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Estonia: The Riigikogu passed the Act lowering alcohol excise duty rates

NordenBladet — At today’s last regular plenary sitting of its spring session, the Riigikogu passed the Act that reduces the excise duty rates for beer, cider and strong alcoholic beverages by 25 per cent from 1 July.

The Act on Amendments to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act (30 SE), initiated by the Faction Isamaa, the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Faction and the Centre Party Faction, provides for a 25 per cent reduction in excise duty rates for beer, cider and strong alcoholic beverages with the aim of curbing the business in border areas. The explanatory memorandum notes that, with the reduction of excise duty rates for alcoholic beverages, undertakings are given the possibility of reducing the prices of alcoholic beverages in order to take control of the business in alcoholic beverages in the areas of Estonian-Latvian border. When alcoholic beverages become cheaper, the quantities of alcoholic beverages procured in Latvia may decrease and the quantities of alcoholic beverages bought in Estonia may grow, the explanatory memorandum states.

During the second reading, the Finance Committee made an amendment which aimed to prevent the carriage of excise goods on which excise duty has already been paid in Estonia from Estonia to another Member State and back to Estonia from there only for a new lower excise tax to apply. Therefore, the excise duty rate applied in the first release for consumption will be applied to goods that have already been released for consumption in Estonia.

70 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Act and nine were against.

The Act enters into force on 1 July.

The Riigikogu passed another Act:

The Act on the Denunciation of the European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events and in particular at Football Matches (25 SE), initiated by the Government, gives the opportunity to accede to the updated convention. According to the explanatory memorandum, the Convention established over three decades ago is outdated by now and no longer provides sufficient solution to football-related violence. Adherence to the Convention may in some cases even increase the risks relating to safety and security at football matches, for example disproportionate use of riot police. In 2016, a newer and updated convention was drafted in the Council of Europe which also focuses on security and good services at matches, besides managing violence. In order that Estonia could accede to the newer convention, it is necessary to denounce the earlier agreement.

77 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Act, and there were no votes against.

At today’s sitting, Jaak Juske and Lauri Läänemets took their oaths of office. They assumed membership of the Riigikogu in connection with resignation of Marina Kaljurand and Sven Mikser.

 

Source: Parliament of Estonia

 


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