Export Import and Transit Policies

02.12.2014. 19:09

The objective of this paper is to inform business community and foreign export control officials about laws, regulations, authorities, practices and procedures pertaining to the control system for movement of strategic goods.

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction

2. Legal Framework for Export, Import and Transit Control in Latvia

3. Lists of Goods Subject to Export, Import and Transit Control

4. National Export Control Authority and Enforcement

5. Export Restrictions

6. Penalties for Violations

7. Types of Licences and Licensing Procedure

8. Catch-All Clause

9. Brokerage

10. End-Use Guarantees

11. Technical Expertise

12. An Overview of CWC-Related Exports and Imports

13. Radiation Monitoring at the State Border

14. Control of Trade and Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons

15. Control of MTCR-Related Items

16. Computerized Licensing and Information Exchange System

17. Public Awareness and Training of Experts

1. Introduction

The objective of Latvia's export control policy is the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the means of their delivery; reduction of threats posed by destabilizing accumulations of conventional arms, dual-use goods and technologies. This is to ensure that transfers of these items do not contribute to the development or enhancement of military capabilities which undermine international security and stability. Latvia is pursuing these objectives persistently and energetically, as a responsible member of the United Nations and OSCE, and consistent with our prospective membership of EU and NATO.

The Republic of Latvia has signed and ratified the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1992), the Convention on the Prohibition of Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (1996), the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (1997), the Supplementary Protocol of the Convention on the Prohibition of Use or Limitation of Certain Kinds of Weapons Regarded as Weapons of Mass Destruction or Nonselective Action (1997), the Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency on the Application of Safeguards in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1993), the Protocol Additional to the Agreement between Latvia and the IAEA for the Application of Safeguards (2000), and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (2001).

In accordance with the principles of the abovementioned agreements and conventions, the Latvian Government in 1995 set up an export, import and transit control system based on the guidelines of the Australia Group (AG), the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), and later made formal applications for membership in the international export control regimes AG, NSG and the Wassenaar Arrangement. Latvia was accepted as a member of the IAEA in 1997. In the same year the NSG, after careful evaluation of the Latvian export control system, acknowledged that the legal framework and export control enforcement capacities of Latvia function efficiently and meet the standards set by international export control regimes. Accordingly, Latvia to date is the only Baltic State that has been accepted as a member of the NSG.

The Latvian Government fully supports EU initiatives concerning non-proliferation and arms control and has aligned itself with the EU Joint Action 1999/34/CFSP On EU Contribution to Combating the Destabilizing Accumulation and Spread of Small Arms and Light Weapons, the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports and EU Program for Preventing and Combating Illicit Trafficking in Conventional Arms, the Council Directive 91/477/EEC on Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons, the OSCE Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons and the OSCE Document on Principles Governing the Conventional Arms Transfers.

2. Legal Framework for Export, Import and Transit Control in Latvia 

The following constitutes the legal framework for export, import and transit control:

  • Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 429, December 23, 1997 "Regulation on the Control Committee of Strategic Goods";
  • Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 421, December 16, 1997 "Regulation on the Control of Strategic Goods";
  • Decision of the Control Committee of Strategic Goods, February 26, 2002 "On Lists of Goods, Production, Services and Technologies Which Require Licences for Export, Import and Transit". 

The mentioned regulations have been published in the official government gazette "Latvijas Vēstnesis". The regulations are also available for consultation at the Export and Import Control Department of the Latvian Development Agency (hereafter - "the Department"), the Business Information Company "KOMIN" and on the Internet home page: www.likumi.lv

The new "Law on Handling of Weapons", which comes into force on January 1st, 2003 will include the principles set out in the EU and OSCE documents mentioned in Part 1 of this non-paper, and introduces classification of arms, munitions and pyrotechnical devices, establishes civilian control over arms and sets rules for the production, acquisition, possession, carrying, use and commercial circulation of arms, including their export, import and transit. The law forbids the export and transit of antipersonnel mines.

In accordance with the "Council Regulation (EC) No.1334/2000 of June 2000 setting up a Community regime for the control of dual-use items and technology", as well as the "Catch-All Clause", amendments to the Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No.421 are in the process of being approved.

By decision of the Control Committee of Strategic Goods (hereafter - "the Committee"), from July 1st 2002 new Latvian export, import and transit licences in both Latvian and English have been in use, based on the licence forms featured in Annex IIIa of the "Council Regulation (EC) No.1334/2000 of June 2000 setting up a Community regime for the control of dual-use items and technology". 

