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Latvia Customs Information

Duties and Tax Exemption

For contact information regarding government custom authorities, please follow the link below: 4.1 Latvia Government Contact List

 

Emergency Response:

The guideline of IDRL (Guidelines for the domestic facilitation and regulation of international disaster relief and initial recovery assistance – Can be found on the following link http://www.ifrc.org/PageFiles/41203/1205600-IDRL%20Guidelines-EN-LR%20(2).pdf ) in respect to the import of goods and equipment stipulate, among other, that the host nation has to ensure that goods and equipment for disaster relief is exempt of any customs taxes, duties, tariffs etc., import and export restrictions, as well as that the alleviated customs procedure and clearance is provided

As of 1 May 2004 the customs clearance is performed at the checkpoints of the external border of EU, as well as at domestic level. In individual cases the customs clearance can be performed at checkpoints of internal border (including border crossing points) on the borders of Latvia-Lithuania and Latvia-Estonia. The customs clearance is performed by customs authorities of the State Revenue Service (customs authorities). Goods imported in the customs territory of EU and exported from these territories are subject to the customs clearance. National competence of Latvia in issues concerning customs is determined by the Customs Law, which provides procedure for movement of goods across the national border, taxation with import duty and export duty and other fees set forth in the laws and regulations which are administered by the State Revenue Service, clearance, customs control and other measures and activities through which customs policy is enforced. Meanwhile, border crossing points where frontier controls, customs clearance, control of veterinary, phytosanitary control, control of food safety, control of safety, quality and classification of non-food consumer goods and radiometric control as well as the time for these inspections are set forth by the Cabinet of Ministers pursuant to paragraph seven of Article 22 of the Law on State Border of the Republic of Latvia. In accordance with the Humanitarian Aid Regulations customs formalities of the relief shipment are settled by the responsible ministry or its authorized person. Furthermore, the responsible ministry or its authorized person ensures submission of required documents to the customs authority of the State Revenue Service. The customs authorities of the State Revenue Service, on their turn:

  1. Ensure extraordinary customs clearance of the relief shipment; and

  2. Exempt relief shipments from import duty in accordance with laws and regulations of EU stipulating exemption from the customs tax.

Total relief from import duties shall be granted for:

  1. Disaster relief material where it is used in connection with measures taken to counter the effects of disasters or similar situations affecting the customs territory of the Community and intended for state bodies or bodies approved by the competent authorities;

  2. Medical, surgical and laboratory equipment dispatched on loan at the request of a hospital or other medical institution which has urgent need of such equipment to make up for the inadequacy of its own facilities and where it is intended for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

Goods imported for humanitarian purposes (for example, medical, surgical and laboratory equipment, vehicles and other means of transport, blankets, tents, prefabricated houses or other essential goods dispatched as a relief for those affected by natural disasters or similar emergencies) shall have the temporary admission procedure applied.

 In respect of the goods exemption of the import duty is stipulated by Council Regulation (EC) No 1186/2009 of 16 November 2009 setting up a Community system of reliefs from customs duty. The regulation stipulates exemption of the import duty on goods for charity and philanthropic organizations and victims of the disaster.

Exemption of the import duty granted to charity or philanthropic organizations is granted, if the following is imported:

  1. Essential goods (such as food, medicines, clothes and blankets), which are imported by government organizations or other charity or philanthropic organizations which are approved by the competent authorities and which are intended to be distributed among the destitute people free of charge;

  2. Various goods dispatched to government organizations or other charity or philanthropic organizations by any person or organization domicile of which is outside the EU customs territory free of charge and without any business intention which are approved by the competent authorities, so that they would be used for fundraising purposes at specifically organized charity events for the needs of destitute people;

  3. Equipment and stationery dispatched to government organizations or other charity or philanthropic organizations by any person or organization which is domiciled outside the EU customs territory free of charge and without any business intention which are approved by the competent authorities, so that they would use them only for the needs of their activities or accomplishment of a charitable and philanthropic causes.

