The modernisation of Scotland's vital crofting sector has taken an 'important step forward' with the second phase of the Act's commencement.

As part of the implementation of the Crofting Reform Act 2010, the order laid in parliament will bring into force sections that will:Transform the Crofters Commission into the Crofting Commission with a new constitution and powers commencing on 1 April 2012Place duties on tenant and owner-occupied crofters to occupy and work their crofts, to be enforced by the Commission, from 1 October 2011.Protect croft land by allowing the Land Court and the Commission to take into account a wider range of factors when deciding on resumption and de-crofting applicationsProvide greater flexibility for the succession of crofts by allowing a croft to be bequeathed to two or more people.

Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson said:

"In 2010, the Scottish Parliament chose to take action to change a failing system and put in place measures that will deliver growth for our crofting sector and build stronger communities.

"Through having land held in crofting tenure and through making crofts available to people who are willing to make a permanent contribution to these communities by living there and working the land, crofting can once again be a model for sustainable rural development.

"The Scottish Government is presently consulting on Crofting Commission elections. The new Commission will be democratically accountable and will reflect and respond to concerns of crofters. This order will enable that."

The Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 was passed by Parliament on July 1, 2010.

The purpose of this order is to commence all remaining provisions in the 2010 Act, with the exception of those relating to the new Crofting Register, which is presently being developed by the Registers of Scotland, and Section 52 on consolidating crofting law. The first Commencement Order for the Act, "The Crofting Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 (Commencement, Saving and Transitory Provisions) Order 2010" (2010 No. 437(C.31)) was made on 7 December 2010.