International Military Co-Operation Act


Published: 2013-07-01

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International Military Co-operation Act

Passed 12.02.2003
RT I 2003, 23, 138
Entry into force 15.04.2003
Amended by the following legal instruments (show)

Passed
Published
Entry into force

10.11.2004
RT I 2004, 81, 541
10.12.2004

25.10.2006
RT I 2006, 50, 375
24.11.2006

24.01.2007
RT I 2007, 12, 66
01.01.2008

19.06.2008
RT I 2008, 35, 213
01.01.2009

07.05.2009
RT I 2009, 25, 150
01.07.2009

11.11.2009
RT I 2009, 55, 369
04.12.2009

26.11.2009
RT I 2009, 62, 405
01.01.2010

15.06.2011
RT I, 08.07.2011, 8
22.07.2011

22.02.2012
RT I, 07.03.2012, 2
17.03.2012

15.05.2013
RT I, 01.06.2013, 1
01.07.2013

Chapter 1 GENERAL PROVISIONS 

§ 1.  Scope of application of Act

This Act regulates the legal bases of participation of the Republic of Estonia in international military co-operation.

§ 2.  International military co-operation

(1) For the purposes of this Act, participation in international military co-operation means:
1) use of the Defence Forces in international military operations;
2) participation of the Defence Forces in international military exercises;
3) permitting the temporary stay of the armed forces of a foreign state in the territory of the Republic of Estonia on the bases and pursuant to the procedure provided by law;
4) recognition of the status of international military headquarters, participation in the activities of the headquarters and support of the activities of the headquarters;
5) planning and implementation of joint military projects of the Republic of Estonia and foreign states.
(2) The right of the Republic of Estonia or its competent agency to engage in international military co-operation in any other form is not contrary to subsection (1) of this section.
(3) The procedure provided for in this Act does not apply to Military Attachés of the Republic of Estonia accredited to foreign sates and their subordinates or Military Attachés of foreign states accredited to the Republic of Estonia and their subordinates.

§ 3.  Principles of international military co-operation

The generally recognised principles and rules of international law are complied with in international military co-operation.

§ 4.  Transfer and receipt of right of command
[RT I 2008, 35, 213 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

(1) For the participation of the Republic of Estonia in international military co-operation, the Commander of the Defence Forces may transfer a part of his or her right of command to a commander of another state or international organisation and he or she may receive a part of the right of command of a commander of another state or international organisation.
[RT I, 08.07.2011, 8 - entry into force 22.07.2011]
(2) Upon transfer of the right of command to a commander of another state or international organisation, the commander may re-transfer the right of command partially or fully granted to him or her to a commander subordinate to him or her, including to a commander of another state or international organisation if:
1) the possibility is provided for in a treaty or prescribed by an international custom or
2) upon transfer of the right of command, the Commander of the Defence Forces has authorised a commander of another state or international organisation to re-transfer the right of command.
[RT I, 08.07.2011, 8 - entry into force 22.07.2011]
(3) Upon receipt of the right of command, a commander with the right of command of the Estonian Defence Forces may re-transfer the right of command partially or fully granted to him or her to a commander subordinate to him or her, including to a commander of another state or international organisation if:
1) the possibility is provided for in an international agreement or prescribed by an international custom or
2) the commander the other state or international organisation who transferred the right of command has granted authorisation for the re-transfer of the right of command.
[RT I 2008, 35, 213 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
(4) The procedure for the transfer and receipt of the right of command and the list of information to be indicated upon transfer of the right of command shall be established by a regulation of the Minister of Defence.
[RT I 2008, 35, 213 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 5.  Combined units

(1) In accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Estonia and the generally recognised principles and rules of international law, the use of units or sub-units may be granted to an international organisation or the armed forces of another state, or a combined unit of the Republic of Estonia and of a foreign state or an international organisation (hereinafter combined unit) may be formed.
[RT I 2008, 35, 213 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
(2) Formation of combined units shall be decided by an order of the Government of the Republic.
(3) Entry into international agreements regulating the activities of combined units shall be organised by the Ministry of Defence in co-operation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the basis of the provisions of § 22 of this Act.

