Regulation on the Implementation of the Forestry Law of the People's Republic of China (2016)

(Issued by the Order No. 278 of the State Council of the People's Republic of China on January 29, 2000; revised in accordance with the Decision of the State Council on Abolishing and Amending Some Administrative Regulations on January 8, 2011 for the first time; and revised in accordance with the Decision of the State Council on Amending Some Administrative Regulations on February 6, 2016 for the second time)

Chapter I General Provisions            

Article 1 This Regulation is formulated according to the Forestry Law of the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the "Forestry law").             

Article 2

The forest resources include forests, woods and forest lands, as well as wild animals, plants and microbes whose life and survival depends on the forest, wood and forest land.           ¡¡¡¡

Forests include arbor forests and bamboo forests.        

Woods include trees and bamboos.        

Forest lands include arbor forest lands with a canopy density of 0.2 degrees or more as well as bamboo forest lands, bush shrub forest lands, open forest lands, stump lands, burned areas, non-mature forestation lands, nursery lands, and land appropriate to the forestation planned by the people's government at or above the county level.    

Article 3

The state adopts a registration system for forest, wood and forest land according to law. The ownership to and right to use legally registered forests, woods and forest lands shall be protected by law, which shall not be injured by any entity or individual.                  

The pattern of the certificate of ownership to forest, wood and forest land shall be prescribed by the competent forestry authority of the State Council.        

Article 4

The state-owned forests, woods or forest lands to be used in a lawful manner shall be registered in accordance with the following provisions:        

(1) An entity which is to use any forest, wood or forest land within a key state-owned forest zone as determined by the State Council (hereinafter referred to as "key forest zone") shall submit a registration application to the competent forestry authority of the State Council, and the competent forestry authority of the State Council shall prepare a register, issue a certificate after making examinations, and confirm the right to use the forest, wood or forest land as well as the user's ownership to the woods therein;   

(2) An entity or individual who is to use any stated-owned forest, wood or forest land involving different administrative areas shall submit a registration application to the competent forestry authority of their common superior people's government, and the said people's government shall prepare a register, issue a certificate after making examinations, and confirm the right to use the forest, wood or forest land as well as the user's ownership to the woods therein;     

(3)An entity or individual who is to use any other state-owned forest, wood or forest land shall submit a registration application to the competent forestry authority of the local people's government at or above the county level, which shall prepare a register, issue a certificate after making examinations, and confirm the right to use the forest, wood or forest land as well as the user's ownership to the woods therein.  

The state-owned forests, woods or forest lands, right to use which has not been determined, shall be recorded, protected and managed by the people's government at or above the county level.   

Article 5

For any collectively owned forest, wood or forest land, the owner shall submit a registration application to the competent forestry authority of the local people's government at or above the county level, which shall prepare a register, issue a certificate after making examination, and confirm the ownership.                 

For any wood owned by any entity or individual, the owner shall submit a registration application to the competent forestry authority of the local people's government at the county level, which shall prepare a register, examine and issue a certificate, and confirm the ownership to the wood.                

An entity or individual who is to use any collectively owned forest, wood or forest land shall submit a registration application to the competent forestry authority of the local people's government at or above the county level, and the people's government at or above the county level shall prepare a register, issue a certificate after making examinations, and confirm the ownership to the forest, wood or forest land.

Article 6

Any change of the ownership to or the right to use any forest, wood or forest land shall, in accordance with the law, be subject to the formalities for the modification of the registration.            

Article 7

The competent forestry authority of the people's government at or above the county level shall establish files on the management of forest, wood and forest land.       

Article 8

For the state's key shelter forests and special-purpose forests, the competent forestry authority of State Council shall put forward opinions and report them to the State Council for approval and announcement. For the local key shelter forests and special-purpose forests, the competent forestry authority of the people's government of the province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the Central Government shall give its opinions and report to the people's government at the same level for approval and announcement. For other shelter forests, timber forests or special-purpose forests as well as the economic forests or fuel forests, the competent forestry authority of the people's government at the county level shall delimit the boundaries thereof according to the state's relevant regulations on forest classification and the arrangement of the people's government at the same level, and report to the people's government at the same level for approval and announcement.       

The area of a key shelter forest or special-purpose forest within the administrative area of a province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the Central Government shall not be less than 30% of the total forest area of the said administrative area.                 

To change an approved and announced forest category into another forest category, it shall be subject to approval of the original approval and announcement authority.   

Article 9

The funds drawn according to the Item (5) of Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Forestry Law shall be exclusively used for planting timber forest used for pit prop, producing paper, etc., which shall not be appropriated for any other purpose. The audit authority and competent forestry authority shall strengthen their supervision.  

Article 10

The forest resources supervisory authority dispatched by the competent forestry authority of State Council to a key forest zone shall strengthen its supervision and inspection on the protection and management of the forest resources within this key forest zone.                 

Chapter II Business Operations and Management of Forests         

Article 11

The competent forestry authority of the State Council shall regularly monitor the situation of extinction and growth of forest resources and the changes of the forest ecological environment.          ¡¡

The forest resources investigations, file establishment, formulation of forest operation plans, and other tasks of a key forest zone shall be organized and implemented by the competent forestry authority of the State Council. Other forest resources investigations, file establishment, formulation of forest operation plans, etc. shall be organized and implemented by the competent forestry of the local people's government authority at or above the county level.   

Article 12

The following principles shall be observed in creating a long-term forestry plan:          ¡¡¡¡

(1) Protecting ecological environment and promoting a sustainable economic development;

(2) Basing on the existing forest resources;   

(3) Being in line with the overall plan on land utilization, water and soil conservation plan, municipal plan, village and town plan.        

Article 13

The long-term forestry plan shall include:      

(1) The forestry development target;              

(2) The ratio of forest categories;            

(3) The forest land protection and use plan; 

(4) The tree planting and forestation plan.              

Article 14

The national long-term forestry plan shall be formulated by the competent forestry authority of the State Council jointly with other relevant departments and execute the plan upon approval of the State Council.                

The long-term forestry plan at each level shall be formulated by the competent forestry authority of the people's governments at or above the county level jointly with other relevant departments and execute the plan upon approval of the State Council.        

The long-term forestry plan at a lower level shall be formulated based upon the long-term forestry plan of a superior level.           

Any adjustment or modification to the long-term forestry plan shall be reported to the original approval authority for approval.                  

Article 15

The state protects the lawful rights and interests of the business operators of forests, woods and forest lands according to law. Any entity or individual is prohibited to illegally trespass upon the wood owned and the forest land used by any operator according to law.               ¡¡¡¡

The business operators of timber forests, economic forests and fuel forests be entitled to enjoy the right to operation, benefits and other lawful rights and interests according to law.

The business operator of a shelter forest or special-purpose forest shall be entitled to enjoy the right of compensation for forest ecological benefits.       

Article 16

If it needs to occupy or expropriation or requisition any forest land for a project of surveying or exploiting mineral resources, or constructing road, water conservancy, power, communication, the following provisions shall be observed:           ¡¡

(1) The land user entity the shall submit a land use application to the competent forestry authority of the people's government at or above the county level, and, after examination and approval, prepay forest and vegetation restoration fees according to the standards of the state and fetch a forest land use approval document. The land user entity shall, upon the strength of the forest land use approval document, go through the formalities for the examination and approval of construction use land. If the occupancy and requisition of forest land has not been examined and approved by the competent forestry authority, the competent land administration authority shall not accept the application for the land for construction use.             

(2) For the occupancy or requisition of any shelter forest land or forest land for special-purpose with an area of 10 hectares or more, or any timber forest, economic forest or fuel forest as well as its stump land of 35 hectares or more, or other forest land of 70 hectares or more, it shall be subject to the examination of the competent forestry authority of the State Council; for the occupancy or requisition of any forest land with an area smaller than the figure as mentioned above, it shall be subject to the examination of the competent forestry authority of the people's government of the province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the Central Government. For the occupancy or expropriation or requisition of the forest land of a key forest zone, it shall be subject to the examination of the competent forestry authority of the State Council.      

