Expected date of Tallinn Circuit Court’s ruling on the tariff dispute between AS Tallinna Vesi and Estonian Competition Authority

AS Tallinna Vesi hereby informs its shareholders of the hearing held by the Tallinn Circuit Court on 23rd November 2016, concerning the ongoing tariff dispute between AS Tallinna Vesi and the Estonian Competition Authority. The Tallinn Circuit Court, will make a ruling with respect to AS Tallinna Vesi’s appeal, on the 22nd December 2016. The Court is entitled to extend this date if deemed necessary.

Since 2011, the Estonian Competition Authority has so far refused to approve AS Tallinna Vesi’s water and sewerage tariff applications. In October 2011, Estonian Competition Authority issued a precept to AS Tallinna Vesi to reduce tariffs. The Estonian Competition Authority has not changed its opinion, irrespective of the fact that the Estonian Courts have previously declared the tariffs’ part of the Services Agreement, which was entered into between AS Tallinna Vesi and the City of Tallinn back in 2001, to be a public law contract. AS Tallinna Vesi’s belief is, that under the Administrative Procedure Act, the state is obliged to comply with a public law contract until amendment or repeal thereof.

By its ruling of 5th June 2015, Tallinn Administrative Court dismissed the company’s complaint (the Court published the reasoning of the ruling on 12 October 2015). AS Tallinna Vesi disagreed with the ruling made by Tallinn Administrative Court, because AS Tallinna Vesi’s is of the opinion that the Court had incorrectly applied the Law, and had wrongly assessed the submitted evidence.

International Arbitration Proceedings, are running separately and in parallel to the Local Court dispute. The hearings of the International Arbitration were held in November 2016, with a decision expected from the Arbitration Panel in the first half of 2017. Information about the publicly available documents as regards to the International Arbitration can be found on the ICSID webpage.