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The Riigikogu passed with 76 votes in favour an Act which brings the Estonian legal space into conformity with the international developments that have taken place in the field of taxation in cross-border automatic exchange of information.

With the Bill on Amendments to the Tax Information Exchange Act and the Taxation Act (145 SE), initiated by the Government, tax authorities will be charged with the obligation to mutually exchange information on the financial accounts of tax residents of the other country which will reduce possibilities to hide incomes from the tax authority of the country of residence in a financial institution located in a foreign country.

Estonia supports the European Union objective of preventing tax fraud and tax evasion with automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters. Automatic exchange of information is the systematic and periodic exchange of certain information concerning taxpayersʼ sources of income, such as dividends, interest, salaries and pensions.

On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee, the Riigikogu suspended the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Tobacco Act (118 SE), initiated by the Government. The new deadline for submission of motions to amend is 3 February.

Vilja Toomast who presented the Bill on behalf of the Social Affairs Committee said in justification that, in the interests of legislative clarity, a few motions to amend concerning the marketing of cigarettes with characterising flavours still needed reviewing.

When answering the questions of members of the Riigikogu, Toomast said that, under the European Union directive, cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco containing substances other than tobacco whose Union-wide sales volumes represent 3 % or more in a particular product category will be prohibited as of 2020. Toomast referred to the Estonian Association of Tobacco Producers and said that, for Estonia, this means menthol-flavoured tobacco products the sales volume of which is 17 %.

The Bill will harmonise the requirements for the packaging and labelling of tobacco products and tobacco-related products in European Union Member States. The requirements for the packaging and labelling of tobacco products will be tightened.

Sales packages of cigarettes and smoking tobacco will have to be labelled with new picture and text warnings as of 20 May 2016. A package must have the reference www.tubakainfo.ee, where help for quitting smoking can be found. Under the Bill, smoking areas without walls in buildings will be prohibited as of 2017.

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of the Atmospheric Air Protection Bill (165 SE), initiated by the Government. The Bill will organise and at places restructure the provisions relating to atmospheric air protection, and the processing of and reporting on permits will be harmonised. The implementation and checking of interrelated local and international requirements will be simplified. In the drafting of the Act, account has been taken of the existing practice, as well as the need to bring the Act into conformity with the directives. When the Act enters into force, it will replace the current Ambient Air Protection Act.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian).

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
Epp-Mare Kukemelk
6316356; 515 3903
[email protected]
Questions: [email protected]