Improvement of legislation in the field of priority investment projects

In July last year, the Russian Forest Association initiated a working meeting of the Expert Council on the issues of the forest complex, woodworking and pulp and paper industries under the State Duma Committee on Industry and Trade. The central topic of the meeting was the improvement of legislation in the field of priority investment projects (PIP) in the field of forest development and the reduction of risks for investors.

One of the initiatives of the Association was amendments to the procedure for considering applications for PIP. The result of this legislative and consulting work is Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 987 dated 06/15/2023, which introduced an important change: now it is impossible to approve an application for a forest plot if it was previously agreed in another application.

Olga Kalyuzhnaya, President of the Russian Forest Association: “This legal conflict has existed since the approval of the program of priority investment projects in 2007. The problem was compounded by the absence, since the amendments to the relevant legislation in February 2018, of the provisions of regional legislation on the procedure for approving and selecting one of two (or more) applications from commercial organizations applying for the status of a priority investment project in the field of forest development in relation to one and the same the same area of the forest fund. The solution of such disputes until now was possible only in court».

The new regulation establishes a chronological priority: applications for IIP will be rejected if the same forest area is already included in the applications of other investors, for which a decision has been made to select an application or a decision to amend the investment project. Eliminating legal gaps will increase the investment attractiveness of the industry through the transparency of PIP mechanisms.