The procedure of obtaining a licence for sale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products in Latvia
This area is governed by the Handling of Alcoholic Beverages Law, Cabinet Regulations No. 662 “Procedures for the Circulation of Excisable Goods” and the Law on Excise Duties.
Sale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products requires a special authorization – licence. (The Law on Excise Duties mentions the types of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products requiring a licence.) For example, the retailers of alcoholic beverages selling beer need only a licence for retail sale of beer.
A licence gives the right to sell alcoholic beverages or tobacco products only at the place indicated therein. A licence may be used only by the person to whom it was issued.
The Licensing Commission of the State Revenue Service issue licences to merchants registered in the Commercial Register for the following activities:
- wholesale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products;
- retail sale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.
The procedure for obtaining a licence includes following activities:
- documents for obtaining a licence are submitted by an official representative of the merchant whose signatory powers are registered in the Commercial Register or a person authorised by the official representative of the merchant;
- the samples of the application form is available in the Appendix No. 7 and No. 8 of the Cabinet Regulations No. 622 “Procedures for the Circulation of Excisable Goods”;
- in the application for obtaining a licence, the preferable means of receiving the permit (in paper or electronic form) should be specified (in compliance with the legal provisions on circulation of electronic documents);
- a licence shall be issued for an indefinite period of time;
- if a merchant additionally applies for retail sale of alcoholic beverages and beer in a booth, then the retail sale shall be allowed for a period of time specified by the binding regulations of the local government;
- the application must be submitted with the following documents:
- documents confirming the right to use the business premises;
- explanation of the process of economic transactions and the financial security in case if the application is submitted to obtain a wholesale licence;
- confirmation by the merchant that the local government has agreed on retail sale of alcoholic beverages in the booth, if the application is submitted to obtain a licence for this exact purpose;
- the administrative commission considers applications and issues authorizations or makes a reasoned decision to refuse issuance of a licence;
- the licence becomes valid on the next day after the decision is made;
- the licence can be used only by the merchant to whom it was issued. The merchant is not entitled to transfer the licence to another person;
- in case of refusal, the application can be re-submitted.
A licence may not be issued in the following cases:
- the relevant licence of the merchant has been revoked or the record of the place designated for the sale of alcohol beverages or tobacco products has been deleted during one year before submitting the application due to violations of legal provisions related to circulation of excise goods;
- a merchant has carried out commercial activities involving excise goods without a relevant licence;
- the merchant or an official of the merchant's administrative body has not paid the fine imposed due to violation of legal provisions related to circulation of excise goods;
- the application or accompanying documents contain false information, or accompanying documents are forged;
- the merchant has been avoiding taxes during three years before submitting the application;
- the merchant's administrative body includes individuals who during three years before submitting an application have been members of the administrative body of the merchant that has avoided tax payments;
- the merchant has excise duty debt, except for the cases when the deadlines are extended in accordance with the tax laws and regulations, and payments are made in due time;
- not all of the information or documents to be accompanying the application are submitted upon request by the Licensing Commission;
- operations involving excise goods are conducted in places where such activities are prohibited according to the legal provisions governing the circulation of excise goods;
- state fees referred to in the laws and regulations have not been paid.
The Licensing Commission may suspend or revoke the licence if a merchant fails to fulfil the specific legal provisions.
State fee rates for issuance of a licence
State fees for wholesale and retail sale of tobacco products are the following:
- wholesale of tobacco products – EUR 143 for each location;
- retail sale of tobacco products – EUR 29 for each location;
- wholesale of alcoholic beverages – EUR 143 for each location;
- retail sale of alcoholic beverages – EUR 43 for each location;
- retail sale of beer – EUR 143 for each location.
The state fee shall be paid before issuance of the special authorization (licence).
If the special authorization (licence) is not issued, then the State Revenue Service will reimburse the fee within fifteen days after the merchant has submitted an application for repayment of the state fee.
The state fee for issuance of the special authorization (licence) is transferred into the state budget account.
If the special authorization (licence) is revoked, then the paid state fee is not refunded to the merchant.