The Forest Code of Ukraine

Date of entry into force:
April 13, 1994

The Law of Ukraine On Amending the Forest Code of Ukraine No. 3404-IV of 8 February 2006 shall render the Forest Code of Ukraine in a new wording. The new wording of the Forest Code of Ukraine came into force on March 29, 2006.

According to the Code, forest shall be a type of natural system which mainly consists of trees, brushwood vegetation, the relevant soils, herbaceous vegetation, fauna, microorganisms, and other natural components that are interrelated in their development and influence each other and the natural environment.

Relations dealing with forest shall be social relations that are linked to ownership, use and disposal of forests and shall aim at ensuring protection, reproduction and sustainable use of forest resources with due consideration for environmental, economic, social, and other interests of the society.

The forest fund of Ukraine shall include forest plots, including protection plants of linear type, with the area of no less than 0.1 hectare. The forest fund shall not include:
  • green plantations within the limits of settlements (parks, gardens, public gardens, boulevards, and so on) that are not included into forests according to the established procedure;
  • separate trees and groups of trees, brushwood on agricultural lands, homesteads, country land plots, and garden plots.

Forests located within the border of the Ukrainian territory shall be objects of ownership right of the Ukrainian People. On behalf of the Ukrainian People, rights of owners for forests are exercised by government bodies and bodies of local self-government. Forests can be state, communal and private property. Subjects of ownership right for forests shall be the state, territorial communities, citizens, and legal entities. Subjects of private ownership right for forests shall be citizens and legal entities of Ukraine.

The right to use forests shall be exercised according to the procedure for permanent and temporary use of forests.

Articles 2633 of the Forest Code shall establish powers of government bodies and bodies of local self-government in the area of relations dealing with forest.

By environmental and socio-economic aspects and depending on the main functions that they fulfill, Ukrainian forests shall be divided into the following categories:
  • protection forests;
  • recreation and relaxation forests;
  • forests for environmental, scientific, historical, and cultural purposes;
  • operational forests.

The Forest Code shall envisage keeping of the State Forest Cadastre. On the Ukrainian territory, the State Forest Cadastre shall be kept for the purpose of effectively organizing guarding and protection of forests, rationally using the forest fund of Ukraine, reproducing forests, exercising systematical control over qualitative and quantitative changes in forests.

Monitoring of forests shall be a system for regular supervision, evaluation of and forecast for the dynamic of the qualitative and quantitative condition of forests.

Section 11 of the Forest Code shall envisage the procedure for changing targeted designation of land forest plots and identifying the places for building objects that influence the state and reproduction of forests.

The procedure for managing forests shall be identified by Chapter V.

Forest resources can be used according to the procedure for general and special use of forests.

Citizens shall have the right to freely stay in forests, to collect wild grasses and herbs, flowers, berries, nuts, and mushrooms in forests that are in state and municipal ownership without a special permit and free of charge, as well as upon consent of the owner of forests that are private property.

According to the procedure for special use of forests, the following types of use of forest resources can be carried out:
  • logging of timber by felling and chopping forests for the main use;
  • logging of secondary timber;
  • by-activity in using forests;
  • use of useful properties of forests for cultural, recreational, relaxation, sport, tourist, educational, and upbringing purposes, needs of hunting, and the implementation of scientific works.

Special use of forest resources at the allocated forest plot shall be carried out on the basis of a special permit. Such a special permit shall be issued:
  • by a body of executive power in the area of forestry of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea;
  • by territorial bodies of the central body of executive power in the area of forestry;
  • owners of forests;
  • regular forest-users.

Section 16 of the Forest Code shall be dedicated to the protection and guarding of forests. Protection and guarding of forests shall envisage a set of measures aimed at protecting forests against fires, illegal felling and chopping, damages, weakening, and other harmful impact, protecting against vermins, pests and diseases. Owners of forests and regular forest-users shall be responsible for developing and implementing a set of fire prevention and other measures aimed at preserving, protecting and guarding forests within an established period of time.

Protection and guarding of forests on the territory of Ukraine shall be carried out:
  • by the State Forest Protection Service that operates under the central body of executive power in the area of forestry, the body of executive power in the area of forestry of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, territorial bodies of the central body of executive power in the area of forestry, as well as enterprises, institutions and organizations that belong to the area of its management;
  • by forest protection services of other regular forest-users and owners of forests.

The State Forest Protection Service shall have the status of a law enforcement body. Powers of officials of the State Forest Protection Service shall be specified by Article 91 of the Forest Code.

According to Article 93 of the Forest Code, the objectives of controlling the protection, guarding, utilization, and reproduction of forests shall be:
  • to ensure the implementation of government policy in the area of protecting, guarding, using, and reproducing forests;
  • to ensure the adherence to the legislation related to forests by government bodies, bodies of local self-government, enterprises, institutions, organizations, and citizens;
  • to ensure the adherence to the legislation related to forests by owners of forests, regular and temporary forest-users;
  • to prevent violations of the legislation in the area of protecting, guarding, using, and reproducing forests, to ensure timely detection of such violations and to ensure the relevant measures to eliminate such violations.

State control of the protection, guarding, use, and reproduction of forests shall be carried out:
  • by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;
  • by the central body of executive power in the area of protecting the natural environment;
  • by the central body of executive power in the area of forestry;
  • by bodies of executive power in the area of forestry and in the area of protecting the natural environment of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea;
  • by territorial bodies of the central bodies of executive power in the area of protecting the natural environment;
  • by territorial bodies of the central bodies of executive power in the area of forestry;
  • by other central and local bodies of executive power within the limits of powers established by the law.

Measures aimed at raising the productivity, improving the quality composition of forests, protection, guarding and reproduction of forests shall be financed at the expense of:
  • the State Budget and funds of enterprises, institutions and organizations of forestry with respect to forests that are state property;
  • local budgets and funds of enterprises, institutions and organizations of forestry with respect to forests that are communal property;
  • funds of private owners of forests with respect to forests that are private property.

The country shall provide economic incentives for implementing measures aimed at expanded reproduction of forests specifically by way of:
  • compensating expenditures to owners of forests and forest-users that are linked to measures aimed at expanded reproduction of forests implemented thereby;
  • applying accelerated depreciation to fixed assets for land protection, forest protection and environmental protection purposes.

Peculiarities of protecting, guarding, using, and reproducing forests on specific categories of lands shall be established by Chapter (Section) 20 of the Forest Code.

Disputes related to the protection, guarding, use, and reproduction of forests shall be resolved:
  • by bodies of local self-government (disputes related to the protection, guarding, use, and reproduction of forests that are communal property);
  • by bodies of executive power in the area of forestry (disputes related to the protection, guarding, use, and reproduction of forests that are state property);
  • by bodies of executive power in the area of protecting the natural environment (disputes related to the protection, guarding, use, and reproduction of forests that are state property);
  • by courts (disputes related to ownership, use and disposal of forests that are private property of citizens and legal entities).

If owners of forests and forest-users do not agree to a decision of bodies of executive power in the area of forestry and in the area of protecting the natural environment or a body of local self-government, such a dispute shall be resolved by a court (Article 103 of the Forest Code).

According to Article 105 of the Forest Code, responsibility for violating the legislation related to forests shall be born by individuals and entities that are guilty of:
  • illegal felling, chopping and damaging trees and brushwood;
  • destroying or damaging forests as a result of setting forests on fire or carelessly treating fire, and violating other requirements to fire safety in forests;
  • destroying or damaging forests as a result of contaminating them with chemical and radio-active substances, industrial and residential wastes, waste waters, and other harmful substances, water-logging, dewatering, and other types of harmful impacts;
  • littering forests with residential and industrial wastes;
  • violating the deadlines for reforestation and other requirement to forestry established by the legislation in the area of protecting, guarding, using, and reproducing forests;
  • destroying or damaging forest cultures, seedlings or young plants in forest nurseries and on plantations, as well as natural underbrush and self-sown plants on lands designated for reproduction of forests; 
  • violating the rules for storing, transporting and applying means for the protection of forest, growth stimulators, mineral fertilizers, and other substances;
  • stubbing out forest plots and using them not according their targeted designation, including for constructing residential houses, industrial and other building and structures without the relevant permit;
  • laying up hay and pasturing cattle on forest plots without the relevant authorization;
  • violating the rules for laying up forest floor, medicinal plants and herbs, wild fruits, nuts, mushrooms, berries, and so on;
  • logging forest resources by means that negatively affect the state and reproduction of forests;
  • violating the procedure for logging and removing timber, laying up turpentine, and using other forest resources;
  • failing to make payments for using forest resources within the established deadlines;
  • destroying and damaging land-marks and posts in forests;
  • putting into operation new and reconstructed enterprises, facilities and other objects that are not supplied with equipment that prevents negative impact for the state and reproduction of forests;
  • violating the deadlines for returning forest plots that are in temporary use or failing to fulfill the obligations to bring them into condition that is suitable and fit to ensure their designated use;
  • damaging hayfields, pastures and tillage on agricultural lands;
  • destroying or damaging forest drainage furrows, drainage systems and roads on forest plots;
  • failing to implement instructions of the State Forest Protection Service and bodies of executive power that exercise control over the adherence to the legislation in the area of protecting, guarding, using, and reproducing forests.

According to Article 106 of the Forest Code, land plots for forestry purposes and other land forest plots occupied without permission shall be returned to their owners without compensation of expenditures sustained during the period of unauthorized use of such plots.

On the basis of Article 108 of the Forest Code, illegally acquired timber and other forest resources shall be subject to withdrawal. If it is impossible to withdraw illegally acquired timber and other forest resources, their cost shall be collected from the relevant individuals and entities.

Warning! The information is outdated due to the fact that this section is temporarily not updated!


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