§ 6.  International military operation

For the purposes of this Act, an international military operation is:
1) a collective self-defence operation organised according to an international agreement based on the right recognised in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations or for the performance of another obligation assumed legally in any other manner;
2) a collective military operation organised to maintain or restore peace and security on the basis of the provisions of Chapters VI and VII of the Charter of the United Nations and another military operation which is in accordance with the generally recognised principles and rules of international law.

Chapter 2 INTERNATIONAL MILITARY CO-OPERATION OUTSIDE OF TERRITORY OF REPUBLIC OF ESTONIA 

§ 7.  Use of Defence Forces in collective self-defence operation

(1) The Riigikogu2 shall decide on use of the Defence Forces in collective self-defence operations as follows:
1) ratifies an international agreement providing for the principle of collective self-defence;
2) makes an appropriate decision if the international agreement specified in clause 1) of this subsection is not entered into.
(2) On the basis provided for in clause (1) 1) or 2) of this section, the Government of the Republic shall, on the proposal of the Minister of Defence, issue an order to commence participation and terminate participation in a collective self-defence operation to a unit or sub-unit.
[RT I 2008, 35, 213 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
(3) The President of the Republic, the Board of the Riigikogu and the chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu shall be immediately informed of an order specified in subsection (2) of this section.
(4) If an international agreement to which the Republic of Estonia is a party sets out that an armed attack against another party to the agreement is deemed to be an armed attack against the Republic of Estonia, the President of the Republic shall order mobilisation without waiting for a Riigikogu resolution if this is unavoidably necessary to resist the attack and fulfil the objective of the specified international agreement.

§ 8.  Use of Defence Forces in other international military operations

(1) The Riigikogu shall decide on the use of the Defence Forces in an operation specified in clause 6 (2) of this Act, except in the case specified in subsections (12) and (31) of this section, separately for each individual case unless otherwise provided for in a treaty.
[RT I, 07.03.2012, 2 - entry into force 17.03.2012]
(11) The use of the Defence Forces in the operation specified in clause 6 2) of this Act in the composition of the rapid reaction forces of an international organisation shall be decided by the Riigikogu prior to the start of the stand-by period of the unit or sub-unit. The Riigikogu shall determine the international organisation in the composition of which the unit or sub-unit shall operate and the limit number of members of the Defence Forces who may participate in the international military operation.
[RT I 2008, 35, 213 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
(12) The Riigikogu shall determine by a resolution the limit number of the members of the Defence Forces who, upon commencement of a new international military operation led by the North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation or the European Union, specified in clause 6 2) of this Act, may participate in the work of the international military headquarters in the area of operation.
[RT I, 07.03.2012, 2 - entry into force 17.03.2012]
(2) Based on the resolution of the Riigikogu provided in subsections (1), (11) and (12) of this section or a treaty, the Minister of Defence, in agreement with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, shall order the unit or sub-unit to commence and terminate participation in the operation specified in clause 6 2) of this Act.
[RT I, 07.03.2012, 2 - entry into force 17.03.2012]
(3) The President of the Republic, the Board of the Riigikogu and the chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu shall be immediately informed of an order specified in subsection (2) of this section.
(31) The members of the Defence Forces sent on assignment to an international organisation or to international military headquarters on the basis of § 13 of this Act may participate in the operation specified in subsection 6 (2) of this Act in the composition of this international organisation or international military headquarters.
[RT I 2009, 55, 369 - entry into force 04.12.2009]
(4) The guarantees related to service specified in the Defence Forces Service Act apply to members of the Defence Forces who perform the duties specified in clause 6 2) of this Act unless otherwise prescribed by this Act or an international agreement. On the basis of a decision of the Minister of Defence, an insurance contract to secure payment of additional compensation upon the death of or physical harm to the member of the Defence Forces may be entered into for the benefit of the member of the Defence Forces.
[RT I 2009, 55, 369 - entry into force 04.12.2009]