3. Lists of Goods Subject to Export, Import and Transit Control

"Strategic Goods" are defined as goods, materials, equipment, technologies, software and services listed by the Committee which are subject to export, import and transit control according to the Regulation on Control of Strategic Goods. The latest version of the lists of strategic goods, adopted by decision of the Committee on 26 February 2002, divides them into three categories:

  1. List of Toxic Chemicals of the Convention on the Prohibition of Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (CWC).
  2. List of Arms, Weapons and Munitions.
  3. List of Dual-Use Goods.

List 1 contains toxic chemicals included in schedules 1, 2 and 3 of the CWC.

List 2 is the Wassenaar Munitions List (WA LIST (00) 1/01-Dec-00.

List 3 is Annex 1 of the European Union Council Regulation (EC) No. 2432/2001.

By decision of the Committee, the lists of dual-use goods includes an additional Category 10 - National Lists containing antipersonnel mines, handcuffs and leg irons, spare parts and components of aircraft, both military and civilian (with the exception of spare parts for emergency repairs of "aircraft on the ground"), as well as special equipment for clandestine audio and video recording and for clandestine entry into guarded territories or premises.

4. National Export Control Authority and Enforcement

The Latvian Export Control System consists of:

Policy-making body:

The Government has established a Control Committee of Strategic Goods, an inter-ministerial body appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers and consisting of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Welfare, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Finance, the State Revenue Service, the Customs Department, the Security Police and the Latvian Development Agency. The State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs chairs the Committee.

The main tasks of the Committee are the following:

- to determine national export control policy in accordance with Latvia's international commitments;
- to issue export, import and transit licences and International Import Certificates;
- to issue lists of controlled goods;
- to acts as the National Authority in accordance with CWC provisions;
- to represent Latvia in the International Export Control Regimes;
- to make proposals for international-export-control-related draft agreements;
- to draft laws and regulations related to the control of export, import and transit of strategic goods;
- to ensure the implementation of sanctions and embargoes imposed by international organizations;
- to implement control on production, stockpiling, use and commercial circulation of strategic goods.

Export, import and transit licences and import certificates are signed by the Chairman or his deputies or the Secretary of the Committee and certified with the seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Contact details for the Committee:

Mr Māris Riekstiņš
Chairman of the Control Committee of Strategic Goods
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia
36 Brivibas Bvld., Riga, LV-1395
(Tel: +371-7016203, fax: +371-7830075)

Mrs Ieva Jirgensone
Acting Executive Secretary of the Control Committee of Strategic Goods
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia
36 Brivibas Bvld., Riga, LV-1395
(Tel: +371-7016196, fax: +371-7830075, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Executive body:

The Export and Import Control Department of the Latvian Development Agency is the executive body of the Latvian export control system, and acts as the licensing office. Applications for export, import and transit licences and international import certificates for strategic goods are submitted to the Department.

The main tasks of the Department are the following:

- to accept application declarations and other documents from businesses in accordance with the Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No.421;
- to make pre-licence checks on items, destinations and parties;
- to prepare licences for authorization by the Committee;
- to get approvals from the ministries concerned;
- to arrange technical inspection by experts of items (when necessary);
- to issue licences and certificates authorized by the Committee;
- to issue End-Use certificates;
- to issue official information to Customs if the items (complex chemicals, technologies or software, etc.) are deemed by experts not to be strategic goods;
- to control production, storage, use and commercial circulation of strategic goods;
- to create and maintain databases of items and parties related to circulation of strategic goods and to ensure provision of the required information to businesses or government agencies.

Contact details for the Department:

Export and Import Control Department
Latvian Development Agency
2 Perses Str., Riga, LV-1442
(Tel: +371-7039428, Fax: +371-7039429, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Enforcement:

The Customs Departments of the State Revenue Service, State Police and the Security Police forms the enforcement branch of the Latvian export, import and transit control system.

The main tasks of this branch are:

- the enforcement of laws and regulations relevant to export, import and transit control;
- detention or confiscation of goods in illicit circulation;
- the commencement of criminal or administrative proceedings against companies violating the laws and regulations.

Customs performs the inspection of export, import and transit goods either at random or based on information analysis. The Department and the Committee controls the production, use and storage of strategic goods through random checks. Such checks may also be performed at the request of the export control authorities of exporting countries.