Exemptions are granted only to organizations accounting records of which allow the competent authorities to monitor their activities and which provide all required guarantees. National laws and regulations contain detailed requirements for recipients of the exemption as well as preconditions for receipt of the exemption. In accordance with 20 December 2005 Cabinet of Ministers Regulation No 957 “Procedures by which the Imported Goods of Budget Institutions and Public Benefit Organisations shall be Released from Import Duty” goods imported by budget institutions and organizations of public benefit are exempt of the import duty, if the documents regulating activities of the respective institution or organization (for example, articles of association, bylaws or constitution) contain a reference to the purpose of the activity – provision of free assistance.95 Consequently, the association, foundation or religious organization which wants to obtain exemption of the import duty has to enjoy the status of public benefit organization. The status of public benefit organization is granted under the procedure set forth in the Law on Public Benefit Organizations. The applicant for the permission who wishes to obtain the status of public benefit organization has to be registered with the State Revenue Service as a taxpayer. As it was already mentioned earlier exemption of the import duty is applied also to goods for the needs of the victims of the disaster. The exemption is applied to such goods (except for materials and equipment envisaged for reconstruction in the regions affected by the disaster96), which are imported by government organizations or other charity or philanthropic organizations that are approved by competent authorities, if they are intended to be:

  1. Distributed free of charge to those who have become casualties of the disaster that has struck territory of one or more member states; or

  2. Delivered at disposal of the casualties free of charge retaining them in ownership of the said organizations.

The same regulations are applicable to goods imported for free circulation which are imported by rescue services to ensure their operation.

The European Commission makes a decision on granting exemption under urgency procedure upon request of one or more respective member states after discussing it with other member states. Such decision shall stipulate scope and conditions of the exemption, if necessary. While the decision of the European Commission is not announced member states struck by the disaster may allow importing goods by deferring all import duties on them, if the importing organization undertakes to pay these taxes in the event the exemption is not granted.98

The foregoing goods not only are exempt from the customs duty, but also value added tax.99 Furthermore, the value added tax is not imposed on import of goods which is carried out by:

  1. EU institutions or their missions in the EU territory, European Atomic Energy Community, European Central Bank, European Investment Bank or entities established by laws and regulations of the European Union governed by the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Communities of 8 April 1965 – pursuant to restrictions and conditions stipulated in the said protocol and agreements implementing thereof or the seat agreements;

  2. International entities, organizations, which are recognized as such by competent authorities of the respective Member State and members of such entities – pursuant to restrictions and conditions stipulated in international conventions by which these entities are established, or to seat agreements;

  3. International organizations or their missions in the EU territory – pursuant to restrictions and conditions stipulated in international conventions by which these entities are established, or to seat agreements;

  4. NATO agencies for the needs of performance of the international treaty or armed force units of states parties to NATO (save for NAF) deployed in the territory of the Republic of Latvia, for their own needs or needs of individuals involved in them;

  5. Diplomatic and consular missions of Member States and third countries registered in the Republic of Latvia subject to the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Communities of 8 April 1965, if the goods are exempt of the customs duty in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 1186/2009 of 16 November 2009 setting up a Community system of reliefs from customs duty.

Exemptions and facilitations in import and expert of inventory and relief material for the purpose to provide aid in emergency situations are stipulated not only by national laws and regulations and the EU Regulations but also by bilateral agreements concluded by the Republic of Latvia on cooperation in prevention and recovery of emergency situations. These agreements, for the most part, stipulate that the inventory and relief material imported in the territory of Latvia for the purpose to provide assistance in eliminating the disaster are exempt of the customs duties and other taxes payable upon importing goods, bans and restrictions of economic nature. Furthermore, it is stipulated in respect of the customs procedure that customs documents shall be executed in simplified manner and under priority, for example, by verifying lists issued by competent authorities of both countries where composition of the relief groups or experts, checklist of inventory and relief materials to be imported or exported are indicated.

Exemption from the import duty is also prescribed for the goods which are used by armed forces of a member state individually or in collaboration with other countries for the events of natural disaster contingencies.

Most customs checkpoints of the Republic of Latvia located at the border crossing points operate 24 hours a day or on call. Consequently, no special regulation is required for opening hours of the checkpoints and availability thereof for receipt of disaster relief.

Although national laws and regulations, applicable EU regulations and bilateral agreements on cooperation in prevention and recovery in emergency situations provide for certain kind of exemptions and facilitations in respect of goods and equipment being imported for provision of the assistance; these facilitations and exemptions are, nevertheless, of general nature, as well as procedure and method for application of exemptions are not established. Therefore a special and clear legal framework for import of relief goods and equipment should be introduced.

