In Estonia trade is regulated by the Trading Act.
Also relevant is product safety, which is guaranteed by the Product and Service Safety Act.
Member States of the European Union must let products legitimately marketed in another member state enter their market freely, even if the requirements established for the product in the country of destination are different.
Estonian entrepreneurs are protected from the possible damages resulting from export transactions by state export guarantees. Export guarantees insure the credit risks of export, enabling entrepreneurs to offer better payment conditions for their purchasers and to enter new markets.
The product is safe, if the product, under normal conditions of use including duration and, where applicable, upon adherence to putting into service, installation, and maintenance requirements, does not present any risk to the safety or health of persons.
In determining product safety, the following factors shall be taken into account, in particular:
- the characteristics of the product, including its composition, packaging, instructions for assembly and, where applicable, for installation and maintenance;
- the effect on other products, where it is reasonably foreseeable that it will be used with other products;
- the presentation of the product, the labelling, any warnings and instructions for its use and disposal and any other information regarding the product;
- the potential risk upon use by certain categories of consumers, in particular children and the elderly.
Requirements for food product safety can be found in the following regulation:
Hazardous chemical requirements can be found in the following regulation:
Excise information can be obtained from the Tax and Customs Board. In Estonia, alcohol, tobacco, fuel, electricity and packaging are subject to excise duty.
Requirements for issuing trade licences
A trader and an organiser of trade are permitted to deal with trading, if they are registered in the Register of Economic Activities.
Application for removal of trade barriers
The technical trade barrier can be reported the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the foreign trade policy section of the EU, and International Cooperation Department, where contact points for the notification of both the EU and the WTO have been established.
Permits and licenses
An entrepreneur, an authority, foundation, or non-profit association specified by law wishing to deal with trading shall submit an application for registration according to its field of activity to the rural municipality or city government of its place of business, to the rural municipality or city government authority, or the structural unit of the rural municipality or city government, authorised by it to be registered in the Register of Economic Activities (REA).
The application shall be submitted:
- By entering the portal of the REA through the state portal or
- by e-mail (digitally signed) to the relevant e-mail address of the rural municipality or city government of its place of business or
- by regular mail or hand delivery to the address of the relevant rural municipality or city government of its place of business.
The registration must be applied for separately for each place of business.
Requirements for invoices
The following shall be noted on an invoice:
- the number of the invoice and the date of issue;
- the name of the taxable person, address, tax-payer registration number;
- the name and address of the acquirer of goods or receiver of service;
- the tax-payer registration number of the acquirer of goods or receiver of service, if that person is subject to tax in the acquisition of goods or receiving the service;
- the name or description of the goods or service;
- the quantity of the goods or volume of service;
- the date of issuing the goods or providing the service or the date of receipt of the partial or full payment for the goods or service, if it was identifiable and different from the date of issue of the invoice;
- the price of goods or service excluding value added tax and a reduction, if it is not included in the price;
- the taxable amount by value added tax rates together with the applicable value added tax rates or the total tax-free supply amount;
- the value added tax amount payable, excluding the cases specified by the law.
The requirements for the information specified on the invoice are also provided for in the Accounting Act.
Intra-Community Supply Report
A taxable person shall submit an intra-community supply report, if:
- during the taxation period it has created an intra-community supply of goods or it has transferred goods as a reseller in a triangular transaction;
- during the taxation period it has rendered a service to a taxable person or a limited taxable person of another Member State, the place of creating supply of the service is not Estonia and it is subject to tax by the receiver of the service in another Member State.
The report is submitted by the 20th day of the month following the quarter. The report must be submitted electronically, if the person has been subject to value added tax for at least 12 months.
The statistical threshold of shipping goods or the limit upon the excess of which an Intrastat report must be submitted is EUR 90,000. This means that in 2011, businesses whose turnover in 2010 of goods shipped to the European Union exceeded EUR 90,000 must submit a report on their goods shipped. Businesses which exceeded the statistical threshold during 2010 are also liable for reporting. The statistical threshold of receiving goods is EUR 130,000.
The due date for the submission of the Intrastat report is the 14th of the month.
Suspending tariffs or obtaining new tariff quotas
Autonomic tariff suspension is the temporary suspension or reduction of customs tax:
- for goods that are necessary as raw material or semi-finished products for use in business in EU Member States;
- for goods that cannot be acquired from an EU Member State.
International transport document
In case of transport within the European Union it suffices if the CMR - international road carriage contract accompanies the goods on road transport. Packing list and invoice (are not compulsory, as these may be sent electronically as well). Certain groups of goods (for example, alcohol, dangerous cargo) require special documents in addition.
The CMR is an international road carriage contract of goods, which is filled in by the transport company on site; one copy goes to the dispatcher of goods, the second copy goes to the recipient of goods, and the third copy remains with the carrier as proof of transport performed. This document accompanies the goods on the route vendor-carrier-purchaser and proves that the carrier has received the goods from the vendor and has delivered to the purchaser when the purchaser has made the relevant endorsements on the road carriage contract. The basis for preparing the road carriage contract is a proper invoice.
In case of the violation of rights, one must turn to the County Court. For that purpose, a statement of claim. An action means a civil claim presented through a court.
In a civil proceeding, the participants in the proceeding are the parties and third parties. The parties are the plaintiff and the defendant. A plaintiff is the person filing an action and the defendant is the person indicated by the plaintiff in its statement of claim, against who its statement of claim has been aimed. The third party is a party whose rights or obligations may be affected by the court ruling.
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.
KredEx Credit Insurance offers loans and export guarantees, production guarantees, and investment guarantees to business owners.