Exporting guide to Latvia

Overview

In Latvia rapid economic growth has been driven mainly by an increase in investment and private consumption. High-quality British products are well received and the UK brand is immediately recognised. It’s an ideal starter market for UK companies new to exporting.

Trade statistics

£589.0 million total UK exports to Latvia for the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022)

74th largest UK export market

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022)

0.1% of total UK exports for the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022)

Consumer base familiar with the UK

Latvia has a population of approximately 1.9 million. It’s a sophisticated consumer market, and consumers are technologically proactive and internet literate. Domestic demand will play a major role in Latvia’s economic growth. Ties to the UK are strong, with a significant Latvian community residing in Britain.

Location and transport

Latvia occupies a strategic location at the crossroads of northern and eastern Europe. It’s at the centre of the developing Baltic states market. The country has strong transport links and is a key logistics base.

Top five UK goods exported to Latvia, in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

Goods Value (£million)
Beverages 227.1
Cars 27.6
Refined oil 22.7
Aircraft 20.1
Fish & shellfish 16.9

Source: ONS Trade in goods: country-by-commodity exports
Last updated: July 2022
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Latvia.

Top five UK services exported to Latvia, in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

Service Value (£million)
Travel 41.0
Telecommunications, computer and information services 33.0
Transportation 29.0
Intellectual property 3.0
Other Business Services 2.0

Source: ONS UK trade in services: service type by partner country, non-seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Latvia.

Latvia: at a glance

Economic growth

4.7%

Actual figure (IMF, 2021)
The UK is 7.4% (IMF, 2021, projected figure)

GDP per capita

$17,623

Actual figure (IMF, 2020)
The UK is $41,127 (IMF, 2020, projected figure)

Currency

Euro

Business languages

Latvian, English

Time zone

GMT +2

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Opportunities for exporters

Doing business in Latvia is very similar to doing business in any other EU country. If your product or service is successful in the UK, there’s a good chance you’ll be successful in Latvia. There are opportunities for UK businesses in the infrastructure, energy, education and ICT sectors.

Check for trade barriers

Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.

See current trade barriers

See resolved trade barriers

Check duties and customs

Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.

See current duties and customs procedures

Doing business in Latvia

Preparing to Export

VAT

If you’re considering exporting to Latvia, you should make sure you’re aware of the relevant tax rates and any standards and technical regulations that apply to your products.

There are 4 VAT rates in Latvia:

  • 21% standard tariff
  • 12% lower tariff for some goods
  • 5% lower tariff for fresh foodstuffs
  • 0% for certain services related to the export, import and transport of goods

You can find the exact breakdown of taxes from the Latvian State Revenue Service. For latest tariffs, please look at the Latvian State Revenue Service website.

Corporate tax

The standard corporate tax rate in Latvia is 20%. You can find the most current information on tax rates from the Latvian State Revenue Service.

Standards and technical regulations

Products and packaging should meet EU standards. Latvijas Standarts is the standards authority in Latvia.

Labelling requirements are harmonised with EU regulations. Labelling must be in Latvian and must contain the product name, contents, name of the manufacturer and instructions for use.

Find more more information on EU standards

Find more information on Latvian standards (website in Latvian)

Services regulations

Information on rules for selling services and business travel to Latvia is available on gov.uk

Phytosanitary checks

Imports/exports of live animals, products of animal origin, animal feedstuffs and plants are all subject to sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) checks. SPS checks are carried out at Latvia's Border Control Posts. Exporters need to check whether their goods are subject to SPS checks, and whether the entity is authorised to export animal products to the EU. Failure to do so could result in destruction of the goods/refused entry. Not all points of entry into Latvia are approved for all categories of goods

Read more on the list of SPS control points in Latvia

Public procurement

According to the law public procurement processes are published and are carried out electronically via the State Electronic Procurement System (EIS in Latvian). The procurement process is supervised by the Procurement Supervision Bureau, which also processes complaints.

Trade barriers

Check for any reported barriers to trading with Latvia.

Report any trade barriers that are affecting your business so we can help fix them.

Operating in Latvia

Intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) rights are territorial. Rights granted in the UK do not provide protection elsewhere. You should consider getting IP protection abroad if you want to trade overseas or sell to overseas customers via the internet.

The Intellectual Property Office’s International IP Service provides practical information to help you protect, manage and enforce your IP abroad. Further support can be accessed through the service’s network of IP attachés. Based in key UK export markets, they provide guidance to British businesses on local IP matters.

Payment terms

When exporting to Latvia from outside the EU, Incoterms rules usually apply. In Latvia all methods of payment are available, ranging from pre-payment to letters of credit and after-payment, depending on the type of business, and the relationship and level of trust between supplier and buyer. Before opening a credit line, you should seek legal advice and ensure proper due diligence is carried out.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.