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The German Federal Council accepted the Forest Damage Compensation Act on March 26th. Because the large amounts of damaged wood in recent years have seriously disrupted the timber market, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture will limit spruce logging from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021 to 85% of the average logging for the years 2013 to 2017.

As the German Forest Entrepreneur Association (DFUV) reports, the logging restrictions are causing uncertainty among the entrepreneurs. “Our members tell us, for example, that forest owners claim that there should be no more felling,” explains DFUV managing director Dr. Maurice Strunk. In Bavaria, forest entrepreneurs are concerned because the Bavarian State Forests want to reduce their fresh wood harvest by 200,000 cubic meters.

In order to create clarity, the DFUV provides the following information on the status quo:

  • The logging restriction only applies to spruce wood. Only forest holdings that want to log “healthy spruce” and intend to harvest more than 85% of the average harvest from 2013 to 2017 are affected. The calamity-related spruce felling is not taken into account in the calculation. Spruce calamity wood can still be felled.
  • If the restrictions in spruce lead to a reduction in the total logging of the forest enterprise to below 70% of the felling rate set in the operational report / plant, the forest owner can increase the felling in healthy spruce to over 85% of the average felling in the reference period – until he reaches the 70 -% limit reached. The possible uses of the non-restricted types of wood are to be taken into account.
  • For the forest owner, the activation of the Forest Damage Compensation Act may mean tax advantages. Forestry operations that are not required to keep accounts can be used to compensate for their operating expenses. B. deduct 90% of the income from the utilization of the felled wood. When selling on the stick, it is 65%.
  • Forestry operations that are subject to regular bookkeeping do not necessarily have to activate logged and previously unsold wood for tax purposes, and in the fiscal year of a logging restriction, only a quarter of the regular tax rate applies to any calamity use (Income Tax Act § 34b).

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