Estonia

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Estonia: Chancellor of justice deems alcohol excise duty hikes unconstitutional

Estonia’s Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise has judged the accelerated increases in excise duty rates on light alcoholic beverages to be unconstitutional as they violate the freedom of enterprise and the principle of legitimate expectation.

In Madise’s opinion, the sooner-than-planned excise duty hikes set to go into effect on July 1 this year and Feb. 1, 2018 are in conflict with the Constitution, due to which she proposed to the Riigikogu that they bring the law into keeping with fundamental law, it appears from the decision published Friday.

By shifting the excise duty hikes forward, the Riigikogu broke the timeframe-related promise and the adopted law ran into conflict with the freedom of enterprise and the principle of legitimate expectation.

Parliament should change the law within 20 days or can now bring the matter to Supreme Court of Estonia. No decisions have been made.

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