Exportation and importation of Works of Art and antiques from and into Latvia is governed by the Cabinet of Ministers Regulation No 8 (7.01.2003). These Regulations prescribe the procedures by which works of art and antiques (hereinafter - cultural objects) are exported from Latvia and imported into Latvia, as well as procedures for the temporary exportation of cultural monuments.
In order to protect national cultural values and to prevent the exportation (including sending by post) of stolen or lost cultural objects and artifacts, the State Inspection for Heritage Protection (hereinafter - Inspection) at the Ministry of Culture is in charge of taking decisions in regards of export of cultural objects. The Inspection shall issue a permit of a specific form for the exportation of cultural objects (hereinafter — permit).
Procedure for the issue of a permit
In order to receive a permit, the owner shall submit a note together with a list of the cultural objects and a color photograph thereof in three copies (not older than 10 years), in which the photograph of the cultural object shall be easily visible and identifiable to the State Protocol. The minimum size of the photograph shall be 8 x 12 cm, the maximum size — 10 x 15 cm. The State Protocol will forward the submission to the Inspection.
If the photograph of the cultural object (for example, books, post cards) does not provide complete information regarding the relevant object, the Inspection has the right to request that, instead of a photograph, the applicant submits a detailed description of the cultural object to be exported.
If large cultural objects are intended for exportation, the Inspection has the right to conduct an examination of the cultural object at its location.
For the exportation of each cultural object a separate permit shall be issued. If it is intended to export several cultural objects, the Inspection shall determine whether one or several permits shall be issued.
If it is necessary that a cultural object be exported in order to exhibit it in a foreign state, or due to other reasons (for example, for restoration, expert-examination, a training program), the Inspection shall determine temporary exportation of the cultural object. The temporary exportation of a cultural object shall also include its re-importation into Latvia in full and within the specified time period.
The term of the validity of the permit shall not exceed 12 months after its issue. If the term of validity of the permit expires, but the permit has not been utilized, the applicant, within a time period of 15 days from the expiry of the term of validity of the permit, shall return the permit to the Inspection.
Importation of Cultural objects into Latvia
When a cultural object is imported into Latvia, the owner thereof shall complete a customs declaration. The customs authority shall certify it with a seal and signature.
If a person upon entering Latvia does not present to the Customs Authorities the cultural object for which temporary importation is provided for, it shall be considered that the person has purchased this cultural object in Latvia.
If after temporary exportation of a cultural object it is imported into Latvia, the owner shall register the relevant cultural object with the Inspection within a period of 15 days after importation.
When registering a cultural object at the Inspection, the owner shall confirm in writing that the imported cultural object is the same cultural object to which the temporary exportation permit was applied. In case of doubt, the Inspection has the right to request that the owner presents the re-imported cultural object.
Cabinet of Ministers Regulation No 8, (07 01.2003) "Exportation of Works of Art and Antiques from Latvia and Importation into Latvia"
State Inspection for Heritage Protection
Valsts kultūras pieminekļu aizsardzības inspekcija
Address: M. Pils iela 19, LV 1050, Rīga
Tel: + 371 6722 9272
Fax: +371 6722 8808
Link to homepage: http://www.mantojums.lv