Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has vetoed the law adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on limiting domestic consumption of raw timber to 25 million cubic meters per year and on a temporary ban on timber exports. As reported on the website of the Ukrainian parliament, the relevant bill (No. 5495) on July 23, 2018 was returned with president’s proposals, which are not currently available on the parliament’s website.
As was earlier reported, on July 3, 234 deputies passed the bill (No. 5495) on making amendments to some laws of Ukraine concerning the preservation of Ukrainian forests and preventing the illegal export of unprocessed timber in the second reading and as a whole.
According to amendments taken into account in the second reading of the document, administrative and criminal liability for illegal logging and its timber exports outside customs control (smuggling) has been significantly strengthened.
The Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses, in particular, introduces a clause according to which illegal cutting and transportation, storage of illegally cut trees entail the imposition on citizens of a fine of 15 to 30 non-taxable minimum incomes of citizens (1 non-taxable minimum – UAH 17), and on officials – from 75 to 150 non-taxable minimum incomes of citizens (in current legislation – from five to ten and from seven to 12 non-taxable minimum incomes of citizens, respectively).
In case of a repeated offense within a year, the amount of the fine is from 30 to 60 non-taxable minimums for citizens from 300 to 600 for officials. In addition, according to changes in Ukraine’s Criminal Code, movement across the customs border of Ukraine outside the customs control or concealment from the uncontrolled control of unprocessed timber or sawn valuable or rare species is punishable by imprisonment for three to five years.
The same actions that have been committed repeatedly or by prior conspiracy by a group of persons or an official using his official position are punishable by imprisonment for a term of five to ten years, with deprivation of the right to occupy certain positions and with confiscation of property. If these actions are committed by an organized group of individuals or on a particularly large scale, a penalty of imprisonment of ten to 12 years is provided, with deprivation of the right to engage in certain activities for three years and with confiscation of property.