Bulgaria Boasts Increase in Wood Export to Non-EU Countries
Bulgaria's wood exports currently stand at slightly over 329 thousand tonnes, compared to around 166 thousand tonnes for the entire 2013, according to Customs Agency data for exports to Turkey and Macedonia.
Toni Krastev, Executive Director of the Executive Forest Agency, made clear Wednesday that a total of 2.95 million cubic meters of wood had been produced from state-owned forests so far in 2014.
He informed that a total of 3.86 million cubic meters of wood had been produced for the same period of 2013, adding that a decrease was observable in the segment.
Krastev, as cited by the Bulgarian National Radio, claimed that the reason behind the larger exports to Turkey and Greece was the condition of the domestic market of wood, addimg that there had been problems with certain categories of wood at the beginning of 2014.
He said that he expected wood exports to reach a similar amount to that of 2013 by the end of the year for state-owned and private forests.
Krastev also emphasized the need to increase the number of forest inspectors from the current rate of 440 to 1000 and complained about a budget shortfall at the Agency.
As regards illegal wood felling, he boasted that less than 2% of some 15-16 000 penalty statements issued by the Agency were rejected by court authorities.
Krastev informed, however, that the collection rate was low, at 15%.
He said that a total of 26 sentences had been issued so far in 2014 and the fines amounted to BGN 1.6 M.
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