§ 81.  Use of special equipment, weapons or battle equipment by Defence Forces

(1) Upon participation in international military co-operation, the Defence Forces may use special equipment, weapons or battle equipment upon performance of service duties:
1) to resist an attack against the Defence Forces or another person;
2) to resist an attack against the objects in the possession of the Defence Forces or the armed forces participating in an international military operation together with the Defence Forces;
3) to perform the duties assigned to the Defence Forces for the maintenance and restoration of peace and security.
(2) The provisions of this section do not restrict use of force against an enemy on the basis of international law.
[RT I 2008, 35, 213 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
(3) The duties specified in clause (1) 3) of this section are provided by an international organisation or upon agreement with the relevant states.
[RT I 2004, 81, 541 - entry into force 10.12.2004]

§ 82.  Rules for use of force
[RT I 2008, 35, 213 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

(1) A member of the Defence Forces shall decide on the use of force and on the choice of the manner of the use of force on the basis of the situation, and shall assess how dangerous is the person against whom force is used.
[RT I 2008, 35, 213 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
(2) Upon resisting an attack, a member of the Defence Forces shall not use such force which is clearly not proportionate with the nature of the attack or the danger arising from the imprisoned person or the situation.
[RT I 2008, 35, 213 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
(3) Participation in international military co-operation shall be based on the procedure for the use of force established by a relevant state or international organisation. If necessary, the Minister of Defence may establish the procedure for the use of force. The Commander of the Defence Forces and other commanders may give specific instructions on the basis of the procedure for the use of force established by a foreign state, an international organisation or the Minister of Defence.
[RT I 2008, 35, 213 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
(4) If the rules provided for in the procedure for the use of force established by a foreign state or an international organisation are in conflict with an international agreement entered into or an Act of the Republic of Estonia, the Defence Forces shall not apply the conflicting rules and the Ministry of Defence shall inform the relevant officials of the foreign state or international organisation thereof.
[RT I 2008, 35, 213 - entry into force 01.01.2009]
(5) The provisions of this section do not restrict use of force against an enemy on the basis of international law.
[RT I 2008, 35, 213 - entry into force 01.01.2009]

§ 9.  Participation of other governmental authority in international military operation

(1) In addition to the Defence Forces, another governmental authority may also participate in an international military operation pursuant to the procedure provided for in this Act for the performance of functions imposed thereon by law or pursuant to law in accordance with the generally recognised principles and rules of international law.
(2) An employee of another governmental authority may participate in an international military operation under the command of the armed forces of a foreign state or an international organisation.
(3) Participation of another governmental authority in an international military organisation shall be decided by an order of the Government of the Republic.
(4) The Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall approve a draft order specified in subsection (3) of this section before submission of the draft order to the Government of the Republic.
(5) This section does not apply to performance of the functions specified in §§ 6 and 7 of the Security Authorities Act.

§ 10.  International military exercise

The Defence Forces shall participate in international military exercises for the purpose of international military co-operation and preparation for national defence.

§ 11.  Decision on participation of Defence Forces in international military exercise

(1) Participation of the Defence Forces in an international military exercise shall be decided by the Minister of Defence on the proposal of the Commander of the Defence Forces.
(2) In exceptional cases, participation of the Defence Forces in an international military exercise may be decided by the Government of the Republic on the proposal of the Minister of Defence.

§ 12.  Participation of other governmental authority in international military exercise

(1) In addition to the Defence Forces, another governmental authority may also participate in an international military exercise if this is essential for organisation of the exercise or for preparation for national defence. Participation of the other governmental authority in the international military exercise shall be decided by the relevant minister with the approval of the Ministry of Defence.
(2) In exceptional cases, the Government of the Republic may decide participation of another governmental authority in an international military exercise on the basis of a concorded approval of the relevant minister and the Minister of Defence.