Information on enforcement can be obtained from:

Division of Supervision of Licences
Branch of Control
Customs Board
1a Kr. Valdemara Str., Riga, LV-1841
(Tel: +371-7047412, +371-7047437, Fax: +371-7047474, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Division of Licences and Permissions
State Police
61 Brivibas Str., Riga, LV-1281
(Tel: +371-7075092, Fax: +371-7379687, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Security Police
99 Kr.Barona Str., Riga, LV-1012
(Tel:+371-7208919, +371-7310271, Fax: +371-7294442)

5. Export Restrictions

Licences for export of strategic goods to countries in the process of acquiring or developing weapons of mass destruction or the means of their delivery, or which support international terrorism, practice violations of human rights or genocide, or licences for exports to regions of military tension or countries in a state of war or civil war are issued only following careful pre-licence checks, consultations with experts and the receipt of trustworthy end-use guarantees. As a rule, licences for the export of military goods to such destinations are denied. Each application for an export licence is considered individually, taking into account the end-use company and Latvia's commitment to the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Export Licences. The same applies to countries with export control systems not based on AG, MTCR, NSG or Wassenaar Arrangement guidelines.

Latvia has no "black list of countries", and each application for an export licence is considered individually, taking into account currently available information.

Needless to say, licences are not issued for export to countries under current embargoes or sanctions by the United Nations, European Union and OSCE.

6. Penalties for Violations

Article 190 of the Criminal Code of Latvia stipulates a penalty of imprisonment for up to 10 years and the confiscation of goods for the smuggling of strategic goods across the Latvian border, avoiding inspection by Customs, using false documents or any other illegal means.

Article 73 of the Criminal Code of Latvia stipulates a penalty of life imprisonment or imprisonment from 3 to 20 years for developing, producing, stockpiling or otherwise acquiring or retaining any nuclear, chemical, biological, bacteriological, toxic or any other weapons of mass destruction.

Article 248 of the Criminal Code of Latvia stipulates a penalty of imprisonment of up to five years for the illegal handling of chemicals listed in the Lists of Strategic Goods.

Articles 20113 and 20114 of the Administrative Code of Latvia foresee that a fine may be imposed on businesspersons and confiscation of goods undertaken for providing false information or forged documents to the export control authorities.

The draft amendment to the Administrative Code of Latvia will enable Customs and Police to impose fines and confiscate goods for other violations of the Regulations of Control of Strategic Goods.

For less serious violations of export control regulations, the Control Committee of Strategic Goods may refuse licences to the companies involved.

7. Types of Licences and Licensing Procedure

Types of licences and the licensing procedure have been set down in the Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No.421 and the main points of the Regulation are as follows:

  • Licences are issued to business people listed on the Latvian Commercial Register and to State Agencies. A licence is required for each shipment (export, import or transit) of strategic goods and is valid for 6 months. The licensing procedure is the same for dual-use goods and war materials (weapons and munitions). There is no quantity or value threshold.
  • The licence application declaration on the standard form must be addressed to the Committee in addition to:

- the registration certificate of the business entity;
- special permission (if required by the Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No.348 of October 7, 1997);
- the agreement or invoice (copy);
- the import certificate of the importing country and/or end-use certificate, permission or equivalent document - for export and transit only.

  • The foreign International Import Certificate (or an equivalent document) and End-Use Certificate may be written in any language. If they are not written in Latvian, English, German or Russian, an official translation must be provided.
  • If the strategic goods in transit are accompanied by an export licence of the exporting country and with the import licence or certificate of the importing country (or equivalent documents) and the transaction is not performed by a Latvian business person, a Latvian transit licence is not required.
  • Re-export of strategic goods can be performed only with special permission from the Committee, observing export control legislation of the country of origin of the goods.
  • The Department issues the licence or a letter of denial signed by the Committee not later than 20 days after receiving the licence application. In the process of licensing, the Department sends the draft licence for approval to the Ministry that has issued special permission to the business that applied for the licence. The Ministry must approve or deny the licence within 7 days.
  • The Department may also require additional information stating the origin, technical characteristics and end-use of the goods to be moved. The Department may also stipulate special conditions on licences, end-use or import certificates that are binding for the business persons concerned.
  • By signing the licence application declaration, the person authorized to sign by the business concerned declares that:

- he or she has no information that the goods might be used in connection with weapons of mass destruction or the means of their delivery;
- he or she is aware of the laws and regulations related to control of strategic goods and is aware of his or her responsibility for violating them.

