Chairman of the Riigikogu's Economic Affairs Committee, Sven Sester (IRL), said on Thursday that he sees no reason why President Kersti Kaljulaid shouldn't promulgate the amendments to the Alcohol Act and Advertising Act in their present form. Kaljulaid sent the amended acts back to the Riigikogu earlier on in the year.
The president questioned the constitutionality of exceptions stipulated by the Alcohol Act concerning the sale of alcoholic drinks on ships and airplanes, which wouldn't be subject to the same excise duties as the same products sold on Estonian soil.
Kaljulaid also rejected a new tax on sugary drinks on the same grounds, saying that treating drinks sold on ships and airplanes differently in terms of excise duties goes against the constitutional principle of equal treatment.
Sester said on Thursday that he sees no reason why Kaljulaid shouldn't be able to sign the amended acts. The Riigikogu's Constitutional Committee did not identify a contradiction with the Constitution, Sester pointed out. Rather, further progress concerning the law on the taxation of sugary drinks was stuck for other reasons, Sester told the Baltic News Service.
While Kaljulaid stated in July that the amended acts created an "unbased advantage" of one particular business sector over another, Sester points to the review of the acts by the Estonian parliament's Constitutional Committee, which eventually didn't find anything wrong with them.
The Riigikogu also passed amendments on Wednesday that will further restrict the conditions of the sale and advertising of alcohol. Among other things, the law now stipulates that alcoholic beverages in stores must be kept separately from other goods, and that they mustn't be directly visible from the rest of the premises and from outside the shop.
Again, this provision does not apply to stores on ships or the sale of alcoholic beverages on airplanes carrying passengers on international journeys and in the security areas of international airports and ports.
Editor: Dario Cavegn