Ministry drafts bill allowing Estonian businesses to manufacture weapons ({{commentsTotal}})

Weapons used by the Estonian Defence Forces on foreign missions.
Weapons used by the Estonian Defence Forces on foreign missions. Source: (Toomas Huik/Postimees/Scanpix)

A bill has exited the Ministry of Defence that would grant Estonian defense industry businesses the right to handle military weapons and munitions.

The plan is to grant businesses the right to transport, store, repair, alter and manufacture military weapons, ammunition, ordnance and other goods associated with military weapons, the Ministry of Defence said in a press release.

According to Minister of Defecse Jüri Luik (IRL), the amendment will offer the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) and the volunteer Estonian Defence League (EDL) the opportunity to begin ordering maintenance and repair works from Estonian businesses.

The minister said that the purpose of the bill is to make the process of ensuring national defense more efficient while also supporting the development of business in Estonia.

"Being granted the right to handle military weapons and munitions would allow the Estonian defense industry to create new branches of activity and jobs," Luik said.

The Estonian Defence Industry Association (EDIA) has estimated that these changes could result in possible future sales of approximately €60 million per year for Estonian businesses as well as the creation of 150 new jobs.

The Estonian businesses would also have the opportunity to participate in both domestic and foreign procurements for military goods.

The bill also calls for the creation of an efficient monitoring system for the activities of legal and natural persons which handle military weapons or other military goods, and would allow for the establishment of technical requirements for demilitarization and a procedure for the acquisition and import to Estonia of demilitarized military goods.

The plan is to use state fees to compensate for the procedural expenses accompanying the increase in administrative load. In order to do so, the bill calls for corresponding amendments to be made to the State Fees Act.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS



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