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At today’s remote-participation sitting of the Riigikogu, the Bill that will create preconditions for increasing the efficiency and sustainability of the enforcement agents system passed the second reading.

The Bill on Amendments to the Code of Enforcement Procedure and the Enforcement Agents Act and Amendments to Other Associated Acts (291 SE), initiated by the Government, will amend the current model for distributing the claims of public authorities so that, similarly to private claim owners, owners of public law claims will be able to choose enforcement agents for themselves. The Bill will also amend the provisions on enforcement agents’ fees. The enforcement agent’s principal fee will be lowered to 50 per cent of the fee rate where the debtor fulfils a claim on the basis of a payment schedule and the payment schedule is entered into within the time limit granted for voluntary compliance with the claim. The lower fee should motivate debtors to look for solutions.

A new official operation of an enforcement agent will be established, namely drawing up an enforcement profile of the debtor. The official operation is intended to assist parties seeking enforcement in assessing the viability of collecting a claim. For that, an enforcement agent will be able to give the party seeking enforcement a complete overview of the enforcement proceedings initiated against the debtor and the economic situation of the debtor, which would enable the party seeking enforcement to decide whether it is expedient to submit an application to initiate enforcement proceedings. The cost of the official operation will be 15 euro and it will be paid by the party seeking enforcement.

The Bill provides that proceedings in an enforcement case can be transferred to another enforcement agent if the enforcement case has been in proceedings for at least three years. Under the current law, this can be done when an enforcement agent has been conducting proceedings concerning a claim for at least four years. The amendments included in the Bill in the course of the second reading specify that, upon the transfer of an enforcement case, the prior consent of the uptaking enforcement agent will be needed and that the time limit for the completion of a transfer will be three months from obtaining the consent of the enforcement agent. It will also be specified that the enforcement agent to whom the case is assigned will collect the fee for commencement of enforcement proceedings to be paid to the enforcement agent who first initiated the enforcement case and any enforcement expenses that have become due.

According to explanation, the current enforcement agents system has been experiencing operational difficulties for several years due to decreasing revenues. Therefore, practice is inconsistent and some enforcement agents are unable to ensure the rights of parties to proceedings. According to the Bill, the state will begin to pay a fee to enforcement agents for collecting monthly maintenance. Covering the costs involved in proceedings is the debtor’s obligation, and collecting maintenance is an unprofitable activity for enforcement agents, as an enforcement agent can ask a fee of 292 euro just once, on the initiation of an enforcement case, for compulsory enforcement proceedings that can last for 18 years or more. According to the Bill, the amount of the fee paid by the state for collecting maintenance will be up to 100 euro in a calendar year for an enforcement case. The estimated budget cost per year will be 0.5 million euro.

The amendments included in the Bill are intended at the same time to establish a new central enforcement register maintained by the Ministry of Justice that will perform the functions of the enforcement proceedings register and the electronic attachment system. At the moment there is no good solution for a party to proceedings to get a comprehensive overview of the enforcement proceedings going on with regard to him or her, the enforcement of the claim and the attachments imposed. The register to be established will enable parties to proceedings to obtain all the information through a self-service portal. The enforcement register will also include the functionality of the entire current electronic attachment system – the attachment of accounts in credit and payment institutions and the forwarding of and responding to information queries between the authorities that have the right and duty to do so arising from law. The register will be implemented on 1 January 2024.

Under the Bill, the minimum amount of insurance coverage for an insured event of the enforcement agent’s professional liability insurance will be raised from the current 63,910 euro to at least 200,000 euro. At the same time, the maximum amount of insurance indemnities payable for all insured events that take place within the insurance period will be raised from at least 191,700 euro to at least 600,000 euro.

Another Bill passed the second reading

The Bill on Amendments to the Chemicals Act and Other Acts (296 SE), initiated by the Government, will implement the requirements of the relevant European Union Regulation that harmonises the rules concerning the making available, introduction, possession and use of substances or mixtures that could be misused for the illicit manufacture of explosives. The aim of the regulation is to limit the availability of such substances to members of the general public, and to ensure the appropriate reporting of suspicious transactions throughout the supply chain.

The main purpose of the EU Regulation is to ensure a better and more uniform implementation of the requirements in Member States. This is taken to mean equal treatment of economic operators that operate in the sector and the free movement of explosives precursors in the internal market, including through e-commerce. In addition, it is intended to ensure that explosives precursors are used for the intended purposes.

For more effective implementation of the requirements for explosives precursors, according to the Regulation, economic operators, professional users and online marketplaces will have to inform the Police and Border Guard Board of suspicious transactions. This will apply in the case when they make explosives precursors available to the general public. Stricter requirements have also been established for the background check of persons who wish to acquire precursors.

During the open microphone, Lauri Läänemets, Kalle Grünthal and Helmen Kütt took the floor.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian)

Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu.
(Please note that the recording will be uploaded with a delay.)

Riigikogu Press Service
Liisa Johanna Lukk
Phone: +372 631 6456, +372 5331 0789
E-mail: [email protected]
Questions: [email protected]

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