Source: http://www.ifrc.org/Global/Publications/IDRL/Publications/Latvia%20-%20final%20versionHNS%20study.pdf


Structure of civil emergency planning

Civil protection measures, being aware of the possible threats, are provided for in the State Civil Protection Plan, the Local Government Civil Protection Plans and the Civil Protection Plan of Institutions. The Civil Protection Law was adopted in 2006. The main responsibility on the State level for CEP rests with the State Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) under the Ministry of the Interior, with one of the main tasks being to control compliance with the civil protection requirements specified in regulatory enactments regulating civil protection matters. Responsibilities on a local level for CEP tasks lie with the local municipalities

[In the following table, state which of the following agreements and conventions apply to the country and if there are any other existing ones.

CEP tasks and objectives

According to the Civil Protection Law civil protection in Latvia is the set of organizational, engineering, economic, financial, social, educational and scientific measures, which is implemented to ensure response in cases of disasters or when there are threats of disaster, as well as to support the needs of the State defence system.

There are four main tasks that are associated with Civil Protection in Latvia:

  1. To carry out disaster management;

  2. To provide aid to victims of disasters;

  3. To reduce the possible damage to property and the environment caused by disasters;

  4. If a military invasion or war has begun to support the National Armed Forces with resources.

CEP organisational structure

The Prime Minister is responsible for the continuous function of the operation of the system and the implementation of the tasks and fulfilment of its obligations. Civil protection operations are planned, coordinated, led and controlled by the SFRS under the Ministry of the Interior. The heads of institutions and companies shall be responsible for civil protection in their own institutions and companies. The Crisis Management Council acts as a managing body in the event of emergencies, and is led by the Prime Minister. The Crisis Management Council coordinates the operational measures of the State institutions in the event of disasters and civil-military cooperation. The Secretariat of the Crisis Management Council guarantees the function of the Crisis Management Council. The municipal authorities are responsible for establishing and managing of the Civil Protection Commission of the municipalities and cities under state jurisdiction.

The Civil Protection Commission of the municipalities and cities under state jurisdiction coordinates civil protection measures in the event of a disaster in the relevant administrative territories.

Civil-military cooperation

Existing legal arrangements are concentrated on military support to civil authorities during peacetime emergencies. The organisation for civil support to military activities is at an initial stage and requires further investigation in regard to respective legal acts and regulations.

The National Armed Forces consist of the Defence Forces, the Home Guard and the Reserve Forces. The duty of the Armed Forces is to participate during peacetime emergency operations as stated in the Armed Forces Law.

Their main tasks are as follows:

  • to support civilian services with manpower, vehicles, communication and life-support equipment

  • to participate in the maintenance of public order

  • to participate in rescue work

  • to fulfil specific tasks, such as blowing up ice on rivers, clearing mines, decontamination, etc.

The Home Guard is organised according to the territorial principle, i.e. the location area of a Home Guard battalion is within the territory of a district or city municipality. As a rule, the Home Guard battalions have agreements concerning mutual assistance and cooperation with respective fire brigades and police departments.

The largest emergency assistance operations carried out so far by the National Armed Forces have been the involvement in the forest fires of 1992 and the spring floods of 1996 and 1998.

Legal framework

The legislative framework of Latvian CEP is mainly based on the National Security Law accepted by Parliament in 2000 and the Civil Protection Law, accepted by Parliament in 2006. The law sets out a clear set of roles and responsibilities for civil protection for local governments and institutions

Contact:

State Fire and Rescue Service

Janis Ivanovskis, Head of Division

European Affairs and International Co-operation

Maskavas iela 5 LV-1050 Latvia

Telephone: +371 6707 59 70

Telefax: +371 6722 35 42

E-mail: janis.ivanovskis@vugd.gov.lv


[Note: This section contains information which is related and applicable to 'crisis' times. These instruments can be applied when an emergency is officially declared by the Government.  When this occurs, there is usually a streamlined process to import goods duty and tax free.]

In the following table, state which of the following agreements and conventions apply to the country and if there are any other existing ones.

 

Agreements / Conventions Description

Ratified by Country?

(Yes / No)

WCO (World Customs Organization) member

Yes – 22/06/1992

Annex J-5 Revised Kyoto Convention

Yes – 5/07/2002

OCHA Model Agreement

N/A

Tampere Convention (on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations)

No

Regional Agreements (on emergency/disaster response, but also customs unions, regional integration)

- WTO trade

- EU free trade agreements

- Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS)

-Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

-International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

-World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)

-International Monetary Fund (IMF)

-International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

- International Maritime Organization (IMO)

- International Organization for Migration (WMO)

-International Red Cross Organization (IRCO)

-International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

-World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

-North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

-Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

Exemption Regular Regime (Non-Emergency Response)

[Note: This section should contain information on the usual duties & taxes exemption regime during non-emergency times, when there is no declared state of emergency and no streamlines process (e.g. regular importations/development/etc.).]

