Rates of excise duty

Excise duties are levied on tobacco, alcoholic beverages, motor fuel, motor vehicles and packages.

Read more from Estonian Tax and Customs Board

Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act1

(14.06.2007 entered into force 01.01.2008 – RT I 2007, 45, 319)

Digital prescriptions came into effect

On 1 January, an IT solution was applied to Estonia’s health care—a digital prescription system.
In the past, patients had to carry prescriptions on paper with them. This system had several weaknesses—for example, it was easy to lose the paper, or the handwriting of the doctor may have been illegible. Electronic prescription solves these problems because all prescriptions are sent to a central database. When a patient is in the pharmacy, the pharmacist receives his or her prescription from the central database and there is no possibility for the patient to lose the prescription or have it be illegible.

The digital prescription medical programme has a two-month transition period from January to March.

More information about the Digital Prescription system here

The next year’s budget of Eesti Pank will decrease by a tenth

The 2010 budget of Eesti Pank will amount to 260.2 million kroons which is 10 per cent smaller compared to the budget of 2009. 

Compared to the previous year, the central bank has made cuts in almost all fields. The long-term objective of Eesti Pank is to maintain the level of expenditure as a ratio to GDP comparable to earlier years. As the cash-related expenditure varies a lot across different years, these are excluded from the comparison. 

In 2009, the central bank’s budget volume was 0.116% of GDP. The same figure for 2010 is 0.115%. At the same time, the projected GDP for the year 2010 which is used as a basis of comparison is smaller than a year earlier. 

The central bank’s projected staff costs are almost a million kroons smaller compared to the previous year, amounting to 121.5 million kroons. 

The next year’s largest investments of the central bank are related to cash handling and information technology harmonisation with the euro area requirements. 

Due to the financial and economic crisis, the interest rates in developing countries have fallen to levels from which any further falls are unlikely. Two possible developments – constantly small interest rates or a rise in interest rates – will both lead to a low level of returns on foreign exchange reserves of Eesti Pank. Thus, Eesti Pank’s income will decrease to a large extent in 2010. 

Eesti Pank is an independent constitutional institution that operates the Estonian monetary system. Due to the independent nature of the central bank which is necessary to maintain financial stability, Eesti Pank is not connected to the state budget nor held liable for the financial liabilities of the state, nor is the state held liable for the financial liabilities of the central bank. Eesti Pank finances its activities from the income earned from investing foreign exchange reserves. 

The 2009 operating result of Eesti Pank will be published in the central bank’s annual report in the first half of 2010. Previous annual reports are available at:www.bankofestonia.info/pub/en/yldine/juhtimine/finantsaruanded/.

Source: Bank of Estonia

Government’s key achievements in 2009

The following is the list of achivements as reported by the Estonian government in 2009.

1) The government has continued work towards the adoption of the euro and improved the budget position by 9% of GDP.

2) Launch of measures for improving access to capital for Estonian companies in the total amount of EEK 6.1 billion.

3) Adoption of the new Employment Contracts Act was adopted. For the completion of the reform of private law, the Riigikogu also adopted the Law of Succession Act and the Family Law Act.

4) The proportion of GDP spent on education and research has also been significantly increased. In 2010, administrative expenses will be increased by more than EEK 1 billion.

5) In the social field, prerequisites are being established for the full implementation of e-health to improve the availability of health services.

6) In July 2009, the government supplemented the Estonian Information Strategy 2013, setting the goal of covering the whole of Estonia with a next generation Internet network.

7) Various important choices have also been made in the field of energy, which will affect the development of Estonia over the following decades.