On January 27, 2003 the federal law of the Russian Federation "On the turnover of agrarian land" takes effect.
On June 26, 2002 the bill was passed by the State Duma (Lower House) of the Russian Federation's Federal Assembly. On July 10, 2002 it was approved by the Federation Council (Upper House), on July 24, 2002 it was signed by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, and on July 27, 2002 it was published. The bill takes effect six months after the official publication.
The law was elaborated on the basis of the draft submitted to the State Duma by the Government on March 19, 2002 /the State Duma already had six alternative draft bills worked out by deputies/.
The law acts as a regulating mechanism in settling issues related to the sale, transfer to private ownership and lease of agrarian land. The law does not apply to plots given to the population from the agrarian land for the purpose of individual house and garage building, rural needs, gardening, farming and stockbreeding. The law does not apply to plots occupied by houses and other buildings.
The participants of the relations regulated by the law are natural and juridical persons, the Russian Federation and its subjects, as well as municipal establishments. Under the law it is illegal to sell agrarian land to foreign natural and juridical persons, non-citizens and those enterprises whose share of foreign capital exceeds 50%. Under the law, the aforementioned categories of subjects are restricted to leasing land for a period of up to 49 years.
The turnover of agrarian land in the regions is regulated under the law by the local authorities.
Under the law, privately owned agrarian land must be at least 10% of the total agrarian land within an administrative unit.
The law requires owners, users and holders of plots to utilize the latter according to the purpose of the given category of land. In case of misuse or negative ecological treatment of plots, the law provides for their forced confiscation from owners.