Exporting to Latvia

Latvia was the 5th-fastest growing economy in the EU in 2018 (World Bank, 2018). Rapid economic growth last year was driven mainly by an increase in investment and private consumption. High-quality British products are well received and UK brands are well recognised. It’s an ideal starter market for UK companies new to exporting.

Ease of doing business

Latvia scores highly for ease of doing business score on the World Bank index. There is a strong and open economy and English is widely used as a business language.

Consumer market

Latvia has a population of approximately 1.9 million (IMF, 2018). It’s a sophisticated consumer market, and consumers are open to new technologies.

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.

Ease of doing business

19th

out of 190 countries (World Bank, 2018)

Currency

Euro

Business languages

Latvian, English

GDP per capita

$18,030

UK is $42,558 (IMF, 2018)

Economic growth

4.8%

(IMF, 2018)

TIme zone

GMT +2

Opportunities for exporters

There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Latvia have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.

Doing business in Latvia

Preparing to Export

VAT

If you’re registered for VAT in the UK, it may be possible to zero-rate the goods you export to Latvia, provided certain conditions are met.

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.

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 regualtions

Products and packaging should meet EU standards. Latvijas Standarts (website in Latvian) 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.

Operating in Latvia

Intellectual property

As a first step, we advise you to speak to an intellectual property (IP) lawyer if you think you need patent protection when exporting.

More information about patents is available from the Latvian State Patent Board.

Payment terms

When exporting to Latvia from outside the EU, Incoterms rules usually apply. All methods of payment are available, depend on the type of business, and level of trust between supplier and buyer. Before obtaining credit, seek legal advice and carry out proper due diligence.

A list of English-speaking lawyers for British nationals in Latvia can be found here.

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.