Statoil turns to Supreme Court over alcohol sale ban

One of the largest vehicle fuel retailers, Statoil, has asked the Supreme Court for its opinion on Tallinn City Council’s ban on the sale of strong alcohol in filling stations, which is due to come into effect on July 1.

The company said the ban is unconstitutional as it goes against the freedom of enterprise, and previous rulings by the Supreme Court have said such bans are illegal.

Statoil said the ban, due in effect on July 1, should be postponed until the court has come to a conclusion.

The ban, among a number of others to limit the availability of alcohol, is part of the city’s drive against alcohol consumption.

Source: ERR News

Tallinn limits the sale of alcohol

Following the Tallinn City Council’s decision to limit alcohol sale on the city’s territory, approximately 124 will lose the right to sell alcohol, according to the calculations.

These are shops that are located less than 50 meters from the entrance of primary, secondary and vocational schools, or do not satisfy the increased total sales area requirement.

The City Council doubled the minimum size of licensed shops, from 75 to 150 square meters. The restriction aims to limit the number of corner shops in residential areas, which specialize in selling alcohol.

Gas stations have also been banned from selling alcohol in an attempt to decrease the risk of alcohol-related road accidents.

In addition, the sale of alcohol during sporting events has been confined to a restricted area of the venue.

The Deputy Mayor of Tallinn, Merike Martinson, referred to the data released by the National Institute for Health Development, which put alcohol-related deaths in Tallinn at 139. According to a study by Estonian Institute of Economic Research, 83 percent of Estonian population said that alcohol consumption must be cut down and 51 percent polled said it should be done by imposing strict regulations.

“Whereas most of the European countries have four or five outlets that sell alcohol per 100,000 people, this number is 195 in Estonia and 440 in Tallinn,” Martinson said. “The facts indicate alcohol consumption and the resulting accidents have reached a dangerously high level, and something must be done about it.”

The changes will come into effect in July 1.

Source: ERR News

State may regulate taxi tariffs in Tallinn

Parliament is reading the draft act of public transport which would create a possibility for regulating taxi tariffs, writes Eesti Päevaleht.

Under the draft act, local governments would be given the right to establish a maximum permitted tariff for taxis if there are problems in provision of taxi service in their local government.

Read more from BBN

Important laws translated into Russian

The Ministry of Justice said it will complete a project to translate 52 of Estonia’s most important laws in Russian by the end of the month.

Andri Maimets, an adviser to the ministry, told uudised.err.ee that the laws will be translated, then edited and checked by legal translators.

The Ministry is also planning to translate a state legal-help website, www.juristaitab.ee, into Russian and begin to offer legal advice in the language.

Estonian laws are currently available in Estonian and English.

Source: Estonian Review via ERR

Lawyer named ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’

raidlaThe founder and senior partner of law firm Raidla Lejins & Norcous, Jüri Raidla, has been named ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’, with Merinvest CEO Enn Meri picking up the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.

Raidla founded the company in 1993, a year after serving as the Minister of Justice. Raidla Lejins & Norcous has expanded to Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus, employing 120 lawyers and 35 support staff.

Raidla and his company have also received international recognition.

Meri, who owns and leads car part manufacturer Merinvest, returned to Estonia in 1991 and set up a string of manufacturing companies, some of which are still active today.

He said his main factory is in Kuressaare, because he was born there and the staff are more loyal: “The further you are from Tallinn, the more loyal the staff are,” he noted.

Meri said that Estonia has one of the best environments for business in Europe. He recently joined the new Free Party and plans to run for Parliament.

The ceremony, organized by the Ernst & Young Baltic, took place for the seventh time. Brothers Peeter and Priit Rebane won the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award last year.

Source: ERR via Estonian Review

New Motor Insurance Act as of 1.10.2014

The Ministry of Finance hereby reminds all those interested that as of tomorrow a new Motor Insurance Act will enter into force. The Act places motor insurance into the contemporary legal system, elaborates on and amends a number of requirements and definitions, and, all in all, renders it more convenient for the customer to obtain the relevant insurance.

The new law transforms the motor insurance contract into a regular insurance contract. The contract can be concluded with a term of no more than one year and, for the contractual period, a policy certifying the applicability of insurance will be issued. When required, a contract that is automatically extended can be concluded.

 
The most significant amendment pertains to the injured party’s right to claim compensation for motor insurance damage from their insurer, providing the customer with the opportunity to arrange the relevant matters through their usual service channels.
 
This principle will take effect on January 1, 2015. So as to receive compensation, the customer will have a choice of whether to approach their own insurer or the insurer of the person that caused the damage. Damage will be compensated by the insurer whom the customer approached. Insurers will clear their accounts amongst themselves later.
 
Old motor insurance contracts will be binding until expiry of the insurance period noted on the policy and such old contracts need not be amended once the new Act takes effect. Claims that arose prior to the new Act taking effect will be processed pursuant to the old Act. 
 
The new Act will increase the sums insured: the property insurance related limit of 1 million will be increased to 1.2 million euros, and the limit related to bodily injury or damage caused to someone’s health will be increased from the current 5 million to 5.6 million euros. 
 
Attention is continually paid to uninsured vehicles. Vehicles entered in the traffic register may remain uninsured for no more than 12 months, given that the vehicle will not be used in traffic.
 
Vehicles that remain uninsured for a longer period of time are subject to the Estonian Traffic Insurance Foundation’s automatic insurance cover instead of the Foundation’s heightened insurance premium system. This will lessen the percentage of uninsured vehicles in traffic and helps collect means to compensate damage caused by uninsured vehicles. 
 
For such vehicles, the owner will have to pay the Estonian Traffic Insurance Foundation insurance premiums and should an accident occur, excess will be imposed.
 
More information about the new Act is available in Estonian at http://www.lkf.ee/et/uusseadus.
Source: Estonian Ministry of Finance

ID check for lottery approved by government

The Cabinet approved a bill which would make it mandatory to show identification when buying lottery tickets.

The bill, which need approval by the government and President, will come into effect in a little over a year and would help those who have self-imposed limits on playing the lottery. The voluntary list is currently only in effect in casinos.

The limit will also extend to sports betting, but not to “scratch and win” cards.

Taivo Põrk, of the business and accounting department of the Ministry of Finance, said Estonia does not have many lottery addicts, but the problem is very real.

“The danger is there and we found that personal identification would not take too much time or cause too many problems,” he said, adding that there a numerous cases of people buying hundreds of lottery tickets, or spending thousands of euros in a few month.

Source: ERR News

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