The Legal Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) heard the explanations of Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur on charging the waiting area fee at Koidula and Luhamaa border crossing points, where State Borders Act is violated in the opinion of the Chancellor of Justice.
In the opinion of the Chairperson of the Legal Affairs Committee Heljo Pikhof, the problem lies in the fact that according to the State Borders Act, it is prohibited to charge a fee for the use of the border crossing waiting area if the driver of a vehicle does not actually use the border crossing waiting area service and the vehicle is immediately directed to the border crossing point for border crossing.
“In reality, it is not possible for vehicles to cross the border without passing through the border crossing waiting area and paying for it, or in other words, even those who do not actually use the border crossing waiting area service have to pay for it,” Pikhof said. “The state must end the charging of such illegal fees at border crossing waiting areas.”
Pevkur noted that the contracts under public law concluded with the private companies operating the waiting areas would terminate in May the next year, and the Ministry had decided to change the border crossing waiting areas system after that. The Minster added that changing or premature termination of the contracts under public law concluded with private companies would bring about additional expenses to the state.
In order to improve the situation, the Ministry of the Interior has initiated amendments to the State Borders Act, which will be submitted to the Parliament in the nearest future. The Legal Affairs Committee will request additional documents that may clarify the situation and find a solution to it as soon as possible from the Ministry of the Interior.
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