In Latvia, consumer rights protection policy is developed and coordinated by the Ministry of Economics. The aim of the policy is to ensure high-level protection of consumer rights, when purchasing goods and services. The Ministry of Economics also develops and implements the policy in trade sector, as well as develops draft laws and regulations governing the sector and development planning documents.
Consumer Rights Protection Centre (www.ptac.gov.lv)
The Consumer Rights Protection Centre supervised by the Ministry of Economics is the main body, which supervises the fulfilment of regulatory enactments governing consumer rights and provides assistance in resolving consumer conflicts.
The Consumer Rights Protection Centre supervises the trade of non-food products, excluding medical products, medicines, veterinary medicines, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, veterinary pharmaceuticals, animal care products, household chemicals and chemical products, as well as supervises hazardous equipment and monitors unfair commercial practice and advertising, except for the field of medicines and veterinary medicines. The Centre examines consumer applications and complaints regarding the violations of consumer rights, provides free consultations to consumers on the matters related to the regulatory enactments concerning consumer rights and procedures for exercising consumer rights, as well as provides free consultations on the issues of product (footwear, electrical appliances and textile goods) quality.
Competition Council (www.kp.gov.lv)
The Competition Council is a direct administrative body under the supervision of the Cabinet of Ministers, which operates in accordance with the Competition Law and other regulatory enactments. The Competition Council is established by the Cabinet of Ministers and its institutional oversight is exercised through the Minister of the Economy.
The Competition Council is an independent institution, consisting of an independent collegial decision-making body – the Council – and an Executive Body.
The main activity of the Competition Council is the implementation of competition policy. The aim of the institution is to ensure a possibility to every participant of the market to carry out its economic activities in free and fair competition environment, as well as to promote competition development in all the sectors of national economy for the benefit of the entire society.
Market Surveillance Institutions
The main aim of market surveillance is to protect consumers from risks and threats to their life, health and economic interests by means of an effective market surveillance system and successful fulfilment of duties of the parties involved (performers of economic activities, consumers and State authorities).
Effective market surveillance plays a crucial role in both protecting consumer rights and ensuring equal and fair competition, since it comprises the surveillance and verification of conformity of goods and services placed on the market, as well as ensures the performance of relevant activities, if necessary, if it is established that a product or service does not comply with the requirements. Market surveillance is a part of the general process of introducing regulatory enactments and the main tool in monitoring the safety of goods.
In Latvia, market surveillance functions are fulfilled by the following authorities:
- Consumer Rights Protection Centre;
- National Customs Board of the State Revenue Service;
- National Tax Control Board of the State Revenue Service;
- Food and Veterinary Service;
- State Plant Protection Service;
- Health Inspectorate;
- National Health Service;
- State Labour Inspectorate;
- State Environmental Service;
- State Technical Control Agency;
- State Police;
- VSIA Latvijas proves birojs (Assay Office of Latvia).
Examination of Consumer Complaints
Institutions which examine consumer complaints:
- Consumer Rights Protection Centre
Brīvības iela 55, Riga, LV-1010|
Phone: +371 65452554
- Food and Veterinary Service
Peldu iela 30, Riga, LV-1050;
Phone: +371 67095230; Fax: +371 67322727;
- Housing and Environment Department of Riga City Council
Brīvības iela 49/53 (9th floor — administration), Riga, LV-1010
Phone: +371 67474700
- Health Inspectorate
Klijānu iela 7, Riga, LV-1012,
Phone: +371 67081600
- State Language Centre
Raiņa bulvāris 15, Riga, LV-1050
Phone: +371 67331814
- VSIA Latvijas proves birojs (Assay Office of Latvia)
Teātra iela 9, Riga, LV-1050
Phone: +371 67216485
K.Valdemāra iela 2A, Riga, LV-1010
Phone: +371 6702 2300
- State Plant Protection Service
Lielvārdes iela 36, Riga, LV-1006
Phone: +371 67027406
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Public Utilities Commission
Ūnijas iela 45, Riga, LV-1039
Phone: +371 67097200
- State Technical Control Agency
Republikas laukums 2, Riga, LV-1010
Phone: +371 67027149