The Riigikogu passed five Acts:
The Act on Amendments to § 199 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (376 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 84 votes in favour. It decriminalises the cases when a person voluntarily surrenders a firearm, explosive device or an essential component thereof, ammunition or explosive in his or her unlawful possession. Voluntary surrender of dangerous object helps remove from circulation objects which pose a threat to general security, and thereby increase security.
The Act on Amendments to the Fire Safety Act (363 SE), initiated by the Government, which ensures better legal clarity for persons for observing the requirements provided for in the Fire Safety Act, was passed with 82 votes in favour. With a view to reducing the number of fires caused by carelessness, the Act provides that, upon smoking or using open flame in a building, causing a fire hazard must be avoided. The Act also amends the principles of exercising state supervision to ascertain the causes of fire. In order to increase legal clarity, it was specified which building design documentation and permits for the use of construction works need to be approved by the Rescue Board in order that the local government can grant its written consent and issue the construction permit and the permit for the use of construction works. The organisation of defining the period of fire hazard and the period of great fire hazard was also specified.
The Act on Amendments to the Chemicals Act (350 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 81 votes in favour. It provides the legal basis for the organisation of the handling of chemicals, restricting the economic activities connected with the handling of chemicals and the organisation of the state supervision of compliance with the requirements provided for in this Act and the relevant European Union Regulations. The aim is to protect human health, the living environment and property and to ensure the free movement of goods. The Act increases chemical safety by ensuring better implementation of European Union legislation on chemicals. The current Act was brought into conformity with the abovementioned legislation. The liability of competent authorities for infringement of the requirements set for chemicals and the handling thereof was also specified.
The Act on Amendments to the Medicinal Products Act and Amendments to Other Associated Acts (332 SE), initiated by the Government, which provides for the concept of sale of medicinal products at a distance which had been lacking in the legislation in force, was passed with 67 votes in favour. Holders of the activity licence of general pharmacy are granted the right to offer for sale at a distance medicinal products for human use (medicinal products not subject to prescription as well as medicinal products subject to prescription) and veterinary medicinal products not subject to prescription. A precondition for the sale of medicinal products subject to prescription in the case of sale at a distance is the requirement that the prescription has to have been issued in electronic form and saved in the Digital Prescription Centre. The sale of veterinary medicinal products subject to prescription will be restricted because there is no digital prescription for prescribing such medicinal products. The Act provides that the relevant provider of pharmacy services has to guarantee uniform sales and delivery terms, including the delivery charge depending on the type of delivery, on the whole territory of Estonia. The Act provides for the definition of falsified medicinal product and the regulation for the prevention of the distribution of falsified medicinal products.
The Act on Amendments to the Nature Conservation Act (287 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 64 votes in favour. It specifies the provisions of the Act, allowing unambiguous interpretation and thereby better implementation. The proceedings for placing a natural object under protection will be clearer for persons and persons will be better involved in the proceedings in the future. The Act helps to better ensure the constitutional right of persons to effective proceedings, as well as a better right of persons to make a complaint. Correct and understandable regulations reduce social and economic tensions. The regulation concerning the moving on shore paths and the protection of parks and forest stands was specified. The provisions concerning the sale of the species falling under CITES (the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), supplemental feeding of wild game animals and the nature conservation subsidies, and the requirements for the use of non-native species were also specified. The Environmental Inspectorate is granted the right of confiscation. As a new issue, the regulation concerning trade in seal products has been added into the Act because, under the relevant European Union Regulation, Member States should lay down rules on penalties and designate a competent authority ensuring the implementation of the Regulation.
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Victim Support Act and Amendments to Other Associated Acts (379 SE), initiated by the Government. With the Bill, these Acts are brought into conformity with the Human Trafficking Directive. With the amendments, the framework of the services targeted at victims of human trafficking as well as minors who have become victims of sexual offences is created and the rules for the provision of the services are established. The amendments will ensure that a victim and, under certain conditions, also his or her family members have access to victim support services, social welfare services and the state compensation to victims of crime. With the amendments concerning aliens, the regulation concerning aliens is brought into conformity with the Human Trafficking Directive, and the necessary preconditions are created for helping victims of human trafficking who are aliens in staying in Estonia.
The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of two Bills:
With the Bill on Amendments to the Merchant Shipping Act and the Ports Act (386 SE), initiated by the Government, the right and obligation to review complaints specified in the relevant EU Regulation is granted to the Consumer Protection Board. This will establish the legal basis for proceeding the complaints of maritime passengers in the case of possible infringements of this EU Regulation. Passengers will be granted the right to protect their rights more effectively and they will have the possibility to turn to the Consumer Protection Board as the competent authority.
The Bill on Amendments to the Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Customs Act and the Imprisonment Act (393 SE), initiated by the Government, specifies the provisions concerning criminal official misconduct. As regards criminal official misconduct, the definition of both the public official and the private sector official is systematised and it is brought into conformity with the wording and meaning of the Anti-corruption Act which will enter into force on 1 April 2013. The amendments are connected with GRECO recommendations. Also, on the basis of the international obligations of Estonia, the conclusion of an agreement for the commission of a money laundering offence will be considered punishable.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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