§ 13.  Participation of member of Defence Forces in work of international organisation or international military headquarters

The Commander of the Defence Forces shall decide on participation of a member of the Defence Forces in the work of an international organisation or international military headquarters, except of international military headquarters in the area of an international military operation.
[RT I 2009, 55, 369 - entry into force 04.12.2009]

Chapter 3 INTERNATIONAL MILITARY CO-OPERATION IN TERRITORY OF REPUBLIC OF ESTONIA  

§ 14.  Stay of armed forces of foreign state in Estonia

On the bases prescribed in this Act, the armed forces of a foreign state may stay in the territory of the Republic of Estonia for the following purposes:
1) participation in a collective self-defence operation organised in the territory of the Republic of Estonia;
2) participation in another international military operation specified in clause 6 2) of this Act;
3) participation in an international military exercise;
4) participation in the activities of international military headquarters;
5) the transit of the armed forces with the consent of the competent agency of the Republic of Estonia;
6) military co-operation in any other form, such as implementation of defence projects if the competent agency of the Republic of Estonia has granted its consent therefor.

§ 15.  Principle of reciprocity

The armed forces of a foreign state may stay in the territory of the Republic of Estonia if the Defence Forces of the Republic of Estonia may stay in the territory of the foreign state.

§ 16.  Arrival and stay of armed forces of foreign state in Republic of Estonia and leaving of armed forces of foreign state from Republic of Estonia

(1) Arrival and stay of armed forces of a foreign state in the Republic of Estonia and leaving of the armed forces of a foreign state from the Republic of Estonia shall be provided for in an international agreement, an Act or legislation established on the basis of the Act.
[RT I 2004, 81, 541 - entry into force 10.12.2004]
(2) For the arrival of the armed forces of a foreign state in the Republic of Estonia, a permit issued by a competent agency pursuant to this Act is necessary. The permit may be issued for single or multiple border-crossing.
[RT I 2004, 81, 541 - entry into force 10.12.2004]
(3) The provisions of this Act concerning the armed forces also apply to civil persons accompanying the armed forces and serving in the armed forces.
[RT I 2004, 81, 541 - entry into force 10.12.2004]
(4) The Police and Border Guard Board shall enter a notation regarding the bases and time for stay in Estonia in the document submitted by a member of the Defence Forces or his or her dependants upon crossing the border. Upon extension of a permit specified in subsection (2) of this section or issue of a new permit, the Police and Border Guard Board shall enter a new notation in the document at the request of the Ministry of Defence.
[RT I 2009, 62, 405 - entry into force 01.01.2010]
(5) The procedure for notification of the size of the armed forces, the number of dependants and vehicles and the amount of goods arriving in the Republic of Estonia and the time and place when they cross the border or are transported over the border shall be approved by the Minister of Defence.
[RT I 2004, 81, 541 - entry into force 10.12.2004]

§ 17.  Grant of permit for stay to armed forces of foreign state for participation in military operation organised in territory of Republic of Estonia

(1) Grant of a permit for temporary stay to the armed forces of a foreign state for participation in a collective self-defence operation or another international operation organised in the territory of the Republic of Estonia shall be decided:
1) by an order of the Government of the Republic if the Republic of Estonia and the relevant foreign state are parties to an agreement providing for the principle of collective self-defence;
2) in the absence of an international agreement specified in clause 1) of this subsection, by a resolution of the Riigikogu or, if the Riigikogu is unable to convene, by a resolution of the President of the Republic.
(2) The procedure provided for in this section also applies to the temporary stay of the armed forces of a foreign state in the territory of the Republic of Estonia, the purpose of which is to participate in an international military operation organised in the territory of another state.

