Outline of the system
The licensing of imports of foodstuffs is regulated by the Regulation of the Minister of Agriculture No. 3 of 9 January 2002 and is administered by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Foodstuffs. See product coverage.
Nature of licensing
If Automatic, administrative purpose
Imports of foodstuffs are subject to automatic licensing.
If Non-Automatic, description of the notified Non-Automatic Licensing regime
Products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
The licensing is needed for the purposes of consumer protection.
Questions for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
No quantitative restrictions.
The system applies to products originating from which country?
The system applies to goods originating in and coming from all countries.
Expected duration of licensing procedure
Is the licensing statutorily required?
The licensing of imports of foodstuffs is based on the Food Act and is maintained under the Regulation, which has been published in Riigi Teataja Lisa (Appendix to the State Gazette) 2002 No.13 Article 166.
Does the legislation leave designation of products to be subject to licensing to administrative discretion?
Is it possible for the government to abolish the system without legislative approval?
Eligibility of applicants
Is there a system of registration of persons or firms permitted to engage in importation?
What persons or firms are eligible to apply for a licence?
All persons, firms and institutions are eligible to apply for import licences.
Is there a registration fee?
Is there a published list of authorized importers?
Contact point for information on eligibility
Submission of an application
Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application
What information is required in applications?
A free-form application for the licence should contain the name, address and telephone, fax number of the applicant, the number of commercial register or non-profit associations and foundations register or identity code, the name and official title of the person responsible for the given activity. An importer is required to submit the following documents with the application:
- A copy of commercial register card in the case of an operating company;
- a copy of memorandum of association and the articles of association in the case of a company and non-profit association or foundation being founded;
- a copy of the articles of association and register card in the case of non-profit association or foundation;
- a certificate from the local tax board affirming registering in the case of a sole proprietor;
- a copy of a payment receipt of a state fee.
What documents is the importer required to supply with the application?
Window of submission of an application
How far in advance of importation must application for a licence be made?
It is up to the applicant to decide when to apply for a licence, knowing that the document will be issued within a maximum of ten working days of receipt of the application.
Are there any limitations as to the period of the year during which application for licence can be made? If so, explain
There are no limitations as to the period of the year during which application for licence and/or importation may be made.
Issuing the license
Can a licence be granted immediately on request?
Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence
See reply 26.
Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?
Must the applications be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval?
An importer has to approach only one administrative body in connection with an application.
Are there any other conditions attached to the issue of a licence?
There are no other conditions attached to the issuance of a licence.
Fees and other administrative charges
Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?
What is the amount of the fee or charge?
There is a state fee of 25 000 EEK (Estonian kroons) , in the case of the renewal of the licence 2000 EEK.
Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?
There is no deposit or advance payment requirement associated with the issuance of licences.
Amount or rate?
Is it refundable?
What is the period of retention?
What is the purpose of this requirement?
Refusal of an application
Under what circumstances may an application for a licence be refused other than failure to meet the ordinary criteria?
Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?
The reasons for any refusal are given to the applicant in writing.
Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?
In the event of refusal to issue a licence, the applicant has a right of appeal pursuant to the procedure provided by law.
If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?
Are there any limitations as to the period of year during which importation may be made?
What documents are required upon actual importation?
Are there any other administrative procedures, apart from import licensing and similar administrative procedures, required prior to importation?
There are no other administrative procedures, apart from import licensing required prior to importation.
Conditions of licensing
What is the period of validity of a licence? Can the validity be extended? How?
A licence is valid for two years.
Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?
There is no penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of it.
Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?
Licences are not transferable between importers.
Is foreign exchange automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported?
Foreign exchange is automatically provided by the banking authorities for the goods to be imported.