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The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of two Bills:

The Consumer Protection Bill (37 SE), initiated by the Government, will establish a new consolidated text of the Consumer Protection Act and transpose the relevant EU directive on alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes in the EU.

The Bill regulates the offering and sale, or marketing in any other manner, of goods or services to consumers by traders, and provides for the procedure for out-of-court resolution of disputes between consumers and traders, including the organisation of the work of the consumer dispute committee, the organisation and supervision of consumer protection and liability for violations of this Act.

Major amendments concern the creation of a web-based interactive platform in particular for the resolution of cross-border consumer disputes, and a prohibition on charging a fee for the bills presented to consumers.

The European Union Member States were due to enforce the requirements of the Directive by 9 July 2015. The Bill also contains provisions for implementation of the Regulation on online dispute resolution for consumer disputes in the EU. The Bill contains a requirement under which charging a separate fee for the bills presented to consumers is not allowed.

Under the Bill, in the future, operating entities (e.g. the entity that resolves consumer disputes operating at the Estonian Insurance Association, the court of honour of the Bar Association, etc.) will have a possibility to apply for recognition of compliance with the requirements of the Consumer Protection Act from the competent authority. In the future it will also be possible to create alternative dispute resolution (ADR) entities at legal persons governed by private law, legal persons governed by public law, and state authorities. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications will be designated as the competent authority who assesses and recognises the ADR entities and communicates information on the recognised entities to the European Commission, and draws up the required reports on the functioning of the entities.

The Chemicals Bill (72 SE), initiated by the Government, is essentially an Act on amendments to the current Chemicals Act which has been drafted as a consolidated text in the interests of the legibility of the text and restoration of the logical structure of the Act.

The amendments will ensure better safety for establishments with major-accident hazard. The Bill will specify the regulation pertaining to such establishments. The amendments also provide for measures to prevent the commission of terrorist crimes, restricting the accessibility of the chemicals that are precursors to explosives. Products containing such substances can be made available only to professional users who need these products for their economic or professional activities. Persons handling the abovementioned substances must report suspicious transactions and losses or thefts of substances to the designated contact point.

In other respects, the regulation of the Chemicals Act has not been changed. The specifications are only formal. The provisions of the Act have been arranged into a logical structure and their wording has been harmonised. Provisions that have lost their meaning or significance, also the provisions in regard to which directly applicable European Union rules have been implemented in the meantime, have also been omitted from the Act.

Märt Sults took the floor during the debate.

The Riigikogu approved with 78 votes in favour (1 against) the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Amendment of the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the State Budget Control Select Committee”” (87 OE), submitted by the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction. Andres Metsoja was appointed in substitution of member of the select committee Jaak Aaviksoo, and Viktoria Ladõnskaja was appointed as his substitute member.

Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at

https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu

(NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)

Riigikogu Press Service

Gunnar Paal, 631 6351, 5190 2837

gunnar.paal@riigikogu.ee

 

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