The enforcement system in Estonia
The enforcement agents are dealing with enforcement since 01st of March 2001. Enforcement agents are holding their positions as a liberal profession and on their own responsibility. The Enforcement Agents Act regulates the actions and fees of enforcement agents and The Code of Enforcement Procedure regulates enforcement procedure rules.
Enforcement agents are joined under the organization named The Estonian Chamber of Enforcement Agents and Bankruptcy Trustees. Administrative supervision is making The Chamber and The Ministry of Justice.
The fees of the enforcement in the amount resulting from the law shall pay debtor. The enforcement agent’s fee is subject to a value added tax charge. An enforcement agent shall be entitled to request an advance payment of the fee (from creditor) in cases and to the extent provided for in the law.
The enforcement agent may require the party seeking enforcement to pay enforcement costs and agent fees in advance to the agent’s official bank account by the due date set by the agent.
Enforcement agent enforce the claim of the party seeking enforcement and enforcement costs together in one amount into an enforcement agent’s official bank account. Money that is paid into an enforcement agent’s official bank account shall be divided between the enforcement costs and claim of the party seeking enforcement. Agent transfers the money to the party seeking enforcement within the time provided by law. Enforcement agent has right to attach the debtor’s bank account to collect the money and also attach the different kinds of property to sale it by auction.
An enforcement agent performs enforcement operations only in the territory of the Republic of Estonia. Levy on the property of a debtor shall be made by an enforcement agent in whose service area, the residence of the debtor is situated or the debtor’s property is located. In Estonia are four service areas:
- Harju service area, which is covering all Harju County;
- Viru service area, which is covering Lääne-Viru and Ida-Viru County;
- Tartu service area, which is covering Tartu, Viljandi, Jõgeva, Põlva, Valga and Võru County;
- Pärnu service area, which is covering Pärnu, Saare, Hiiu, Lääne, Järva and Rapla County.
You can find the contact information of enforcement agents from The Estonian Chamber of Enforcement Agents and Bankruptcy Trustees.
An enforcement agent conducts enforcement proceedings based on an application of the party seeking enforcement (‘enforcement application’) and an enforceable title. The list of the enforceable titles is provided by The Code of Enforcement Procedure § 2.
Import to recognise if the document is enforceable in Estonia. For that comply it with the list of enforcement title which is given in the Code of Enforcement Procedure § 2. Also, you may get advice from Estonian Bar Association.
Some documents which are made in Member State (not Estonia) are directly enforceable and others are not. One of the directly enforceable documents is European Enforcement Orders. Regularly, to start the enforcement procedure on the basis of EU directly enforceable documents, enforcement agent requires the court decision/ruling original and the translation of that in Estonian language. Also is required the annexes, regulated by law, which are giving by court in any language you require. If you already have the annex from court, but it is not in Estonian language, then instead of turning to court again, you may translate the annex. All the translations must be done by sworn translators, which might be ordered also from Estonia.
Within the framework of the duties an enforcement agents provide other services:
- serve documents on the basis of the Acts laying down the procedure to be followed in the courts;
- make an inventory of the estate and when administering the estate on the basis of the Law of Succession Act;
- provide, except in proceedings before a court, the service of establishing a legal fact;
- conduct an auction of an item of movable or immovable property.
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