Services - Estonia
The provision of services is regulated by several legal acts, in particular the European Union Services Directive Implementation Act is important here.
Rights of persons using services
The provision of services is supervised in Estonia by the Consumer Protection Board, which also protects the interests of consumers.
Provision of cross-border services
There are 5 possibilities for cross-border provision of service:
- the service provider establishes a new business in the country of destination;
- the service provider temporarily goes to the country of destination of the consumer;
- the user of the service temporarily goes to the country of location of the service provider;
- the service provider and the user of the service are both in their own country and the service is provided via means of communication;
- both the service provider and the user of the service go to a third country.
Temporary provision of services
The European Union Services Directive Implementation Act enforced in Estonia unambiguously specifies that a service provider of a Member State of the European Union has the right to provide temporary service in Estonia without establishing a company or a branch there. The temporary provision of service means that the service provider does not participate in the economy of another country on stable and consistent basis. In Estonia, temporary service cannot be provided in an area related to handling explosives and weapons.
Permanent provision of cross-border services
In the provision of cross-border service it must be taken into account that upon going to another country to provide a service the general requirements related to the provision of services in that country must be considered, such as consumer protection, environmental protection, labour law and the circumstances resulting from the specifics of the service itself.
The free movement of services does not cover transport services and financial services as well as non-economic services of general interest (for example, services related to state defence and internal security).
In Estonia, for the cross-border provision of services in the following regulated professional fields there is a prior notification obligation.
- Electricity works;
- Pressure equipment works;
- Lifting equipment works;
- Works performed by machinery;
- Gas works.
Working in Estonia
Residents of the European Union do not have to register short-term employment. Any EU citizen has the right to work in Estonia for three months after entering the country or if they have the right of residence (no work permit is required).
Points of Single Contact
The notifications, applications and other documents necessary for the provision of service can be submitted via the point of single contact by the service providers from Estonia or another EU Member State. The documents and applications shall be submitted via point of single contact electronically, but the right remains to submit the necessary documents on paper directly to the competent authority without using the point of single contact.
All complaints related to consumer protection shall be filed with the Consumer Complaint Committee.
Value added tax liability
If a foreign person dealing with business, who has no permanent place of business in Estonia, creates taxable supply in Estonia and such taxable supply is not taxed upon the acquisition of goods or receipt of service by an Estonian taxpayer, the registration obligation will arise for the foreign person as of the date of generation of taxable supply.
Foreign persons dealing with business who have no permanent place of business in Estonia are not obliged to register as taxpayers in case of the application of reverse charge. Reverse charge is applied if taxpayers or limited taxpayers registered in Estonia are sold goods or rendered services for which value added tax is payable in Estonia.
If an employee works on the territory of two or more Member States and lives in a country other than Estonia, he/she is socially insured in his/her country of residence and he/she is not entitled to Estonian health insurance. The location of the employer is irrelevant. A given person must have the required E101 certificate issued by the country of residence. The E 101 certificate certifies that during work in Estonia the social security legal acts of the country of residence are applicable to the employee.
If an employee works on the territory of two or more Member States and lives in Estonia, he/she is socially insured, including health insured in his/her country of residence, i.e. in Estonia and in such case his/her employer must apply for the required E 101 certificate for him/her from the Social Insurance Board, which certifies that during work in another Member State the social security legal acts of Estonia are applicable to the employee.
Recognition of professional qualifications
Anyone coming to Estonia to work in a regulated vocational field must turn to the competent authority recognising the vocational activity of that field. The task of the competent authority is to compare the professional qualification of the applicant with the professional qualification required for working on the regulated position in Estonia and to decide whether the applicant is entitled to work in this position in Estonia.
Application for rights of residence
Temporary right of residence is obtained by a citizen of the European Union upon the registration of a place of residence in the Estonian population register. Temporary right of residence is obtained for up to 5 years. A citizen of the European Union does not have to apply for a work permit.
A citizen of the European Union can register a permanent right of residence, when he/she has lived in Estonia on the basis of the temporary right of residence permanently for 5 consequent years. Staying in Estonia for at least 183 days a year is considered permanently residing in Estonia.
Further information can be obtained from the Consumer Protection Board. The section aimed at business owners contains suggestions and regulations developed by the Consumer Protection Board in order to ensure better consumer service in different areas.
The KredEx Credit Insurance offers loans and export guarantees, production guarantees and investment guarantees to business owners.
Check also the legislation on this topic in: