Moratorium on Timber Exports in Bulgaria Remains in Place
The existing moratorium on timber exports remains in place until the adoption of a set of amendments to the Forest Act, according to Bulgaria’s Deputy Agriculture Minister Georgi Kostov.
The 3-month moratorium, which was introduced by Bulgaria’s government so as to pave the way for the adoption of legal amendments targeting illegal logging, expired on Tuesday.
Exporters of timber have organized a number of protests against the ban.
Kostov made clear in a Tuesday interview for the Bulgarian National Radio that he expected the changes to the Forest Act to undergo first-reading on Wednesday, provided that there were no new urgent items on the agenda.
The issue of the ban on timber exports was supposed to be reviewed by Parliament on June 5 but the meeting was cancelled due to the lack of a quorum.
Kostov also explained the key provisions proposed by the Agriculture Ministry involved a ban on activities in the dark hours, a requirement that all trucks entering the forest be equipped with GPS, and more powers for officials of forestry undertakings.
He noted that tip-offs for illegal logging would be received at the 112 emergency phone number, adding that it would be directly connected to the forest administration and that the reaction time would often be up to 30 minutes.
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