Missions are exempt from customs duties on goods, including motor vehicles and alcoholic beverages, imported from the countries outside the European Union, for official use.

Diplomatic agents and career consular officers are exempt from customs duties on:

  • Household articles and luggage, as well as the luggage of members of their families forming part of his household;

  • Other goods, including motor vehicles and alcoholic beverages, imported for their own use, or for the personal use of members of their families forming part of his household.

Members of the administrative and technical staff of missions and their families’ members may import their personal removal goods exempt from customs duties in connection with their first assignment to Latvia, provided they are not Latvian nationals or permanently resident in Latvia. Such effects should arrive not later than four months after their arrival in Latvia.

International Organization, Representations of International Organizations and their personnel who are not Latvian citizens or permanent residents in Latvia may import and export goods for the official use of the representation and their personal use exempt from import and export taxes in concordance with bilateral treaties concluded between Latvia and the relevant international organization.

A consulate headed by an honorary consul enjoys exemption from customs duties only on the following articles, provided that they are for the official use of the consulate: coats-of-arms, flags, signboards, seals and stamps, books, official printed matter, office furniture, office equipment and similar articles supplied by or at the instance insistence of the sending state.

Duty-free imports shall therefore not exceed the quantities necessary for the direct use by the missions, consular posts or the persons concerned.

Members of the service staff, locally employed staff, honorary consuls and foreign government agencies, such as tourist offices, cultural institutes and trade representations and their staff, do not enjoy exemption from customs duties under the Vienna Conventions or under Latvian law.

Goods that are exempt from customs duties are also exempt from value added tax and excise duty.

 

Latvia Humanitarian Customs Regulations

Necessary documents for import or export procedures:

  • CMR, AWB or BL,

  • Commercial Invoice (original),

  • Transportation invoice,

  • Power of Attorney (original),

  • Certificate of Origin (original) (EUR certificate, invoice – declaration)

  • A document of the Sanitary border inspection, if necessary (for toys, food etc.),

  • Import or export licenses, if necessary (textiles, strategic goods, medicals etc.),

  • Documents approving a reduced VAT rate for goods that if necessary (e.g. Certificate from Ministry of Health),

Necessary documents for transit customs procedures:     

  • Power of Attorney (original),

  • CMR, AWB or BL,

  • Commercial Invoice (original),

  • Customs Transit Services Order,

  • Guarantee policy (if the client uses its own transport).

The Commercial Invoice must contain:

  • Sender, name, address,

  • Consignee, name, address,

  • Consumer, address, if it’s not the consignee,

  • Delivery address,

  • Invoice number and date,

  • Type/title and description of goods,

  • Commodity code,

  • Commodity net and gross weight,

  • Quantity of items,        

  • Price of one item,

  • Value and currency of commodities/goods,

  • Quantity of transportation packaging,

  • Terms of delivery (According to Incoterms),

  • Invoice/declaration AED, ED (up till 6000 EUR) – confirmation of the origin of goods’, if an origin certificate is missing (EUR1, ATR, Origin).

Restricted Items

Some articles are limited to certain quantities or require special authorization/ payments of duties and taxes to clear customs in Latvia. These items include, but are not limited to:

  • Firearms require a permit from Latvian Police Department

  • Alcohol --anything over two liters of wine and two liters of spirits is dutiable

  • Tobacco - anything over 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars or 250 grams of loose tobacco is dutiable

  • Pieces of art older than 50 years must hold permission from Latvian authorities

  • List must be provided for books, records, and compact discs stating the title and name of author for each item--items will be viewed by the Ministry of Information.

  • Medicines require permit from Ministry of Health

Tax Exemption

Humanitarian aid consignments are exempted from customs duties.

Pre-Shipment Application

Pre-Shipment application should be addressed to the Ministry of Finance.

Monetary Valuation

Monetary valuation is required on the consignment as a whole and for the family groups of goods.

Restriction

Questions on food-safety and non-food consumer goods safety should be addressed to Sanitary Border Inspection of Food and Veterinary Office of Latvia. Tel. +371 7027061

Other Information

  • Humanitarian aid consigns are goods indicated as “Humanitarian aid” in the invoice.