§ 18.  Grant of permit for stay in territory of Republic of Estonia to armed forces of foreign state in other cases

(1) Grant of a permit for temporary stay to the armed forces of a foreign state for participation in an international military exercise organised in the territory of the Republic of Estonia shall be decided by the Minister of Defence.
(2) In exceptional cases, a permit for temporary stay in the territory of the Republic of Estonia to the armed forces of a foreign state may be granted by the Government of the Republic on the proposal of the Minister of Defence.
(3) Grant of a permit for stay in the territory of the Republic of Estonia to the armed forces of a foreign state for implementation of a defence co-operation project shall be decided by the Minister of Defence or an official authorised by the Minister of Defence.
(4) Grant of a permit for stay to the armed forces of a foreign state for participation in the activities of international military headquarters shall be decided by the Minister of Defence.
[RT I 2004, 81, 541 - entry into force 10.12.2004]

§ 19.  Transit of armed forces of foreign states

(1) For the purposes of this Act, the transit of the armed forces of a foreign state means the stay of the armed forces of the foreign state in territory of the Republic of Estonia for crossing the mainland of the Republic of Estonia.
(2) If the Republic of Estonia and a relevant foreign state are parties to an agreement providing for the principle of collective self-defence, grant of a permit for the transit of armed forces shall be decided by the Minister of Defence.
(3) In the absence of an international agreement specified in subsection (2) of this section, grant of a permit for the transit of armed forces shall be decided by:
1) a directive of the Minister of Defence if the unit is composed of up to 2000 members;
2) an order of the Government of the Republic if the composition of the unit includes between 2001 and 5000 members;
3) a resolution of the Riigikogu if the composition of the unit includes more than 5000 members.
(4) In the case provided for in subsection (2) of this section, grant of a permit for the transit of the armed forces of a foreign state may, in exceptional cases, be decided by the Government of the Republic on the proposal of the Minister of Defence.
(5) The President of the Republic, the Board of the Riigikogu and the chairman of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu shall be immediately informed of a decision specified in clause (3) 1) or 2) of this section. The Riigikogu may suspend the validity of a legal instrument specified in clause (3) 1) or 2) of this section by a resolution and has the right to adopt a new resolution.

§ 20.  Issue of flight permits and diplomatic clearances for military vessels

(1) A permit for entry of foreign military vessels in Estonian territorial waters or inland waters and a permit for entry into Estonian airspace of foreign state military aircraft, for their landing on Estonian territory or for their flying over the territory shall be issued by the Minister of Defence or an official authorised by him or her, unless otherwise prescribed by law or legislation of the Government of the Republic.
(2) The procedure for the issue of permits for entry of foreign military vessels in Estonian territorial waters or inland waters and permits for entry into Estonian airspace of foreign state military aircraft, for their landing on Estonian territory or for their flying over the territory shall be established by the Government of the Republic on the proposal of the Minister of Defence.
(3) A permit specified in subsection (1) of this section may be for single or multiple entries.
[RT I 2004, 81, 541 - entry into force 10.12.2004]

§ 21.  Legal bases for stay in Republic of Estonia

(1) A permit specified in subsection 16 (2) of this Act is a legal basis for stay in the state for members of the armed forces of foreign states staying in the territory of the Republic of Estonia pursuant to the procedure and for the purposes prescribed by this Act.
(2) Dependants of members of the armed forces have the right to stay in Estonia together with members of the armed forces who have a permit specified in subsection (1) of this section for staying in Estonia. Dependants have the right to stay and work in Estonia during the period of validity of the specified permit. In the case provided for in a treaty the Minister of Defence may grant permission by its directive for the dependant to stay and work in Estonian longer than the period of validity of the permit.
[RT I, 01.06.2013, 1 - entry into force 01.07.2013]

§ 211.  Provision of support by host nation

(1) The Government of the Republic shall establish a host nation support database which shall be a state register within the meaning of the Public Information Act and which shall keep record of the resources needed for provision of support by host nation.
[RT I 2007, 12, 66 - entry into force 01.01.2008]
(2) The register specified in subsection (1) shall process personal data for conclusion of contracts for the use of resources.

