Estonia: The Riigikogu repassed the Act extending the rights of the Defence Forces

NordenBladet — At today’s sitting, the Riigikogu passed unamended the Act on Amendments to the Estonian Defence Forces Organisation Act which the President of the Republic had refused to proclaim.

Renewed deliberation of the Act on Amendments to the Estonian Defence Forces Organisation Act (783 UA) was held in the Riigikogu. It extends the existing rights of the Defence Forces in checking the background persons, in order to verify their suitability to serve or be employed in the Defence Forces or to cooperate with the Defence Forces. According to the Act, the Defence Forces are able to perform acts to a wider extent than the verification against registers, and to use covert measures to ensure that the collection of information is covert, upon obtaining information needed for background check.

The President of the Republic refused to proclaim the Act on 7 March. According to the President’s opinion, the Act was in conflict with §§ 13, 26, 33 and 43 of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia.

During the debate, Hanno Pevkur (Reform Party), Jaak Madison (Estonian Conservative People’s Party) and Andres Metsoja (Isamaa) took the floor.

53 members of the Riigikogu were in favour of passing the Act without amendments and 31 voted against.

One Bill passed the first reading in the Riigikogu:

The Bill on Amendments to the Tobacco Act and the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act (9 SE), initiated by the Government, will transpose two articles of the EU Tobacco Directive, on the basis of which a European-wide tracking and tracing system for tobacco products will be implemented to curb the black market in tobacco. The Bill with similar content was approved at the sitting of the Government on 6 December 2018. However, the second reading of the Bill in the Riigikogu was suspended at the wish of the Minister of Health and Labour.

In order to establish a traceability system, tobacco manufacturers and importers conclude data storage contracts for the purpose of hosting information related to products. Access to the data is important and must be ensured to the authority interested in the data (the Tax and Customs Board in Estonia) and the European Commission.

As part of the tracking and tracing system, a security feature simplifying the verification of whether or not a tobacco product is authentic will also be introduced for the sales package of tobacco products. In Estonia, tax stamp will be introduced as the security feature. It complies with the requirements of EU legislation and is at the same time the most convenient solution for tobacco manufacturers and importers. In the cases where no tax stamp is installed on a product (e.g. in duty-free shops), the security feature of the manufacturer will have to be installed on the product. The tobacco manufacturer or importer will develop it, taking into account the requirements of the law and EU legislation.

During the debate, Tarmo Kruusimäe (Isamaa) and Vilja Toomast (Reform Party) took the floor.

 

Source: Parliament of Estonia

 


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