  • Humanitarian aid consignees are state or governmental institutions. Religious and public organisations, operating in such areas as education, culture, science, social sector, charity, sport, health and environmental protection, can be consignees of humanitarian aid after they receive the permit from Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Latvia.

  • Private persons and business companies cannot be the humanitarian aid consignees.

Contact Point

Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Latvia. Tel. + 371 7095522. Fax. + 371 7095526

 

Organizational Requirements to obtain Duty Free Status

United Nations Agencies

Foreign diplomats, members of government or international organizations are granted tax and duty free entry of their personal effects and household items either new or used.

Required Documents:

  • Diplomatic Franchise

  • Passport – copy

  • Letter from Embassy attesting to Diplomat status of client and that the shipment is personal effects

  • Power of Attorney – giving authority for Destination Agent to arrange customs clearance

Diplomatic vehicles are registered through the Foreign Ministry only

Required Documents:

  • Certificate of Title and Registration - must be original

  • Commercial/Purchase Invoice – must be original

Driver’s License & International Driving Permit

Non Governmental Organizations

Foreign diplomats, members of government or international organizations are granted tax and duty free entry of their personal effects and household items either new or used.

Required Documents:

  • Diplomatic Franchise

  • Passport – copy

  • Letter from Embassy attesting to Diplomat status of client and that the shipment is personal effects

  • Power of Attorney – giving authority for Destination Agent to arrange customs clearance

Diplomatic vehicles are registered through the Foreign Ministry only

Required Documents:

  • Certificate of Title and Registration - must be original

  • Commercial/Purchase Invoice – must be original

Driver’s License & International Driving Permit

Exemption Certificate Application Procedure

 

Zero Rate of Value Added Tax to the Supply of Goods and Services Provided to Diplomatic and Consular Missions, International Organisations, European Union Institutions and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), and Procedures for the Reimbursement of Excise Duty for Excisable Goods Purchased in the Republic of Latvia” provides the procedure for approving in the Republic of Latvia excise duty and value added tax exemption certificates duly prepared in accordance with the requirements of European Commission Regulation (EC) No 282/2011 of 15 March 2011 on the Excise Duty Exemption Certificate as well as the procedure for granting the right to use the Certificate without approval. 

A mission, international organisation or a diplomatic agent accredited to Latvia may buy goods and/or services in another EU – country exempt from VAT and Excise duty using the exemption form ”VAT and excise duty exemption certificate (Directive 2006/112/EC)” (Annex II). 

A buyer who requires VAT-exempt invoicing must complete the relevant EC forms and submit them to the State Protocol for confirmation. 

The officially recognized languages in the Republic of Latvia for completing the Certificate application form shall be Latvian or English. It should be noted that the name of the applicant must be clearly marked on the form. The form must be signed and stamped. The State Protocol confirms the duty-free imports and returns 3 pages of the application to the mission. 

The Certificate duly approved shall grant the privileged person the right to: 

  • purchase, free of excise duty, the excise goods indicated in the Certificate in another member state of the European Union;

  • purchase, free of excise duty, the excise goods indicated in the Certificate from an excise goods warehouse within the territory of the Republic of Latvia;

  • Purchase, free of value added tax, the goods indicated in the Certificate and receive services in another member state of the European Union.

 

In accordance with the approved Certificate, a mission, international organization or institution of the European Community accredited to Latvia, which is building real estate in the territory of the Republic of Latvia for official use, has the right to purchase inland, for the construction of this real estate, goods indicated in the Certificate and receive services with 0 per cent value added tax rate applied (including supply of construction materials, project preparation and construction services). 

In the event a mission, international organization or institution of the European Community accredited to Latvia builds real estate for official use, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs may grant the person the right to use the Certificate without approval for the period of execution of the real estate construction project.

In the event the privileged person purchases goods or receives services for official use, the State Protocol may grant the applicant the right to use the Certificate without approval for a period of time not exceeding 36 months. If a decision is made to grant the applicant the rights to use the Certificate without approval, the State Protocol will advise in writing the Applicant, indicating the period of time for which such rights are granted and the State Revenue Service, indicating the person who is granted the right to use the Certificate without approval, the period of time for which the right is granted and the date and number of the decision granting the right to use the Certificate without approval. In the event a decision is made not to grant the applicant the right to use the Certificate without approval, the State Protocol shall within fifteen working days advice the Applicant in writing, indicating the reasons for refusal.