(3) If the land user entity needs to cut the wood on the forest land it has occupied or requisitioned upon approval, it shall file an application with the competent forestry authority of the people's government at or above the county level where the forest land is located or from the competent forestry authority of State Council for a wood felling permit.

(4) If the occupancy or expropriation or requisition of a forest land is not approved, the relevant competent forestry authority shall refund the applicant the full amount of the prepaid forest and vegetation restoration fees within 7 days as from the date of receipt of a notice of disapproval.

Article 17

Where ones need to occupy and use forest land temporarily, they shall obtain the approval of the competent departments of the people's governments at or above county level. The period of temporary usage of forest land shall not exceed 2 years, and it's prohibited to construct permanent structure on the temporarily used forest land; after such period expires, unit using land must restore forestry production conditions.

Article 18

Temporary occupancy of forest land required for building engineering facility directly used for serving forestry production by forest operation unit within the range of the forest land it operated, shall be approved by the competent forestry authority of the people's government at or above county level; for building other engineering facilities and requiring forest land to be changed to non-forestry land for use in construction, procedures of examination and approval for use of land in construction must be conducted according to law. The engineering facility directly used for serving forestry production in aforesaid section refers to: (1) facility for cultivation or production of seed or nursery stock; (2) facility for storage of seeds, nursery stock, timber; (3) logger road or carriage way; (4) forestry scientific research, test or model base; (5) facility for wild life and plant protection, forest protection, forest disease and pest damage prevention, forest fire prevention, timber quarantine; (6) infrastructure for water supply, power supply, heat supply, gas supply or communication.

Chapter Three Forest Protection

Article 19

The competent forestry authority of the people's government at or above county level shall, according to the investigation and monitoring of the targeted object by forest disease and pest damage monitor and forecast center, periodically release long-term, mid-term and short-term forest disease and pest damage forecast, and give preventive suggestions timely. The forest operator shall use fine variety, construct mixed forest, carry out scientific afforestation and improve the ability to prevent forest disease and pest damages. when forest disease and pest damage occurs, relevant departments and forest operators shall take integrated control measures to timely eliminate and treat the damages. When serious forest disease and pest damage occurs, the local people's government shall take emergency eliminate-and-treat measures to prevent spreading and eliminate hidden damages.

Article 20

The competent forestry authority of the state council is responsible for determination of the national germ chit quarantine objects of forest wood. The competent forestry authority of people's government of province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the central authority may, according to need of the region, determine supplementary germ chit quarantine objects of forest wood of the said province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the central authority, and report the same to the competent forestry authority of the state council for the record.

Article 21

It is prohibited to destroy forest for bringing under cultivation or collecting seed, or violate rules of operation technique to tap resin, dig bamboo shoot, extract stumps, debark or over lop.

Article 22

Slopes of 25 degrees or above shall be used for tree or grass planting. hillside cultivated of 25 degrees or above shall give up cultivation gradually for tree or grass planting according to the plan formulated by the local people's government.

Article 23

When forest fires occurs, local people's government must immediately organize army-civilian forces to put it down; relevant authority shall actively prepare for fire rescue material supply, transportation and communication, medical and etc. work.

Chapter Four Tree Planting and Afforestation

Article 24

The "forest acreage" in forestry law, refers to the percentage of forest area to land area as per administrative domain. forest area includes arbor forest land area and bamboo forest land area with canopy density over 0.2, shrub forest land area stipulated specially by the state, and the coverage area of farmland forest net and village-side, roadside, waterside, house-side forest wood. The local people's government at or above county level shall, according to the striving target of forest acreage determined by the state council, determine the striving target of forest acreage of the administrative domain, and organize implementation.

