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Legal issues of the Christmas tree

Legal issues of the Christmas tree

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24.12.21

News

Лісові ініціативи і cуспільство

For the New Year and Christmas, almost all of us want to install a Christmas tree at home. However, we do not always know whether its origin is legal, or we simply do not know how to detect it.


In order to be familiar with the legal issues of the Christmas tree in Ukraine, here are a few recommendations:


1. How should law enforcement agencies and citizens check the legality of the origin of Christmas trees at the market?


The legality of the Christmas tree can be checked by the existence of the markings on the tree stems: self-adhesive labels or plastic tags that are issued by the State Forestry Agency of Ukraine. The point is that when someone tries to remove them, they’ll break, so they can not be reused.


Self-adhesive labels are made of special paper, which makes them impossible to reuse, as they are completely destroyed when you try to glue them. They contain an individual number and a corresponding bar code, which is entered into a single electronic wood accounting system. Verification of the legality of the origin of the Christmas tree will be done by entering the number from the self-adhesive label attached to the Christmas tree on this website.


Each Christmas tree considered for official/legal selling has an individual number and barcode entered into the state owned Electronic Wood Accounting System. It contains data on the supplier, its order, form of ownership, information on the origin of the tree: the place of harvesting, the name of the forester and his subordination.


If the information on the site is missing, it may indicate the questionable origin of the tree.


You could check the legality of selling a Christmas tree using a smartphone on the website of the State Forest Resources Agency Ukraine. Just enter the number from the tag that should be on the Christmas tree.


You could also do this check online using the application yalynka.info, developed by the Agency. If information about the Christmas tree was not found, then it was likely to be cut down illegally.


The requirements for the work of official fairs set by local governments are as follows:


- all Christmas trees, pines and spruces must be chipped or labeled;


- the territory of the fair must be fenced;


- the location must contain information about the business entity that sells and the operation mode;


- there must be a ruler for measuring the length of the Christmas tree and publicly available price information.


2. What is the liability for the sale of Christmas trees of illegal origin (fines in accordance with the law in UAH) and when / what is the criminal liability for Christmas trees?


The facts of abuse or violation must be reported to the territorial law protection bodies of the National Police and the State Forest Agency, as well as via Telegram @ukrforest_bot.


According to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of July 23, 2008 №665 for felled Christmas trees obtained illegally, the determination of the amount of damage is differentiated depending on the thickness of the trunk of the felled tree.


If the diameter of the tree trunk is up to 10 cm, the offender will have to pay 545 UAH, from 10 to 14 cm - 960 UAH, from 14 cm - 2465 UAH.


According to Article 65 of the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses, illegal felling, damage and destruction of forest crops and understory is punishable by an administrative fine:


- for citizens - from thirty to sixty non-taxable minimum incomes of citizens or from 510 to 1,020 hryvnias;


- for officials - from one hundred and fifty to three hundred non-taxable minimum incomes of citizens or from 2,550 to 5,100 hryvnias.


Criminal liability for the sale of Christmas trees of illegal origin in accordance with Article 246 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine occurs when the amount of losses from the sale of illegally felled Christmas trees is set, which is twenty times more than the tax-free minimum income (from 1135 UAHx20 = 22700 UAH and more).

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