 

Legislation: 

  1. Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No 908 of 18 December 2012 „Procedures for the Application of Zero Rate of Value Added Tax to the Supply of Goods and Services Provided to Diplomatic and Consular Missions, International Organisations, European Union Institutions and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), and Procedures for the Reimbursement of Excise Duty for Excisable Goods Purchased in the Republic of Latvia”;

  2. European Community certificate VAT and excise duty exemption (Directive 2006/112/EC).

Source:   http://www.mfa.gov.lv/en/about-the-ministry/state-protocol/vat-exempt-purchases-in-other-eu-countries

Exemption Certificate Document Requirements

Duties and Taxes Exemption Certificate Document Requirements (by commodity)

 

Food

NFI (Shelter, WASH, Education)

Medicines

Vehicle & Spare Parts

Staff & Office Supplies

Telecoms Equipment

Invoice

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

Packing Lists

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

Other Documents

- Power of Attorney (original),

- Certificate of Origin (original) (EUR certificate, invoice – declaration)

- A document of the Sanitary border inspection, if necessary (for toys, food etc.),

- Import or export licenses, if necessary (textiles, strategic goods, medicals etc.),

- Documents approving a reduced VAT rate for goods that if necessary (e.g. Certificate from Ministry of Health),

- Power of Attorney (original),

- Certificate of Origin (original) (EUR certificate, invoice – declaration)

- A document of the Sanitary border inspection, if necessary (for toys, food etc.),

- Import or export licenses, if necessary (textiles, strategic goods, medicals etc.),

- Documents approving a reduced VAT rate for goods that if necessary (e.g. Certificate from Ministry of Health),

- Power of Attorney (original),

- Certificate of Origin (original) (EUR certificate, invoice – declaration)

- A document of the Sanitary border inspection, if necessary (for toys, food etc.),

- Import or export licenses, if necessary (textiles, strategic goods, medicals etc.),

- Documents approving a reduced VAT rate for goods that if necessary (e.g. Certificate from Ministry of Health),

- Power of Attorney (original),

- Certificate of Origin (original) (EUR certificate, invoice – declaration)

- A document of the Sanitary border inspection, if necessary (for toys, food etc.),

- Import or export licenses, if necessary (textiles, strategic goods, medicals etc.),

- Documents approving a reduced VAT rate for goods that if necessary (e.g. Certificate from Ministry of Health),

- Power of Attorney (original),

- Certificate of Origin (original) (EUR certificate, invoice – declaration)

- A document of the Sanitary border inspection, if necessary (for toys, food etc.),

- Import or export licenses, if necessary (textiles, strategic goods, medicals etc.),

- Documents approving a reduced VAT rate for goods that if necessary (e.g. Certificate from Ministry of Health),

- Power of Attorney (original),

- Certificate of Origin (original) (EUR certificate, invoice – declaration)

- A document of the Sanitary border inspection, if necessary (for toys, food etc.),

- Import or export licenses, if necessary (textiles, strategic goods, medicals etc.),

- Documents approving a reduced VAT rate for goods that if necessary (e.g. Certificate from Ministry of Health),

Additional Notes

Humanitarian aid consigns are goods indicated as “Humanitarian aid” in the invoice.


Customs Clearance

General Information 

Customs Information

Document Requirements

Necessary documents for import or export procedures:

  • CMR, AWB or BL,
  • Commercial Invoice (original),
  • Transportation invoice,
  • Power of Attorney (original),
  • Certificate of Origin (original) (EUR certificate, invoice – declaration)
  • A document of the Sanitary border inspection, if necessary (for toys, food etc.),
  • Import or export licenses, if necessary (textiles, strategic goods, medicals etc.),
  • Documents approving a reduced VAT rate for goods that if necessary (e.g. Certificate from Ministry of Health),

Necessary documents for transit customs procedures:     

  • Power of Attorney (original),
  • CMR, AWB or BL,
  • Commercial Invoice (original),
  • Customs Transit Services Order,
  • Guarantee policy (if the client uses its own transport).

Embargoes

[Example: NONE]

Prohibited Items

  • Narcotics/illegal drugs
  • Pornography and subversive material
  • Moroccan currency
  • Politically sensitive material
  • Walkie-talkies

General Restrictions

  • Firearms require a permit from Latvian Police Department
  • New items and foodstuffs are dutiable
  • Alcohol --anything over two liters of wine and two liters of spirits is dutiable
  • Tobacco - anything over 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars or 250 grams of loose tobacco is dutiable
  • Perfumes are dutiable
  • Pieces of art older than 50 years must hold permission from Latvian authorities
  • List must be provided for books, records, and compact discs stating the title and name of author for each item--items will be viewed by the Ministry of Information before a censorship visa is granted

Electronic and electrical items are dutiable (load near container door for easy access)

Antiques are dutiable

Portable phones must be approved by the Ministry of P.T.T.