Article 25

Tree planting and afforestation shall comply with rules of afforestation technique, and execute scientific afforestation, and enhance survival rate. The people's government at county level shall organize inspection and acceptance of the afforestation of the year within the said administrative domain, and except the arid or semiarid areas stipulated specially by the state, those with less than 85% survival rate shall not be calculated into the completed annual forestation area.

Article 26

The state adopts department and unit responsibility system in afforestation and greening. the relevant unit in charge of the sides of railway or road, the banks of river or the around of lake or reservoir, shall be the responsible unit for afforestation and greening. for industrial or mining area, undertaking or school land, troop camp as well as farm, grazing land, fishery operation area, such unit shall be the responsible unit for afforestation and greening. The afforestation and greening task of the responsible unit shall be confirmed by the local people's government at county level by issuing a notice of responsibility.

Article 27

The state protects the title of forest wood and other lawful rights and interests owned by the contracted forest grower. without both the employer and the contractor' unanimous agreement, modification to or revocation of the afforestation contract is prohibited.

Chapter Five Forest Felling

Article 28

The annual forest felling limit shall be formulated as per state-owned forestry enterprise or undertaking unit, farms, or plant or mining unit in respect of state owned forest or forest wood, and as per county in respect of collective-owned forest or forest wood and individual-owned forest wood, and then the competent forestry authority of people's government of province, autonomous region or municipality directly under central authority shall generalize and balance the same, and after being reviewed by the people's government at the same level, the same shall be reported to the state council for approval; among others, the annual forest felling limit of key forest zone shall be reviewed by the competent forestry authority of state council, and then be reported to the state council for approval. the annual forest felling limit approved by the state council shall be reviewed and determined once every 5 years.

Article 30

In application for forest wood felling permit, besides submission of the certificate of title or certificate of right of use in respect of the forest wood intended, other relevant proving documents shall also be submitted in accordance with following provisions: (1) state-owned forestry enterprise or undertaking unit shall also submit cutting area survey design document and previous year's cutting reforestation acceptance certificate; (2) other units shall also submit documents comprising the purpose of cutting, location, forest category, forest condition, area, amount of growing stock, method, reforestation measures and etc. of the forest wood. (3) individual shall also submit documents comprising the location, area, tree category, number of trees, amount of growing stock, time of reforestation and etc. of the forest wood. In the event of forest wood cutting required by forest fire rescue, flood prevention and other emergency situations, the units or departments organizing the same shall, within 30 days as from the ending date of such emergency, report the forest wood cutting condition to the local competent forestry authority of people's government at or above county level.

Article 31

Where a unit or individual has committed any of the following conditions, the department in charge shall not issue a permit for felling of forest trees: (1) non-tending or non-reforestation cutting of shelter forest or special-use forest, or cutting forest wood during period of "closing of hillsides to facilitate afforestation" or within area thereof; (2) failing to complete reforestation task after previous year's cutting; (3) failing to take preventive or improving measures provided that material denudation case, forest fire or serious forest disease and pest damages with large affected areas occurs. The pattern of forest wood felling permit shall be stipulated by the competent forestry authority of state council, and be printed by the competent forestry authority of people's government of province, autonomous region, municipality directly under central authority.

Article 32

Except expressly provided in forestry law, the forest wood felling permit shall be issued after examination in accordance with following purview: (1) for state-owned forestry center subject to county, the permit shall be issued after examination by the competent forestry authority of people's government at county level where it is located. (2) for state-owned forestry enterprise or undertaking unit or other state-owned enterprise or undertaking unit subject to province, autonomous region, municipality directly under central authority as well as city with districts or autonomous prefecture, the permit shall be issued after examination by the competent forestry authority of people's government of province, autonomous region or municipality directly under central authority where it is located; (3) for state-owned forestry enterprise or undertaking unit within key forest zone, the permit shall be issued after examination by the competent forestry authority of state council.

Article 33

The cutting of timber forest constructed by using foreign investment up to certain scale, shall be approved by the competent forestry authority of the people's government of a province, autonomous region or municipality directly under central authority within the annual forest felling limit approved by the state council, and shall be listed separately in respect of cutting limit.