  • Licences are not required for conventional weapons imported by the Ministry of Defence or the Ministry of Interior.
  • The Department issues licences and other documents for a fee, except to State institutions and for temporary export or import (exhibitions, repairs etc.).

8. Catch-All Clause

According to Article 4 (the "Catch-All" article) of the Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items  draft amendments to the Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers No.421 have been developed which provide that non-listed items may be subject to control if a company is aware that they may be intended to be used for production, use or development of chemical, bacteriological, nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction and the means of their delivery, or which could otherwise harm international security.

By signing the licence, the exporting business person undertakes responsibility to notify the Committee if he or she receives any information that the goods are intended, in their entirety or in part, to be used in connection with weapons of mass destruction or the means of their delivery.

9. Brokerage

Latvia fully shares the concern of the international community regarding the activities of arms brokers that may contribute to excessive and destabilizing accumulations of small arms and light weapons and ammunition. We believe that through the introduction of appropriate strict laws and regulations and effective law enforcement controls, the international community could effectively address the problem of unauthorized and illicit arms trafficking.

To this end, Latvia established controls on arms brokering as early as 1997. According to the "Regulation on the Control of Strategic Goods" (December 16, 1997), a company must apply for a licence for every export/import or transit transaction of strategic goods. The licence is also required if goods are transferred by the company in transit outside the Republic of Latvia.

In order to obtain a licence, a company has to be listed on the Register of Enterprises of the Republic of Latvia and has to have a special permit (licence) for several specified entrepreneurial activities (which may involve arms, dangerous chemicals, sources of radiation etc.) if such a permit is required according to the "Regulation on the licensing of the specific types of entrepreneurship" (October 7, 1997).

10. End-Use Guarantees

1) End User Certificates are printed on a standard form and authorized by the Department.

By signing the Import Certificate and the End User Certificate, the importing business person certifies that the goods shall not be used for production of weapons of mass destruction or the means of their delivery, as well as acknowledges that it is aware that these goods are controlled in accordance with the laws of Latvia and the exporting country, and that violation of these laws is a criminal offence. The importer also undertakes not to divert, re-export or trans-ship the goods without written permission from the Department and the export control authorities of the exporting country, and inform the export control authorities in case it has come to his/her attention that the goods might be used for the production of weapons of mass destruction or the means of their delivery.

There are no international agreements or regime recommendations on the End-Use Certificate form, and so the form and content of this document may vary in accordance with the requirements of the laws of the exporting country.

2) Delivery Verification Certificates on a standard form are issued by the Department at the request of a business person within 10 days of the request, stating the date and place of arrival, mode of transport and the number of the corresponding import certificate and customs declaration. By signing the Delivery Verification Certificate, the Department undertakes to control the further use of goods by the business person concerned.

11. Technical Expertise

The Department collaborates with technical experts from the Riga Technical University, State University, Customs Laboratories or the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Center Technologies "RNIIRP" to determine whether the specified materials, complex equipment, chemical substances, technologies or software are subject to export controls.

12. An Overview of CWC-Related Exports and Imports

After regaining independence, the Latvian chemical industry has undergone significant restructuring due to changing markets in the territory of the former USSR, industry privatization and the need to introduce new technologies and find new markets. During the last few years the potential of the chemical industry, especially the pharmaceutical industry, has considerably increased, as has the export and import of controlled chemical substances. There are 28 businesses exporting and importing controlled chemicals at the moment. The number of licences issued per year is around 30 and approximately half of them are for CWC chemicals.

Besides chemicals, the industry produces biotechnological equipment, aromatic polyamides, organic fibers, chemically resistant pumps, valves and other controlled goods.

Being a transit country, Latvia each year handles millions of tons of oil, petrochemical products, phosphorous compounds, halogenated hydrocarbons, ammonium polyphosphates and other fertilizers through the specialized port of Ventspils.

The Control Committee of Strategic Goods is also the National Authority in accordance with CWC provisions and for this reason Latvia's export control system regulates not only export, import and transit, but also production, stockpiling and the use of the listed goods.

Exports of CWC toxic chemicals are permitted only to the States Party to CWC, after receipt of end-use guarantees.

A member of the Control Committee of Strategic Goods, who is also Head of the Department of Dangerous Chemicals and Waste of the State Environmental Inspectorate, is nominated as the contact person with OPCW and is responsible for annual CWC declarations.

