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Estonian parliament to start discussing increasing competitiveness of Estonian shipping

The Estonian parliament started handling a bundle of amendments to the Law of Ship Flag and Ship Registers Act, the aim of which is to increase the competitiveness of Estonian shipping and restore a cargo fleet sailing under the Estonian flag, informs LETA/BNS.

The law amendment would create conditions for registering foreign ships to the Estonian register of bareboat chartered ships and increase the fleet sailing under the Estonian flag. As a result of this, the Estonian fleet will increase, which, in turn, will help the growth of the Estonian economy and the establishment of a shore sector. The state's tax income will also increase through the payment of registrar's charges, the spokespeople for the parliament said.

In addition, the aim of the law is to offer Estonian seamen the possibility of receiving health insurance through a voluntary contract with the Health Insurance Fund at a time that they lack mandatory insurance on the basis of law.

In the event of vessels being added to the fleet sailing under the Estonian flag, Estonian seamen will also have the opportunity to start working on those ships and through that have access to Estonian pension insurance.

The parliament's economic affairs committee was elected the leading committee.

According to the Maritime Administration, the amendments to the Law of Ship Flag and Ship Registers Act approved by the government last week may contribute 2% to the Estonian gross domestic product (GDP) in a 10 years' perspective through the establishment of jobs to the shore sector of shipping.

At the same time, the Estonian Seamen's Independent Union (EMSA) said that solution offered in the bill will make Estonia a purely flag of convenience country and decrease the competitiveness of Estonian seamen compared with residents of third countries.

(Source: http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/good_for_business/?doc=144286)


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