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2014.04.25 13:03

Seimas approves new requirements for farmland buyers

BNS | DELFI | The Lithuania Tribune2014.04.25 13:03

(BNS) The Lithuanian parliament on Thursday approved new requirements for agricultural land buyers that will come into force in May, when the existing ban on foreigners to buy land in the country expires.

 (BNS) The Lithuanian parliament on Thursday approved new requirements for agricultural land buyers that will come into force in May, when the existing ban on foreigners to buy land in the country expires.

Starting May 1, land acquisition will be linked to agricultural production and buyers will have to work the land for at least five years before selling it.

A buyer of farmland will be required to have at least three years of farming experience or have at least a high school diploma in agriculture or a related field. A buyer will need to obtain permission from the National Land Service.

The Seimas left in place the 500-hectare limit on the amount of land than can be purchased. Animal farmers will be allowed to acquire more land depending on the number of livestock they have.

In an effort to prevent speculation in farmland, the Seimas tightened the rules as to when physical persons and companies are deemed to be related.

The safeguards approved by the parliament will only apply to individuals and companies willing to buy more than 10 hectares of land. These restrictions will not apply to those buying up to 10 hectares.

As the initiators have collected over 300,000 signatures, the Seimas has set Jun. 29 as the date for holding a referendum on banning the sale of land to foreigners and legal entities. At the same time, the parliament has asked the Constitutional Court to look into whether such a referendum does not run counter to the Constitution.

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