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Amendment to the procedure for marine research permits from 1 October 2019

17.10.2019

On 1 October 2019, the procedure for marine research permits issued to foreign researchers for marine scientific research in the Estonian territorial sea or exclusive economic zone was amended.

On 1 October 2019, the new wording of the Water Act entered into force (https://www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/508102019001/consolide), in accordance with sections 244–249 of which the Ministry of the Environment will issue marine research permits to foreign research bodies. At the same time, sections 8–10 of the Exclusive Economic Zone Act (https://www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/ee/510062019002/consolide/current), base d on which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was processing and giving consent to marine scientific research, were repealed.

In accordance with the new Water Act, foreign marine science researchers can apply for a research permit directly from the Ministry of the Environment (keskkonnaministeerium@envir.ee). 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.

The Ministry of the Environment organises the processing of the received application for a marine research permit and issues a research 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 Ministry of the Environment decides whether or not to provide a research permit within four months of receipt of the corresponding application. The applications for a marine research permit must be submitted at least 6 months before the beginning of the planned research term.

If one needs to enter the Estonian internal sea for carrying out marine scientific research, Regulation No 237 of the Government of the Republic “Procedure for application and provision of diplomatic clearance to foreign vessels” still requires the application for entry clearance, which is provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (vminfo@vm.ee). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs processes and decides on providing the diplomatic entry clearance for the research vessel.

If the applications for a research permit and diplomatic entry clearance are submitted to the Ministry of the Environment or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the said authorities will forward the application to a competent authority for decision (in case of a research permit, the Ministry of the Environment, in case of diplomatic clearance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).  

The applicant will receive an answer from the authority to which the application was submitted.
The application forms of a marine research permit and diplomatic clearance do not change. A sample form of an application of a marine research permit has been attached.
More information: Marine Environment Department of the Ministry of the Environment, Eda Andresmaa, eda.andresmaa@envir.ee


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