Article 34

The timber operation (including processing) in forest zone must be approved by the competent forestry authority of the people's governments at or above county level. timber procurement unit or individual shall not procure timber without forest tree felling permit or other lawful origin certificates. the timber in the immediate section above refers to log, saw timber, bamboo wood, wood chip and other timbers stipulated by province, autonomous region or municipality directly under central authority.

Article 35

In order to carry timber that is not generally appropriated by the state out of forest zone, the carrier must have timber transportation permit issued by the competent forestry authority of the people's government at or above county level. The timber transportation permit for key forest zone shall be issued after examination by the competent forestry authority of the state council; other timber transportation permits shall be issued after examination by the competent forestry authority of local people's government at county or above level. timber transportation permit is valid during the whole journey from the place of dispatch of timber to the destination, and must be with the cargo all along. Without timber transportation permit, any unit or individual carrier shall not carry. the pattern of the timber transportation permit shall be stipulated by the competent forestry authority of state council.

Article 36

In application for timber transportation permit, the following proving documents shall be submitted: (1) forest tree felling permit or other lawful origin certificates; (2) quarantine certificate; (3) other documents stipulated by province, autonomous region or municipality directly under central authority. if the conditions in the immediate section above are satisfied, the competent forestry authority of people's government at or above county level having accepted such application shall issue the timber transportation permit within 3 days as from the date of receiving such application. The total volume of transported timber allowed by the legally issued timber transportation permit shall not exceed the total volume of timber allowed to be carried out for sales stipulated by the local annual timber production plan.

Article 37

The timber prosecution center set in forest zone approved by the people's government of a province, autonomous region or municipality directly under central authority shall be responsible for the inspection of timber transportation; for timber transportation without permit, the timber inspection station shall prevent it from happening, and may seize the timber without permit temporarily, and immediately report to the competent forestry authority of people's government at county or above level for legal disposition.

Chapter Six Legal Liabilities

Article 38

Where ones fell forest or other forest wood unlawful and results in less than 0.5 cube meters calculated by standing wood areas or more than 50 young trees felled, the competent forestry departments under the people's governments at or above county level order them to plant trees as many as 10 times amount of the unlawful felled trees, confiscate the unlawfully felled timber or sales proceeds, and impose a fine of not less than 3 times but not more than 5 times the value of the unlawfully felled timber. For unlawful felling of forest or other forest wood with standing volume more than 0.5 cube meters or saplings more than 20 stems, the competent forestry authority of people's government at county or above level shall order replanting of 10 times the amount of unlawfully felled trees, confiscate the unlawfully felled timber or sales proceeds, and impose a fine of not less than 5 times but not more than10 times the value of the unlawfully felled timber.

Article 39

For denudation of forest or other forest wood with standing volume less than 2 cube meters or saplings less than 50 stems, the competent forestry authority of people's government at county or above level shall order replanting of 5 times the amount of denudated trees, and impose a fine of not less than 2 times but not more than 3 times the value of the denudated timber. for denudation of forest or other forest wood with standing volume more than 2 cube meters or saplings more than 50 stems, the competent forestry authority of people's government at county or above level shall order replanting of 5 times the amount of denudated trees, and impose a fine of not less than 3 times but not more than 5 times the value of the denudated timber. for felling of forest or other forest wood exceeding timber production plan, the punishment shall be imposes in accordance with the provisions of the two sections herein above.

Article 40

For timber operation (including processing) in forest zone without approval in violation of these provisions, the competent forestry authority of people's government at county or above level shall confiscate the timber operated unlawfully and illegal gains, and impose a fine of not more than 2 times the illegal gains.

