#1 Market access by BalticLegal 05.03.2023 21:33

Market access for goods is a group of measures set by a country's government to regulate (limit, control or facilitate) the importation of certain goods into the country. These rules can be divided into tariff and non-tariff measures. Tariff measures are taxes levied when certain goods are imported into the country, such as: B. Excise taxes. Non-tariff measures are methods that apply rules other than taxation, e.g. Quotas for the import of certain goods. It is important to know the specific market entry rules in order to develop an effective market entry strategy, otherwise the delivery of your products will be hampered and your company's advancement will be halted.

In Latvia there are two different groups of market access rules:

apply to imports from EU countries
apply to imports from non-EU countries
Market access from the EU
Since one of the goals of the European Union is to create a unified economic and trade environment, market access to Latvia from other member states is not difficult. Goods imported into Latvia to other EU countries or exported from Latvia are not considered import or export – they are treated as goods in free circulation. Thus, when crossing the Latvian border, they are not subject to customs declaration and VAT payment. However, declarations must be prepared in advance – while there are no stationary customs offices on the borders between Latvia and other EU member states, there are special mobile customs units designed for random control of commercial vehicles.

For imported or exported goods to be considered goods in free circulation, they must belong to one of the following categories:

Goods made in the EU using only materials made in the EU
Goods that have been released for free circulation in the EU countries, even if they were wholly or partly manufactured in a non-EU country
Goods manufactured in the customs territory of the EU from goods belonging to the other two categories
Market access from outside the EU
Market access to Latvia for goods from a non-EU country is not that easy and involves import taxes and obtaining licenses. The main difference is that goods outside the EU are controlled by a customs office on the border with Latvia. The entering party must provide a declaration of the goods, pay any applicable taxes and duties, and undergo any other procedures required by law. Unlike goods imported into Latvia from other EU Member States, goods imported from a third country are not considered goods in free circulation, hence the above procedures.

There is also a difference between preferential and non-preferential import goods. While non-preferential goods must go through all procedures, preferential goods can be imported without any particular restrictions. In Latvia, preferential goods are mainly exempt from customs duty. This also applies to devices that meet certain conditions, e.g. Machines used by a company ending its activity outside the EU and moving to the EU, scientific, cultural and similar inventory, their spare parts, etc.

It should be noted that Latvia is a party to CITES (Convention Concerning International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) or the Washington Convention and the import of some goods is completely banned or severely restricted. These are mainly goods originating from endangered animals and plants or from these species themselves, such as ivory, coral, turtle shells, etc. The export of these goods to Latvia is only allowed under exceptional cases specified in the Convention.

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