Medicines require permit from Ministry of Health

Customs Clearance Document Requirements

Customs Procedures and Duties

 

 

Procedures

Rates

General cases

Since its accession to the European Union on May, 1st of 2004, Latvia has adopted the EU Common External Tariff. Consequently, trade with Latvia is totally free from Customs duties for industrial and agricultural products, provided that the country of origin of the goods is one of the other 24 EU Member States. Only VAT must be paid in the country where the product is consumed.

When goods from inside the community are brought into Latvia, the exporter must obligatorily fill in a Declaration of Exchange of Goods (DEB) or an Intrastat Declaration at the end of the month. The Customs declaration (SAD) remains in force for trade between Latvia and third countries. When the country of origin of the goods exported to Latvia is not part of the European Union, Customs duties are in accordance with the Common Customs Tariff (CCT) for all the countries in the Union.

The TARIC code (composed of 10 figures) defines the Customs duty rate and the community regulations applicable to products whose origin is in a country outside Europe. 

As part of the "SAFE" standards advocated by the World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Union has set up a new system of import controls, the "Import Control System" (ICS), which aims to secure the flow of goods at the time of their entry into the customs territory of the EU. This control system, part of the Community Program eCustoms, has been in effect since January 1, 2011. Since then, operators are required to pass an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) to the customs of the country of entry, prior to the introduction of goods into the customs territory of the European Union.

No Customs duty is payable for almost all types of non-agricultural goods moving between Latvia and the member countries of FTA, EU, EFTA and Ukraine, if the goods are certified as originating from one of these countries. There is a list of more than 20 types of goods exempt from Customs duty (for example, humanitarian aid, specific donations, etc.).

 

Customs Clearance Document Requirements (by commodity)

 

Food

NFI (Shelter, WASH, Education)

Medicines

Vehicles & Spare Parts

Staff & Office Supplies

Telecoms Equipment

D&T Exemption Certificate

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Invoice

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

AWB/BL/Other Transport Documents

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

Donation/Non-Commercial Certificates

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Packing Lists

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Yes, Original, 1 copy, applies to both UN and NGO]

Phytosanitary Certificate

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Other Documents

Power of Attorney (original),

Power of Attorney (original),

Power of Attorney (original),

Power of Attorney (original),

Power of Attorney (original),

Power of Attorney (original),

Additional Notes :

Humanitarian aid consigns are goods indicated as “Humanitarian aid” in the invoice.


Transit Regime 

Historically, Latvia has been one of the main transit points for both north-south and east-west trade flows. Its geographical location remains central to strategically relevant transportation flows connecting major world economies like the USA, European Union, Russia, the CIS and the Far East. The transit sector is one of the strongest industrial sectors in Latvia. Nearly 90 % of turnover in Latvian ports, more than 80 % of rail cargo, and the major proportion of oil and oil products transported via trunk pipeline systems is transit. More than 8 % of Latvia's employees are engaged in the transportation and servicing of transit cargo. The importance of the transport, transit and storage sector in terms of GDP contribution is substantial at around 8 % in 2014.

Latvia recognises the development of an effective, secure, multi-modal, balanced, environmentally-friendly and competitive transport system to be a priority. The main goal for the sustainable development of Latvia’s transport system is to fully integrate Latvia’s transport infrastructure with the Trans-European multi-modal transport system. Special attention is being paid to developing coastal shipping and combined transportation. Promotion of ferry traffic in the Baltic Sea is being, and will be emphasised further by involving Latvia’s port authorities. A key priority is to construct and develop industrial, logistics and distribution parks. In developing the transport and energy infrastructure of the European Union, essential conditions are: the effective use of the transport and energy network; the planning of development from an economic point of view, taking into account established goods and passenger transport corridors; and the development potential of economic relations between the European Union and neighbouring countries.

