a legislative act of Dec. 10, 1719, that defined the policy of the Russian government toward the mining industry and provided the practical guiding principle for the Berg-Kollegiia (Collegium of Mines).
The Berg-Privilegiia guaranteed the right to inherit factories, protected industrialists from interference in their affairs by local authorities, obliged the Berg-Kollegiia to provide technical and financial aid to industrialists, and proclaimed the right to the free sale of iron. Ores were declared the property of the tsar, and industrialists were obliged to pay a tax of 10 percent of their profits to the state (beginning in 1724,1 kopek on a pood [16.38 kg] of pig iron). At the same time the Berg-Privilegiia gave preference to the owner of the land in the exploitation of minerals. The industrialist was obliged to pay one thirty-second of his profits to the votchinnik (owner of a patrimonial estate) for the use of his forests and land. With the aim of attracting a qualified labor force, the Berg-Privilegiia freed factory hands from military service and the poll tax. In the mid-18th century these privileges granted to factory hands were revoked. The Berg-Privilegiia encouraged the development of industry. In 1739 the Berg-Privilegiia was supplemented by the Berg-Reglament. The Berg-Privilegiia remained in effect until 1807.