National Coat Of Arms Act

Link to law: https://www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/ee/Riigikogu/act/520012015020/consolide
Published: 2015-01-01

National Coat of Arms Act

Passed 13.06.2001
RT I 2001, 65, 376
Entry into force 01.01.2002
Amended by the following legal instruments (show)

Passed
Published
Entry into force

27.03.2002
RT I 2002, 34, 206
29.04.2002

19.06.2002
RT I 2002, 63, 387
01.09.2002

23.03.2005
RT I 2005, 20, 126
01.01.2006

24.01.2008
RT I 2008, 7, 53
18.02.2008

20.05.2009
RT I 2009, 29, 175
01.07.2009

26.11.2009
RT I 2009, 62, 405
01.01.2010

22.04.2010
RT I 2010, 19, 101
01.06.2010

22.04.2010
RT I 2010, 22, 108
01.01.2011, enters into force on the day determined by the decision of the Council of the European Union concerning repeal of the derogation established in respect of the Republic of Estonia on the basis of Article 140 (2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Decision No. 2010/416/EU of the Council of the European Union (OJ L 196, 28.07.2010, pp. 24–26).

15.06.2011
RT I, 08.07.2011, 8
22.07.2011

11.12.2013
RT I, 23.12.2013, 1
01.01.2014

26.03.2014
RT I, 16.04.2014, 1
26.04.2014

19.06.2014
RT I, 12.07.2014, 1
01.01.2015

§ 1.  Scope of application of this Act

This Act establishes the heraldic description and the forms of the national coat of arms of the Republic of Estonia and the conditions and procedure for use of the national coat of arms.

§ 2.  Meaning of the national coat of arms

(1) The national coat of arms is the symbol of the state.
(2) The right to use the national coat of arms is vested in government agencies, in bodies and persons who exercise governmental authority and, in the cases provided by law, in other persons.
[RT I, 23.12.2013, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2014]

§ 3.  Heraldic description of the national coat of arms

(1) The national coat of arms has two forms: the greater national coat of arms and the lesser national coat of arms.
(2) The greater national coat of arms has three blue lions passant guardant on a golden shield. The shield is surrounded on the sides and at the base by two golden oak branches which cross at the base of the shield.
(3) The lesser national coat of arms is the coat of arms described in subsection 2 of this section, without the oak branches.

§ 4.  Reference image of the national coat of arms

This Act approves:
1) the reference image of the greater national coat of arms of the Republic of Estonia together with the definition of the blue colour tone on the basis of the international Pantone matching system (Annex 1);
[RT I 2005, 20, 126 - entry into force 01.01.2006]
2) the reference image of the lesser national coat of arms of the Republic of Estonia together with the definition of the blue colour tone on the basis of the international Pantone colour matching system (Annex 2);
[RT I 2005, 20, 126 - entry into force 01.01.2006]
3) the graphic black-and-white reference image (Annex 3) of the greater national coat of arms of the Republic of Estonia and the contoured reference image (Annex 5) of that coat of arms;
[RT I 2008, 7, 53 - entry into force 18.02.2008]
4) the graphic black-and-white reference image (Annex 4) of the lesser national coat of arms of the Republic of Estonia and the contoured reference image (Annex 6) of that coat of arms.
[RT I 2008, 7, 53 - entry into force 18.02.2008]

§ 5.  Manner of use of the national coat of arms

(1) In the cases prescribed in this Act, the national coat of arms is used as:
1) a design element;
2) a security feature;
3) an element of a seal.
(2) The national coat of arms may be used as the colour or black-and-white image provided in section 4 of this Act. Black may also be replaced by another colour. Depending on the material from which the image is made, the national coat of arms may also be monochrome or embossed.
(3) When the national coat of arms is used as a design element or security feature on identity documents which are issued pursuant to the Identity Documents Act, it may be used as a stylised image which is different from the one specified in subsection 2 of this section.
[RT I 2008, 7, 53 - entry into force 18.02.2008]

