its attention to the “remoteness of the place of timber and timber products transport and shipment from the customs authorities, to their dispersion and multiplicity.” These factors do not allow the government to control totally the volumes of export. According to the lobbyist of the law, the majority of checkpoints are deprived of opportunities to monitor the quality characteristics of exported timber to the exclusion of their substitution.
Under current legislation, the Government may establish checkpoints across the state border only to arrive at the customs territory of Russia of certain types of goods, including timber. The new law also fixed by the Government's right to install such items and for the departure of the goods from customs. The new law is intended to increase state control over the export of wood, improve the system of customs administration.
In 2007, the Federal Customs Service of Russia (FCS) preventing the illegal export of timber, seized goods worth about 150 million rub. In criminal cases, the goods seized were more than 4 million rub. Gain control over the export of so-called “round wood” was associated with a demand of the President of Russia on the development of the timber industry: the authorities need to reduce the export of “round wood” from Russia while increasing exports of the forestry industry.