Since July 12 the Federal Law No. 354-FL of July 3, 2106 “On the amendments to individual legislative acts of the Russian Federation improving the procedure of withdrawal of land plots from the lands of agricultural destination in the cases of their use for other than designated purposes or use in violation of the legislation of the Russian Federation” has come into force. Some provisions concerning withdrawal of land plots from the lands of agricultural destination will come into force since January 1, 2017.
According to the Federal service for state registration, cadastre and cartography (Rosreestr), the square of the agricultural lands of Russia in 2010 was 220,4 mln Ha or about 13% of total square of the land fund within the RF territory. At the same time, according to the Audit Chamber of Russia, more than 14% of agricultural lands are not used at all or used not according to the intended purpose.
First of all, the amendments adopted are aimed at reactivation of unused lands and development of order of such land withdrawal at their non-use or use not according to the intended purpose.
Following the amendments, in case of use not according to the intended purpose for 3 years, the regional authorities are able to institute the agricultural land withdrawal from lessee or owner through the court. The criteria of such use include for example the diminishing of fertility or non-use of the plot. These criteria should be specified by the Government of the RF.
In or before six months after withdrawal the plot has to be set for public auction. If the purchaser is not be found, the price can be reduced and the plot will be offered to municipal or federal ownership on the lowest price of public offering.
The new proprietor is obliged to use the land as intended within a year. Otherwise he can be a subject to administrative penalty, the amount of which depends on the cadastral value of the plot, but not less than 2 000 for citizens and individual entrepreneurs, and 100 000 for legal entities.
The bona fide users are privileged to use the simplified, i.e. without public auction, procedure of obtaining the plot into ownership or prolongation of lease. In this case there is no need in documentary confirmation of the intended use.
Countrywide in 2012, according to Rosreestr, 114 299,2 th Ha of agricultural lands were owned by citizens, 4 552,1 th Ha were in municipal ownership, 7 971,3 th Ha were owned by the RF subjects, and 8 477 th Ha were in federal ownership.
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