According to the Water Act sections 244–249 the Ministry of the Environment is an issuer of a marine scientific research permit to foreign research bodies for investigations in Estonian territorial sea or exclusive economic zone and associated entry clearances for research vessels.
Foreign marine science researchers can apply for a research permit directly from the Ministry of the Environment (firstname.lastname@example.org). Exceptionally, the application for a research permit may also be submitted through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which forwards it to the Ministry of the Environment. However, the latter is responsible for processing and issuing the research permit and entry clearance for the research vessel.
The Ministry of the Environment organises the processing of the received application for a marine research permit and entry clearance and issues a permit for carrying out marine scientific research in the Estonian marine area or refuses to issue a permit if there are reasons listed in section 246 of the Water Act. The applications for a marine research permit must be submitted at least 6 months before the beginning of the planned research term. The Ministry of the Environment decides whether or not to provide a research permit within four months of receipt of the corresponding application.
If one needs to enter the Estonian internal sea for carrying out marine scientific research, an application for entry clearance is also required according to the Regulation No 237 of the Government of the Republic “Procedure for application and provision of diplomatic clearance to foreign vessels”. The vessels entry clearance is usually granted for a single entry, for HELCOM/ICES scientific monitoring cruises up to one year.
Examples of application forms:
More information: Marine Environment Department of the Ministry of the Environment, Eda Andresmaa, email@example.com