Article 41

For damages to forest or forest wood resulting from destroying forest to collect seeds or violating rules of operation technique to tap resin, dig bamboo shoot, extract stumps, debark or over lop in violation of these provisions, destruction planting or violation of technique operation, to cause destruction of forest, forest wood, the losses shall be compensated according to law, and the competent forestry authority of people's government at or above county level shall order cessation of the illegal conduct, replant trees of not lees than 1 but not more than 3 times the amount of destroyed stems, and may impose a fine of not less than 1 but not more than 5 times the value of destroyed forest wood; for refusing to replant trees or the replanting not conforming to relevant state regulations, the competent forestry authority of people's government at county or above level shall organize replanting instead at the violator' expenses. for damages to forest or forest wood resulting from bringing barren land under cultivation without authorization in violation of forest law and these provisions, the punishment shall be imposed in accordance with provisions of article 44 of forest law; in case of no damage done to the forest or forest wood or no forest or forest wood on the forest land brought under cultivation, the competent forestry authority of the people's government at or above county level shall order cessation of the illegal conduct and restoration to its original condition within certain time limit, and may impose a fine less than rmb 10 yuan per square meter of the illegally forest land brought under cultivation.

Article 42

If either of the following conditions exists, the competent forestry authority of people's government at county or above level shall order completion of forestation task within certain time limit; if not completed upon the expiry of such time limit, may impose a fine less than 2 times the expenses necessary for the uncompleted afforestation task that should have been completed; for directly responsible officer and other directly liable persons, administrative punishment shall be imposed according to law: (1) failing to complete reforestation task in 2 consecutive years; (2) area of reforestation of the year less than 50% of the area of reforestation required; (3) except the arid or semiarid areas stipulated specially by the state, reforestation survival rate of the year less than 85%; (4) unit responsible for tree planting and afforestation failing to complete afforestation task on time in accordance with the requirements of the people's government at county level where it is located.

Article 43

Where ones alter the uses of forestry land without authorization based on no approval according to examination by the competent forestry departments of the people's governments at or above county level, the competent forestry authority of people's government at or above county level shall order restoration to its original condition within certain time limit, and impose a fine of not less than rmb 10 yuan but not more than rmb 30 yuan per square meter for the forest land with illegal change of purpose. for non-return of temporary occupied forest land exceeding time limit, punishment shall be imposed in accordance with provisions in the immediate section above.

Article 44

For transportation of timber without timber transportation permit, the competent forestry authority of people's government at or above county level shall confiscate the illegally transported timber, and may impose on the consignor a fine of less than 30% of the prices of illegally transported timber. For the timber volume transported exceeding the transportation volume allowed by the timber transportation permit, the competent forestry authority of people's government at or above county level shall confiscate the exceeding portion of the timber; for the transported tree species, wood assortment or specification not conforming to the contents of the timber transport permit and without reasonable grounds, shall confiscate the portion of timber not in conformity. For limber transportation using forged or altered timber transportation permit, the competent forestry authority of people's government at county or above level shall confiscate the illegally transported timber, and impose a fine of not lees than 10% but not more than 50 % of the prices of the confiscated timber. For transportation of timber without timber transportation permit, The competent forestry authority of people's government at county or above level shall confiscate the carriage, and impose a fine of not less than 1 but not more than 3 times the carriage.

Article 45

Where ones move service labels without authorization or damage them, the competent forestry authority of people's government at county or above level shall order restoration to its original condition within certain time limit; for non-restoration exceeding such time limit, the competent forestry authority of people's government at or above county level shall restore instead at the expenses of the violator.

Article 46

For change of shelter forest or special-use forest to other forest category without approval in violation of these provisions, the competent forestry authority of people's government at county or above level shall retrieve the forest ecological benefit compensation received by the operator, and impose a fine less than 3 times the received forest ecological benefit compensation.

Chapter Seven Supplementary Provisions

Article 47

The division of duties and powers of the competent forestry authorities of people's governments at or above county level in these provisions shall be stipulated in detail by the competent forestry authority of the state council.

Article 48

These provisions shall take effect as from the date of promulgation. the (regulation for implementation of forestry law of the people's republic of china ) approved by the state council on april 28th 1986 and promulgated by the ministry of forestry on may 10, 1986 shall be invalidated simultaneously.