Buffer Zone Rules


Legal Update No. 636

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP advises that Russian Government Resolution No. 2221 on buffer zone rules (the “Rules”) has been adopted.

The Rules regulate how buffer zones are established, modified or lifted and define the land use regime for such zones. Specifically:

  • Residential development, educational, medical or outdoor sports facilities, children’s leisure and health organisations, recreation or gardening areas are prohibited in buffer zones;
  • Medicine manufacturing or storage facilities, food facilities, wholesale warehouses for raw materials and finished food products, waterworks for treating and storing drinking water, other use of land plots to make, store and process agricultural produce for food are only permitted in buffer zones of other facilities if such other facility will not affect the quality or safety of the raw materials, water or produce. Potential location of such buildings/structures inside a facility’s buffer zone must be justified in the buffer zone project;
  • When construction or reconstruction is planned, before a relevant permit is obtained, the developer must apply to Rospotrebnadzor2 (“RPN”) for a buffer zone to be established or modified and, once the facility is commissioned, have studies performed of its biological and chemical impact on the atmospheric air and, if required, changes made to the buffer zone boundaries;
  • When a facility undergoes a technical upgrade or technology changes or its intended purpose is altered or it is no longer operated or is liquidated, its right holder must, within one year, measure the impact on the atmospheric air beyond the facility contour and have the buffer zone lifted or its boundaries changed, as and if required;
  • A facility’s buffer zone may be reduced or lifted or individual limitations terminated by application from persons other than the relevant facility right holders, after the requisite studies are completed.

A buffer zone is established by decision of an RPN authority indicating the facility for which it is established and the land plot use limitations within its boundaries.

Information about buffer zone boundaries and land plot use regimes and limitations within its boundaries must be entered in the Unified State Realty Register before the buffer zone is deemed established.

The Rules have been in effect since 15 March 2018, with the following transitional provisions:

  • Right holders of capital structures commissioned before 15 March 2018 and requiring a buffer zone must take measurements of the atmospheric air beyond the structure contour and submit an application for a buffer zone to the RPN agencies by 15 March 2019;
  • Developers of capital structures covered by construction/reconstruction permits issued before 15 March 2018 and requiring a buffer zone must submit a buffer zone application to the RPN before such structures are commissioned but, in any case, by 15 March 2019;
  • Within two years of a buffer zone being established, the permitted uses of land plots and intended purpose of capital structures within its boundaries must be aligned with its use regime. It is not yet clear how this requirement will be implemented.

1Russian Government Resolution No. 222 dated 3 March 2018 “On Approving the Rules on Establishing Buffer Zones and Using Land Plots within Buffer Zone Boundaries”
2Russian Federal Supervisory Service for Consumer Rights Protection and Public Welfare


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