Chapter 4 STATUS OF ARMED FORCES OF FOREIGN STATES AND INTERNATIONAL MILITARY HEADQUARTERS 

§ 22.  Status of forces agreements

(1) The Republic of Estonia may, in compliance with the generally recognised principles and rules of international law, enter into an international agreement or accede to an international agreement which regulates the legal status of the Defence Forces of the Republic of Estonia staying in a foreign state or the armed forces of a foreign state staying in Estonia (hereinafter status of forces agreement).
(2) If necessary, a status of forces agreement may be temporarily be applied in accordance with Article 25 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (RT II, 1993, 13/14, 16).
(3) The Government of the Republic may issue a regulation in order to implement a status of forces agreement.
(4) The Ministry of Defence shall organise entry into administrative agreements which facilitate the application of status of forces agreements.
(5) Estonian legislation applies to persons who are members of the armed forces of a foreign state staying in the territory of the Republic of Estonia and their dependants in so far as is in accordance with an international agreement and the generally recognised principles and rules of international law.
(6) Estonian legislation applies to persons who are members of the armed forces of a foreign state staying in the territory of the Republic of Estonia and their dependants in so far as is in accordance with an international agreement and the generally recognised principles and rules of international law.
(7) For the purposes of this Act, a person is ‘dependant’ if:
1) an appropriate notation is made to his or her travel document;
2) this arises from an international agreement;
3) the foreign state where the person is a citizen or the state sending the armed forces verifies it in any other way.

§ 23.  Status of international military headquarters

(1) The passive legal capacity and active legal capacity, immunity and privileges of international military headquarters and other circumstances relating to the status shall be provided for in an international agreement.
(2) The procedure regarding the armed forces of foreign states provided for in this Act also applies with regard to international military headquarters, their staff members and the dependants of the latter and the employees of the contractors of the headquarters and the dependants of the latter if arising from an international agreement to which the Republic of Estonia is a party.
[RT I, 01.06.2013, 1 - entry into force 01.07.2013]

§ 24.  Right to exercise jurisdiction

The relevant administrative agencies and officials of the armed forces of a foreign state staying in the territory of the Republic of Estonia may exercise disciplinary and criminal jurisdiction in the Republic of Estonia in respect of members of the armed forces of their state and their dependants if such right has been granted to them by the legislation of the state and if this is in accordance with the relevant international agreements and the generally recognised principles and rules of international law.

§ 25.  Proceedings regarding claim for compensation for damage

(1) The procedure for proceedings regarding extra-contractual claims for compensation for damage caused in the course of international military co-operation, compensation for the claims and waiver of compensation for the damage shall be established by the Government of the Republic on the proposal of the Minister of Defence.
(2) This section does not apply to the forms of international military co-operation specified in clause 6 1) of this Act. Damage caused due to acts of war in an international military operation provided for in clause 6 2) of this Act need not be compensated for.
[RT I 2004, 81, 541 - entry into force 10.12.2004]

§ 26.  Right to wear uniform

In general cases, members of the armed forces of foreign states shall wear uniform when crossing the state border of the Republic of Estonia and upon stay in the Republic of Estonia, unless otherwise agreed with the relevant foreign state.

§ 27.  Validity of driving licences, aviation licences, navigation licences and other licences

(1) The driving licences, aviation licences, navigation licences and other licences issued in a foreign state to members of the armed forces of the foreign state or their dependants staying in the territory of the Republic of Estonia on the bases and pursuant to the procedure provided for in this Act are also valid in the Republic of Estonia.
(2) If necessary, the Ministry of Defence shall apply for verification from a competent agency of the foreign state that a licence specified in subsection (1) of this section is valid.

§ 28.  Registration of motor vehicles of armed forces of foreign states

A motor vehicle of the armed forces of a foreign state which is registered in the state and bears the registration plate issued in the state, if the armed forces stay in the territory of the Republic of Estonia on the bases and pursuant to the procedure provided for in this Act, need not be registered in the traffic register provided for in the Traffic Act.
[RT I 2009, 25, 150 - entry into force 01.07.2009]

Chapter 5 IMPLEMENTING PROVISIONS  

§ 29. – § 31. [Omitted from this text]

§ 32.  Entry into force of Act

This Act enters into force on 15 April 2003.

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