Contact details for the CWC contact person are as follows:

Dr. Andris Roska
Head of the Department of Dangerous Chemicals and Waste
State Environmental Inspectorate
25 Rupniecibas Str., Riga, LV-1010
(Tel: +371-7325091, Fax: +371-7243077)

13. Radiation Monitoring at the State Border

Control of radiation at the state border has been established to eliminate illicit transfers of nuclear materials and sources of radiation and to protect the public and environment from contamination. The legal export, import and transit of sources of radiation, nuclear material, equipment and technology in the Republic of Latvia is controlled in accordance with NSG guidelines, an agreement with the IAEA and the "Law on Radiation and Nuclear Safety". There are a number of regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers stating the rights and obligations of agencies and procedures to be followed in accordance with this law. Besides the licence issued by the Committee, the export, import and transit of nuclear materials or equipment additionally require permission by the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Center and approval from the IAEA.

The Border Guard Department of the Ministry of the Interior undertakes controls on the level of radiation of goods and persons at the state border. Radiation control panels for road and rail transport are in use at all the major border crossing points on Latvia's borders with Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia, and border guards have personal radiation detectors-pagers.

In practice, when the source of radiation has been detected or found, border guards detain the cargo and report it to Customs. Customs gets in touch with the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Center that takes care of the source in accordance with the prescribed regulations. When necessary, it performs a scientific investigation of the source, sends it back to the exporting country or transports it to a burial site for radioactive waste.

Latvian Customs officers also possess a number of radiation detection devices, including several monitors for the control of passengers and goods at Riga International Airport, and a mobile X-ray unit. The availability of radiation control equipment at the borders is improving each year, mainly thanks to the assistance of the Government of the United States.

In accordance with the existing regulations, the normal level of radiation must not exceed 30 mkR/h, to which the natural background level of some 15 mkR/h is added, thus setting the threshold (limit) at 45 mkR/h.

In the experience of the border control to date, no cases of organized attempts of smuggling of sources of radiation or nuclear materials have been registered. Each year, the Border Guard has registered some 150 cases of radiation levels above 45 mkR/h for trucks and some 300 cases in the case of railway freight cars. In most cases, the source of radiation has turned out to be the natural radiation typical for some building materials or chemicals, especially fertilizers. Quite frequent are cases when persons undergoing treatment with radioactive substances register a radiation level of 500-1000 mkR/h.

14. Control of Trade and Transfers of Small Arms and Light Weapons

Latvia has neither surplus accumulations of arms and munitions, nor an arms and munitions industry. Nevertheless Latvia attaches great importance to the question of uncontrolled manufacturing, accumulation and proliferation of small arms and light weapons (SALW) and fully supports the actions of the UN, EU, NATO and OSCE in this area, concentrating mainly on controls of re-export and transit of SALW.

There are 64 registered businessmen in Latvia that have received permissions issued by the Ministry of the Interior to export, import or move in transit and trade firearms for hunting, sports and self-defense. Some of them have permissions issued by the Ministry of Defense related to military SALW and other war materials.

Licensing procedures for SALW are the same as for dual-use goods. The Export and Import Control Department submits quarterly reports on the export, re-export, import and transit of small arms, munitions and explosives to the Committee.

The export, import and transit of SALW are performed in accordance with the mentioned regulations and the new "Law on Circulation of Arms" that reflect Latvia's international commitments and the principles of all relevant documents in the field of prevention of proliferation of SALW: United Nations Program of Action; OSCE Document on SALW; OSCE Document on Principles Governing Conventional Arms Transfers; EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports; EU Programme for Preventing and Combating Illicit Trafficking in Conventional Arms; EU Joint Action 1999/34 on EU Contribution Combating the Destabilizing Accumulation and Spread of SALW; Council Directive 91/477/EEC On Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Weapons concerning the combat against the destabilizing accumulation and spread of small arms and light weapons.

