At today’s sitting, the Riigikogu passed an Act that provides as unfair trading practices transactions and activities that are connected to payment periods, supply, and sale conditions, and that are prohibited between buyers and sellers in the agricultural products and food supply chain.
In the Act on the Prevention of Unfair Trading Practices in the Agricultural and Food Supply Chain (377 SE), initiated by the Government, sixteen unfair trading practices have been listed, nine of which are prohibited in any case. For example, the buyer must not unilaterally change the terms of a supply agreement, cancel orders at such short notice that a supplier cannot reasonably be expected to find an alternative means of commercialising or using the products, threaten to carry out acts of commercial retaliation against the supplier, etc.
The remaining seven unfair trading practices are prohibited unless they have been previously agreed in clear and unambiguous terms. For example, if the supply contract includes no written agreement on covering the cost of discount of an agricultural product or food, demanding compensation for such costs from the seller is considered an unfair trade practice. Such transactions do not give rise to any legal consequences and are void from their inception.
Supervision over trade practices will fall in the remit of the Competition Authority. The Competition Authority will also have to publish a relevant report and, by 15 March every year, submit to the European Commission an overview on the application of the requirements of the Act and on the ensurance of compliance therewith.
Liability is also provided for infringement of the prohibition on unfair trading practices. A fine of up to EUR 1,200 or detention is provided for natural persons and a fine of up to EUR 400,000 for legal persons.
The aim of the Act is to protect suppliers of agricultural and food products against unfair trading practices by buyers. The Act transposes the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on unfair trading practices in business-to-business relationships in the agricultural and food supply chain.
During the debate, Ivari Padar (Social Democratic Party) and Aivar Kokk (Isamaa) took the floor.
90 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the passing of the Act and one was against.
A Bill passed the second reading
Under the Bill on Amendments to the Restrictions on Acquisition of Immovables Act (365 SE), initiated by the Government, state foundations established to support enterprise in rural areas will be included in the list of persons connected with the state in respect of whom the restrictions on the acquisition of agricultural land and forest land are not applied. As a result of the amendment, such foundations will no longer need to apply for authorisation from the municipal council before buying land. The aim is to reduce bureaucracy, in order to better support agricultural producers and rural businesses who are facing difficulties due to the crisis.
Under the Bill, citizens of the United Kingdom and legal persons whose seat is in the United Kingdom will continue to be exempt from the application of the restrictions arising from national defence reasons in the event of acquisition of immovables.
During the debate, Eduard Odinets (Social Democratic Party), Mihhail Stalnuhhin (Centre Party) and Riho Breivel (Estonian Conservative People’s Party) took the floor.
The Social Democratic Party Faction moved to suspend the second reading of the Bill. Nine members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion and 70 voted against. Thus, the motion was not supported and the second reading of the Bill was concluded.
A draft Resolution passed the first reading
The Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Appointment of a Member to the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group Monitoring the Activities of the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation” (405 OE), submitted by the Legal Affairs Committee, provides for the appointment of Urve Tiidus as a member of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group monitoring the activities of the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation.
By its earlier Resolution, the Riigikogu appointed Uno Kaskpeit and Kalle Laanet as members of the scrutiny group. In connection with the suspension of the mandate of Member of the Riigikogu Kalle Laanet due to his appointment as a member of the Government, the Legal Affairs Committee made a proposal to appoint Member of the Riigikogu Urve Tiidus as a member of the scrutiny group to replace Kalle Laanet.
Based on the relevant Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council, the scrutiny of Europol’s activities is carried out by the European Parliament together with national parliaments. This constitutes a specialised Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group (JPSG) established together by the EU national parliaments and the competent committee of the European Parliament. The main task of the JPSG is to politically monitor Europol’s activities in fulfilling its mission, including as regards the impact of those activities on the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons.
A Bill was dropped from the proceedings
The Bill on Amendments to the Penal Code (373 SE), initiated by the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Faction, was intended to establish three-to-twelve-year imprisonment for natural persons, and a pecuniary punishment or compulsory dissolution for legal persons, as a punishment for forced vaccination.
During the debate, Tiiu Aro (Reform Party), Viktor Vassiljev (Centre Party), Mihhail Lotman (Isamaa) and Mart Helme (Estonian Conservative People’s Party) took the floor.
The lead committee moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. 51 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion and 18 voted against. Thus, the motion was supported and the Bill was dropped from the legislative proceedings.
The first reading of a draft Resolution was adjourned due to the end of the sitting
The Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the Riigikogu Committee of Investigation to Ascertain the Legality and Proportionality of the Police Operation in the City Centre of Tallinn in April 2021” (379 OE), submitted by the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Faction, provides for the formation of a Riigikogu committee of investigation to ascertain the legality and proportionality of the conduct of the Police and Border Guard Board and other power structures in order to preclude arbitrary and unlawful restriction of constitutional civil liberties.
Due to the end of the working hours of the sitting, the following was postponed to tomorrow’s sitting
The first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Status of Members of the Riigikogu Act (396 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction and Member of the Riigikogu Raimond Kaljulaid.
Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian)
The video recording of the sitting will be available on the Riigikogu YouTube channel.
(Please note that the recording will be uploaded with a delay.)