The National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu supported a bill of amendments to the Weapons Act, Strategic Goods Act, Explosive Substances Act and other laws which, adopted by the Riigikogu, would grant Estonian defense industry companies the right to handle military weapons and munitions.
The National Defence Committee supported the bill of amendments and sent it to the Riigikogu for its first reading, which is scheduled to take place at the beginning of May, committee chairman Hannes Hanso (SDE) told BNS on Monday.
Currently, private companies in Estonia lack the legal framework necessary to handle military weapons and munitions, from manufacturing, transport and storage to maintenance, repair and disposal. Once the amendments enter into force, however, businesses would also have the opportunity to participate in procurements for military goods in Estonia as well as abroad.
Estonian defense industry businesses are prepared to manufacture several goods associated with the defense field and stand out as developers and manufacturers of so-called smart solutions. At the same time, it is of critical importance from the point of view of Estonia's military protection that businesses located in Estonia are also capable of manufacturing military weapons, ammunition and munitions as well as providing maintenance for military weapons necessary for defense.
The Estonian Defence Industry Association (EDIA) has estimated that the 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.
Editor: Aili Vahtla