§ 6.  Use of the greater national coat of arms

(1) The greater national coat of arms is used as a design element or security feature:
1) on Acts, resolutions, statements, declarations and addresses of the Riigikogu, on decrees, resolutions and directives of the President of the Republic and on other documents issued by the President, and may be used on other publications issued by the President;
2) on decisions of the Supreme Court;
3) on letters of accession to or denunciation of international agreements, on letters of ratification of international agreements and on the covers of international agreements;
[RT I 2002, 34, 206 - entry into force 29.04.2002]
4) on documents and invitations used in international communication by ambassadors extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Republic of Estonia;
5) on identity documents and documents certifying citizenship, marital status, education, position and profession which are issued pursuant to the law or in the cases determined by the Government of the Republic on the basis of the law;
[RT I 2002, 34, 206 - entry into force 29.04.2002]
6) on securities, means for the payment of postage, coins and banknotes.
(2) The greater national coat of arms is used as a design element:
1) on the residence, in the representation premises and on the vehicle of the President of the Republic;
2) on the buildings of the permanent seat of the Riigikogu and the Government of the Republic and in their sitting chambers, in their official rooms and on any publications issued by these institutions;
21) on the webpages of the President of the Republic, the Riigikogu and the Government of the Republic;
[RT I 2010, 19, 101 - entry into force 01.06.2010]
3) on signs indicating the location of foreign missions of the Republic of Estonia and consular posts headed by honorary consuls of the Republic of Estonia;
[RT I 2009, 29, 175 - entry into force 01.07.2009]
4) on the buildings and signs and in the courtrooms of the Supreme Court and other courts;
5) in ceremonial halls of vital statistics offices;
6) on the flag and streamer of the President of the Republic;
7) on historic double-sided flags of military units, on the side bearing the colours of the national flag;
8) on the uniform of members of the Defence Forces and on the official attire and uniform of officials in the cases provided by the Government of the Republic;
9) on the official attire of judges and prosecutors;
10) on the Riigi Teataja;
[RT I 2010, 19, 101 - entry into force 01.06.2010]
11) on national awards and certificates of such awards in the cases provided in or on the basis of the law;
12) on border checkpoints and on main boundary markers designating the national border of Estonia.
[RT I 2008, 7, 53 - entry into force 18.02.2008]
(3) The greater national coat of arms is used as an element of a seal:
1) in the Great Seal;
2) in the seal of the President of the Republic.

§ 7.  Use of the lesser national coat of arms

(1) The lesser national coat of arms is used as a design element or security feature on documents issued by the Riigikogu, the Prime Minister, the Government of the Republic, the Supreme Court, other courts, the Chancellor of Justice, the Office of the Riigikogu, the Government Office, the National Audit Office, the Office of the President of the Republic, the Bank of Estonia, the Commander of the Defence Forces, ministries, other government agencies, as well as any bodies or persons who exercise governmental authority, and may be used on any publication issued by these institutions, bodies or persons.
[RT I, 08.07.2011, 8 - entry into force 22.07.2011]
(2) The lesser national coat of arms is used as a design element:
1) on the buildings, signs and emblems of permanent seats of government agencies and bodies or persons exercising governmental authority who are listed in subsection 1 of this section;
2) on the flag of the Commander of the Defence Forces and of the Estonian Navy;
[RT I, 08.07.2011, 8 - entry into force 22.07.2011]
3) on the clothing of Estonia’s national teams;
4) on securities, means for the payment of postage, coins and banknotes;
5) on national awards and certificates of such awards in the cases provided in or on the basis of the law.
(3) The lesser national coat of arms is used as an element of a seal:
1) on seals of the government agencies and of the bodies or persons exercising governmental authority who are listed in subsection 1 of this section;
2) on the seal of a local authority which includes the national coat of arms;
3) sworn translators and sworn advocates.
[RT I, 23.12.2013, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2014]

§ 8.  Prohibition on use of the national coat of arms in degrading manner

The national coat of arms may not be used in a degrading manner.

§ 9.  Prohibition on registration and use of the national coat of arms as trade mark or service mark

(1) A mark which contains the national coat of arms may not be registered as a trade mark or service mark.
(2) A mark which contains the national coat of arms may not be used as a trade mark or service mark.

