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On Wednesday, the Riigikogu passed the Act on Amendments to the Environmental Supervision Act (443 SE) which brings the Act into conformity with the Public Information Act, and at the same time ensures the ability of the Environmental Inspectorate to perform its duties outside the usual working time.

The Environmental Inspectorate was provided with the legal basis for the establishment of the necessary databases. The Minister of the Environment was granted the provision delegating authority to establish by a Regulation the statutes of the databases to be established. The amendment will ensure the possibility of systematic electronic processing of the information collected in the course of environmental supervision.

At the third reading the Bill, 80 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Bill and nobody was against.

The Riigikogu approved the Act on the Ratification of the Convention between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and the Protocol thereto (450 SE), initiated by the Government. On Wednesday, 58 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Bill and nobody was against.

The Bill on Amendments to the Law of Succession Act, the Notary Fees Act, the Notaries Act and Other Associated Acts (440 SE), initiated by the Government, passed the second reading. It includes four kinds of amendments. First, the regulation concerning the maintenance of the succession register is changed; second, notary fees are established for notarial acts for which no fee has been provided for in the current the Notary Fees Act; third, the Law of Succession Act is specified in general; and, fourth, the submission of the annual reports through the notary is regulated. The final vote on the Bill is going to be on 26 September.

The Bill on Amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure (441 SE), initiated by the Government, passed the second reading. The amendments are necessary to transpose a legislative act of the European Union into national law. The aim of the Bill is to provide additional rights to oral and written translation in criminal proceedings with regard to the suspect and the accused and the person who is subjected to a European Arrest Warrant. With the Bill, the rights of the abovementioned persons will be extended and they will be provided with wider opportunities to use the help of an interpreter in criminal proceedings. The third reading of the Bill is scheduled for 26 September.

The Bill on Amendments to the Civil Status Acts Act, the Population Register Act, the Local Government Organisation Act and the State Fees Act (464 SE), initiated by the Government, passed the first reading. The Bill is intended to extend the term of validity of the right of the official to act as an official of the Vital Statistics Department and to simplify the procedure for granting the new fixed-term right to conclude marriages to an official so that it would be similar to the right of a minister of religion to conclude marriages. It also specifies the competence of the county government and the Ministry of Internal Affairs in regard to carrying out the examination of the official of the Vital Statistics Department and the prior training, establishes clear legal bases for releasing certificates and the vital statistics data on records, simplifies the administrative proceedings for forwarding the identity document of a deceased person who is a foreigner to the embassy of the foreign country, reduces the amount of paper documents upon contraction of marriage by replacing the protocol on contracting the marriage with a pre-completed printout of the registry entry of marriage, simplifies the proceeding for ascertaining the ability to marry for the citizen, and establishes the legal basis for entering the sex change data into the Population Register. The term for submission of motions to amend for the second reading of the Bill is 9 October.

The Bill on the Ratification of the Convention Between the Republic of Estonia and the United Mexican States for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and the Protocol thereto (466 SE), submitted by the Government, passed the first reading. The purpose of agreements for the avoidance of double taxation is to facilitate investments between Contracting States. As an international law instrument, the Convention grants greater legal certainty to investors, as compared with a national legislative act, in regard to these elements of the tax system that are regulated by the Convention, because amendment of a bilateral international convention is generally more time-consuming than amendment of a national legislative act. For the achievement of these purposes, the Convention imposes restrictions on income taxes which may be established to the residents of the other state by the state of the source of income, ensures equal treatment of persons and eliminates possible double taxation. The obligation of mutual exchange of information provided for in the Convention will create additional possibilities for prevention of tax evasions. The term for submission of motions to amend for the second reading of the Bill is 3 October.

 

The Bill on Amendments to the Plant Protection Act (473 SE), submitted by the Government, passed the first reading. According to it, on the basis of the Order of the Government of the Republic “Reorganisation of Jõgeva Plant Breeding Institute and the Estonian Research Institute of Agriculture”, the Estonian Crop Research Institute will organise the technical inspection of plant protection equipment and a course of professional training required for conducting the inspection. The head office of the agency will be in Jõgeva county and testing points will be in various locations of Estonia. The Estonian Crop Research Institute will determine the location where the technical inspection of plant protection equipment and a course of professional training required for conducting the inspection will be organised. The document certifying the passing of the regular technical inspection of plant protection equipment will be valid until arrival of the term for the next technical inspection. The term for submission of motions to amend for the second reading of the Bill is 9 October.

The Bill on Amendments to the Forest Act and the Administrative Co-operation Act (463 SE), submitted by the Government, passed the first reading. The main purpose of the Bill is to ensure the protection and sustainable management of forests. The effective implementation of the Act will have to ensure the biological diversity of forests, preservation of the good health and production capacity of forests and opportunities for more economic management and protection of the forest. Also, achievement of the social and regional objectives related to the forestry sector. The Environment Committee who is the leading committee moved to conclude the first reading.

The Bill on Amendments to the Water Act (467 SE), initiated by the Government, passed the first reading. Its aim is to update and improve the regulation concerning the damming of water bodies in order to solve the problems encountered upon the implementation of the Act and to ensure a more effective protection of water bodies. Also, to reduce the administrative burden imposed by the application for and processing of the permit for the special use of water for damming. In order to limit the administrative burden imposed by processing of the permits for the special use of water and to promote large-scale investments which take as a precondition the long-term right to the special use of water, the permits for the special use of water will be issued for an unspecified term. The amendments bring the provisions concerning groundwater into conformity with the EU Water Policy Framework Directive and the Groundwater Directive. The term for submission of motions to amend for the second reading of the Bill is 9 October.

The verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian): https://www.riigikogu.ee/?op=steno&stcommand=stenogramm

 

The Riigikogu Press Service

25 September 2013

 

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