The tenfold increase in penalties for illegal logging in forests will have a respectable effect, but the problems with the low collection of fines remain.

There is also a lack of methodology to distinguish between an administrative offense and a crime.

This is how experts comment on the changes in the Law on Forests.

The positive effect of electronic wood tracking and surveillance cameras in warehouses and wood processing plants is reported.

"For nearly 12 years, the sanctions have not been corrected," says Eng. Yuli Sirakov, head of the "Protection of Forest Territories" department at the Southwest State Enterprise.

According to the changes in the law, the minimum fine for individuals illegally harvesting wood is now BGN 500, against the previous BGN 50. For legal entities, the new sanction is from BGN 2,000 to BGN 20,000.

Their significant increase will contribute to the reduction of violations by systematic offenders in the forest territories, for whom this is a livelihood, commented Engineer Sirakov to BNR.

Foresters catch violators, acts and criminal decrees are issued, but the collection of fines is below 30%, he reports.

There is no clear methodology distinguishing administrative violations from crimes in the forests, the expert claims.

"A large part of the violations that are established in the forest territories are considered minor and of low value. The court very often returns, including the cars detained by our officers and material evidence - petrol chainsaws. Especially to recidivists who continue to commit crimes with the same cars violations."