§ 10.  Great Seal

(1) The Great Seal is shaped as a circle. The diameter of the circle is 70 millimetres and the centre of the circle shows the greater national coat of arms. The upper rim of the circle bears the words “ Eesti Vabariik ” [Republic of Estonia].
(2) The Great Seal is used:
1) on the credentials of ambassadors extraordinary and plenipotentiary or on letters recalling such ambassadors, and on the envelopes of such credentials or letters;
2) on letters of ratification or denunciation of conventions and international agreements.

§ 11.  Custody of the Great Seal stamp

The Great Seal stamp is kept at the office of the Secretary of State. A report is drawn up concerning each use of the Great Seal stamp.

§ 12.  The seal of the President of the Republic

The seal of the President of the Republic is shaped as a circle. The diameter of the circle is 50 millimetres and the centre of the circle shows the greater national coat of arms. The upper rim of the circle bears the words “ Vabariigi President ” [President of the Republic].

§ 13.  Custody of the seal stamp of the President of the Republic

The seal stamp of the President of the Republic is kept at the office of the President of the Republic. A report is drawn up concerning each use of the seal stamp of the President of the Republic.

§ 14.  Seals of other government agencies and of bodies or persons exercising governmental authority

(1) The seal of a government agency or of a body or person exercising governmental authority is shaped as a circle.
(2) In the case of the seal of the Riigikogu, the Prime Minister, the Government of the Republic, the Supreme Court, the Chancellor of Justice, the Office of the Riigikogu, the Government Office, the National Audit Office, the Office of the President of the Republic, the Bank of Estonia, the Commander of the Defence Forces and the seals of the ministries, the diameter of the circle is 50 millimetres and the centre of the circle shows the lesser national coat of arms. The upper rim of the circle bears the name of the relevant government agency or the body or person exercising governmental authority and an indication which makes it possible to distinguish the seal from seals which bear the same text and which have been revoked or are to be registered in the future.
[RT I, 08.07.2011, 8 - entry into force 22.07.2011]
(3) The diameter of the circle of the seal of government agencies and of bodies or persons exercising governmental authority who are not listed in subsection 2 of this section is 35 millimetres and the centre of the circle shows the lesser national coat of arms. The upper rim of the circle bears the name of the relevant government agency or the body or person exercising governmental authority and an indication which makes it possible to distinguish the seal from seals which bear the same text and which have been revoked or are to be registered in the future.

§ 15.  Use of seal stamps bearing the national coat of arms by local authorities and legal and natural persons

An agency of a local authority and a legal or natural person may use a seal stamp bearing the lesser national coat of arms only when performing government functions vested in them by or on the basis of the law.

§ 16.  Possession of seal stamps bearing the national coat of arms

(1) A government agency may hold one seal stamp which bears the name of the agency and the national coat of arms.
(2) If, due to the nature of the work of the agency, several officials need to use a seal stamp bearing the name of the agency and the national coat of arms and if the corresponding authorisation is provided in the statutes or clerical business rules of the agency, that agency may hold more than one seal stamp bearing the name of the agency and the national coat of arms.
(3) A subordinate unit or official of a government agency may hold a seal stamp which bears the name of the agency, the name of the subordinate unit or official and the national coat of arms, provided the subordinate unit or official of the government agency performs administrative functions vested in the unit or official by law or by regulation of the Government of the Republic or by regulation of a minister enacted on the basis of a law.

§ 17.  Language in seals showing the national coat of arms

(1) The text on a seal showing the national coat of arms is in Estonian.
(2) The seal of a government agency or body engaged in international communication may, in addition to text in Estonian, include text in a foreign language.

§ 18.  Registration of seal stamps and document forms bearing the national coat of arms

