The Russian government decided to make the life of the players of the timber industry sector easier on several issues at once. In particular, it goes about transport subsidies and quotas for the transportation of goods in the direction of China, the rules of transportation through Kazakhstan and the principles of calculating rent for the use of forest plots.
According to the Kommersant newspaper, market participants would also like to further adjust the volume of transport subsidies, and experts propose to allow the transit of lumber through Kazakhstan not only by rail, but also by road.
As reported, Russian officials supported part of the proposals of timber companies on additional measures to help the industry, which follows from the meeting with the Minister of Economic Development Maksim Reshetnikov on December 16. In particular, we are talking about an increase from 300 to 500 million rubles of the maximum amount of subsidies as part of compensation for the costs of transportation of industrial products. As follows from the document, the relevant draft resolution prepared by the Ministry of Industry and Trade is under interdepartmental approval.
In addition, the Russian Government agreed to amend Resolution No. 521 of 2010, which defines the procedure for the movement of goods through the Russian-Belarusian and Russian-Kazakh state borders.
The problem with the transit of dry lumber from the Russian Federation through Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan and Asian countries arose in November due to amendments to this document. According to it, now they can be exported only by rail to Belarus through the Russian-Belarusian border, and to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan — through the Russian-Kazakh section of the border.
At the same time, the decree prohibits the transit of lumber through Kazakhstan, although taking into account the reorientation of exports to the East, this route was extremely important for Russian companies. According to the protocol, the Ministry of Economy has prepared new amendments to the document.
Also, at the request of timber producers who complained about the difficulties of logistics by rail, the Ministry of Transport and JSC Russian Railways were instructed to work out the issue of increasing fines for non-fulfillment of agreed transportation requests. In addition, they should consider changes to the temporary rules for determining the priority of cargo transportation so that the transportation of timber products with “high social significance” will receive priority.
Also, officials considered changes in calculating rent for the use of forest plots. In 2023, it will be temporarily determined based on the actual harvesting of wood by tenants. At the same time, the government did not agree to extend for another two years the deadlines for fulfilling investors’ obligations under priority investment projects scheduled for the period from September 2, 2022, to September 1, 2024.
The WhatWood agency notes that, first of all, the government now needs to resolve the issue of transit through Kazakhstan and designate specific cargo checkpoints, as well as include the possibility of road transportation.