The main areas regulated by the "Law on Handling of Weapons" are as follows:

  1. technical classification of all weapons, including EU categories of firearms;
  2. classification of firearms by use;
  3. preparation of a list of forbidden arms, munitions and their components, including internationally forbidden weapons and fully automatic firearms (with stated exceptions for the army and police, as well as for security services of banks and airports);
  4. conditions and acquisition, possession, carrying and use of arms and munitions;
  5. collections of arms and munitions;
  6. shooting practice and competitions;
  7. civilian control of arms for Police and Defense Forces;
  8. the rights of foreigners, diplomats and foreign security services to carry arms;
  9. border control of arms and munitions;
  10. licensing of arms brokers and producers;
  11. certification and marking of firearms and munitions;
  12. ballistic collection of bullets from rifled firearms;
  13. commercial circulation of arms, munitions, explosives and pyrotechnical articles;
  14. limitations to the possession and and carry arms;
  15. repairs and production of arms, munitions, explosives and pyrotechnical devices.

15. Control of MTCR-Related Items

Although Latvia has production plants which supplied the former USSR with thermal protection materials for space vehicles, electronics, radars and sensors for missiles and other MTCR-related components, these goods are no longer produced or exported, however the production equipment and technologies are still there.

The main MTCR-related issue in Latvia is the re-export and transit of navigation systems, accordingly the Committee decided to include all spare parts and components of aircraft (both military and civilian) into 10th category (National Lists) of the lists of dual-use goods. Several exceptions are provided to make it possible to export and import spare parts for emergency repairs of the "aircraft on the ground" within the customs zone of airport.

16. Computerized Licensing and Information Exchange System

All documents related to export control (licences, import certificates, end-use certificates and others) are prepared by the Department using a computerized system, and all the available information is stored in the main database, which makes it possible to locate a particular case using several search criteria, such as name of business person, item, destination, time period, document number, etc. This database enables the Department to make statistical evaluations of trends related to certain goods, destinations or business people involved.

The database of controlled goods contains information on:

1. avionics, navigation and spare parts of aircraft (most often changeable spare parts and components of aircraft, with reference to the business persons involved);
2. munitions (technical and ballistic characteristics and pictures of cartridges of 450 different calibers);
3. pistols and revolvers (technical characteristics and pictures of 1140 weapons);
4. rifles (technical characteristics of 850 weapons);
5. dual-use chemicals or materials, chemicals listed in the CWC, Convention on Narcotics and Psychotropic substances, WA Munitions List (1500 names of chemicals with synonyms, which for some substances may be more than 2500, and the list of business persons dealing with certain chemicals).

Besides that a separate database/illustrated dictionary helps to explain abbreviations used for weapons and munitions.

These password-protected databases will be available to ministries, Customs, police and other export control authorities on the Department's homepage by the end of 2002.

The US Department of State has provided the Export and Import Control Department with hardware and software for the export control licensing and information system "TRACKER". This system, when completed, will enable the computerized processing of licences, record-keeping and information exchange between the authorities involved in export control. Currently the following institutions are connected to the "TRACKER" system: the Export and Import Control Department, two departments of the Security Police, two Customs offices, the Department of Radiation and Nuclear Safety and the Department of Dangerous Chemicals and Waste of the Environmental Protection Inspectorate.

While the "TRACKER" system is still at the implementation stage, the Department is using the said hardware for computerized licence processing and maintenance of databases on items and parties and the relations between them, based on the software "FileMaker Pro".

17. Public Awareness and Training of Experts

The Regulations and laws related to the control of strategic goods are published in the official government gazette "Latvijas Vēstnesis" and are also available on the Internet: www.likumi.lv . The lists of strategic goods (224 pages) are available at all Customs offices, at the Department and at the Business Information Company "KOMIN".

The Export Control Department holds regular seminars and briefings on the export control policy for industry, customs and police officers. Some of those seminars were sponsored and attended by export control officials of the Federal Republic of Germany, the United States and Norway, with the participation of high-ranking export control officials from those countries. The usual agenda of the seminars is as follows:

- news from international export control regimes;
- latest updates on Latvian export control legislation;
- latest changes in the lists of controlled goods;
- the use of databases of the Department for the identification of strategic goods;
- the internal control systems for businesses.

Experience shows that the key to successful and efficient export control is the education of Customs officers and representatives of industry, with the emphasis on identifying goods and use of lists of controlled goods.

Export control officials, including policy and licensing officials, as well as technical experts regularly attend international export control workshops, seminars and meetings which focus on export control issues and non-proliferation within different frameworks. They also take part in field exercises on border security in, for example, Finland and the USA.. Latvia is actively participating in regional activities, such as the annual Nordic-Baltic States meeting on export controls. Latvia has developed very close cooperation with the United States in the area of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as with the EU and its Associated Countries in the area of export controls.