(1) Before a seal stamp bearing the national coat of arms is used, it must be registered with the Government Office.
(2) An application for registration of a seal stamp bearing the national coat of arms is reviewed within ten working days as of its receipt at the Government Office.
(3) Registration of a seal stamp bearing the national coat of arms is refused when:
1) the applicant is not entitled to hold a seal bearing the national coat of arms pursuant to this Act;
2) the seal does not comply with the requirements of this Act and the Act Concerning Approval of Reference Images of the National Flag and the Coat of Arms of the Republic of Estonia.
(4) Government agencies and persons who have the right to use a seal stamp bearing the national coat of arms submit specimen documents bearing the national coat of arms and other security features of national importance and specimen seals showing the national coat of arms for registration in the register of forms of documents bearing the national coat of arms and other security features of national importance and of specimen seals showing the national coat of arms (hereinafter, ‘the register’).
[RT I, 16.04.2014, 1 - entry into force 26.04.2014]
(5) The register functions as the central repository of information concerning documents bearing the national coat of arms and other security features of national importance and concerning specimen seals showing the national coat of arms.
[RT I, 16.04.2014, 1 - entry into force 26.04.2014]
(6) The register of forms of documents bearing the national coat of arms and other security features of national importance and of specimen seals showing the national coat of arms is established and its constitutive regulations are adopted by a regulation of the Government of the Republic.
[RT I, 16.04.2014, 1 - entry into force 26.04.2014]

§ 19.  Revocation of seals bearing national coat of arms

(1) A seal stamp bearing the national coat of arms is revoked by the lawful possessor of the seal stamp when:
1) the information contained in the text shown in the seal has become obsolete;
2) the seal stamp is not in the possession of the lawful possessor and there is a risk that the seal stamp of an official, agency or body may be used unlawfully, resulting in harm to the government and to the rights of individuals;
3) the activities of the agency or person are terminated.
(2) The Government Office is to be informed of the termination of use of a seal stamp bearing the national coat of arms, and makes a corresponding entry in the register within three working days of receipt of the information.

§ 20.  Prohibition on reusing a seal stamp bearing the national coat of arms

A seal stamp bearing the national coat of arms may not be used if its seal is indistinguishable from that of a seal stamp which has been revoked.

§ 21.  Custody and destruction of seal stamps and document forms bearing the national coat of arms

(1) Seal stamps bearing the national coat of arms are kept in a locked fireproof storage facility (a fireproof safe) and responsibility for their keeping is borne by the head of the agency or body and by an employee of the agency designated by that head, or by a person concerning whom the corresponding information has been entered in the national register provided for in section 18(4) of this Act.
(2) Document forms bearing the national coat of arms and security features are stored in such a manner as to preclude their destruction or their falling into the hands of unauthorised persons, and a record is kept concerning such forms. Specific procedures for the storage of document forms bearing the national coat of arms are provided in the clerical business rules of the agency.
(3) In the case of termination of the activities of a government agency or of a body or person exercising governmental authority, the body arranging the termination transmits the seal stamp and any document forms bearing the national coat of arms to the archives or arranges their destruction.
(4) The manner of destruction of damaged or invalid seal stamps and document forms bearing the national coat of arms is determined by the head of the government agency. A report is drawn up concerning their destruction.

§ 22.  Violation of procedure for use of the national coat of arms

(1) Violation of the procedure for the use of the national coat of arms is punishable by a fine of up to 100 fine units.
(2) The same act, if committed by a legal person, is punishable by a fine of up to 640 euros.
[RT I 2010, 22, 108 - entry into force 01.01.2011]
(3) [Repealed - RT I, 12.07.2014, 1 - entry into force 01.01.2015]
(4) Extra-judicial proceedings concerning the misdemeanours provided in this section are conducted by police authorities.
[RT I 2009, 62, 405 - entry into force 01.01.2010]

§ 23.  Transitional provisions

(1) Employee identification cards which are in use may contain the greater national coat of arms as a design element or security feature until expiry of the term indicated on the card.
(2) Information concerning existing seal stamps which bear the national coat of arms is entered in the national register by 1 January 2003.
(3) The use of seal stamps which bear the national coat of arms and which are not entered in the register is prohibited after 1 January 2003.
(4) National coats of arms which are used pursuant to the Act Concerning Approval of Reference Images of the National Flag and the Coat of Arms of the Republic of Estonia remain valid until their expiry.
[RT I 2005, 20, 126 - entry into force 01.01.2006]
§ 24. – § 25. [Omitted from this version]

§ 26.  Implementation of this Act

By the date this Act enters into force, the Government of the Republic and the ministers are to bring into conformity with this Act any legislation which they have issued and which continues to have validity.

§ 27.  Entry into force of this Act

This Act enters into force on 1 January 2002.
Annex 1-6 
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