 

Total Volumes of Cargo Transportation


 

 

 

Source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia

 

Railways link Latvia with Russia, CIS, the neighboring Baltic States, and through Poland with the rest of Europe. Latvia possesses a dense railroad network connecting the country to destinations as far as the Russian Far East, wherever the former Soviet railway gauge standard is in operation. There are additional opportunities for trade connection with Japan and Southeast Asia. Currently state-owned operator Latvian Railways functions mostly as a transit trunk-line with as much as 80 % of total freight volumes being transit connected to Latvian ports and about 30 % of freight rolling-stock being tanker wagons. Movement in the opposite direction, to Moscow and other parts of Russia and CIS countries, is dominated by container cargo. There is enough capacity to substantially increase the cargo currently transported by rail. At present, the east-west railway corridor has the capacity to transport 50 million tonnes of cargo annually and reconstruction plans to substantially increase this figure have been approved. To improve the rail connection between Central and Northern Europe and Germany, the Rail Baltica project has been launched providing railway connection between Tallinn and Warsaw of at least 950 km (728 km in the Baltics, of them 235 km in Latvia) with maximal speed of 240 km/h. 

Latvia has three major ice-free ports - Ventspils, Riga, and Liepaja and seven minor ports – Salacgriva, Lielupe, Engure, Mērsrags, Roja, Kolka and Pāvilosta. The three major ports have been accorded favourable incentive schemes to help attract new business (80-100 % relief on direct taxes and significant discounts on indirect taxes (VAT, Excise)). Ventspils and Riga Ports are Free Ports whereas the entire city and port of Liepaja comprise a Special Economic Zone. 

The Latvian road network is well-developed but further development is still in progress. The government instigated policies to promote a high quality road infrastructure and road safety standards that will meet internationally approved requirements. The Via Baltica is the most important transport corridor, traversing Latvia in a north-south direction. Via Baltica is also an European transport corridor - route E67. It connects European cities Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, Kaunas and Warsaw, and Riga, Kaliningrad and Gdansk. The road network is uniform throughout Latvia. It is easy to reach any place by road transport whatever its location. There is almost no traffic congestion except during some morning and evening hours in Riga. This is a great advantage for transit flow and allows driving without interruption. Furthermore, there are no tolls, fees or taxes for using roads, bridges or tunnels. 

Riga International Airport is the largest international aviation company in the Baltic states and the main air traffic centre in this region offering regular passenger, cargo and postal delivery to the cities of Europe and world. The RIGA International Airport renders both aviation (airplane, passenger and cargo attendance) and non-aviation services (lease, parking spaces, VIP centre services, etc.). It attends both national and international airlines becoming one of the few European airports that attends both full service and low costs airlines.  From the RIGA International Airport it is possible to go to more than 70 destinations. 

In 2014 Riga international Airport welcomed 4.8 million passengers (0.5 % more than 2013). By serving five million passengers in 2011, according to the ranking of Airports Council International, Riga International Airport has officially joined the ranks of medium-sized airports and internationally will not be treated as a small airport any more. Riga International Airport is the leader in the Baltic states - the market share of Riga International Airport was 45 percent. 

Sector Advantages 

Latvia's geographical location between east and west, forming the EU's external border with Russia and Belarus, particularly significant for the Russian market, but also important because of the potential transit function of Far East cargo via the Trans-Siberian Railway connection to western Europe. The strategic location of the capital Riga, including its own consumer market potential, offers opportunities for development within the Baltic States and is the reason that numerous international companies have located their Baltic States' head offices there. 

The quality and level of transport and logistics services is improving, led by large, international transport and forwarding companies, which have the ability and expertise to organise value-adding activities. 

Quality of road, rail, and maritime infrastructure – the transport connections for maritime cargo flows in containers, good quality of railway and road transport. 

Availability of skilled labour – larger companies provide training for their staff. Many employees have knowledge of three foreign languages (mostly English, Russian, German). 

Availability of high level IT in the transport industry, with use of modern IT/data systems, Internet connections, and the development of Electronic Data Interchange. The development of technology is being stimulated by the large, international transport and forwarding companies. 

Government support for the development of the transit, transport and logistics sector is satisfactory, customs and tax legislation has been considerably improved in recent years, so both customs and tax authorities now have good communications and information systems. 

 

For additional information: http://www.liaa.gov.lv/en/trade/industry-profiles/transit-and-logistics  


Necessary documents for transit customs procedures:      

  • Power of Attorney (original),

  • CMR, AWB or BL,

  • Commercial Invoice (original),

  • Customs Transit Services Order,

  • Guarantee policy (if the client uses its own transport).

 

 

 

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