State service portal
Information published on 23.11.2020.
Internet shopping can be more cost-effective: it allows you to consume less time, reduce spontaneous purchases and create other essential benefits, so ordering goods and services in internet shops is becoming more and more popular.
However, in order to ensure that shopping experience is positive and safe, it is important to be aware of the principles to be followed when shopping on the Internet.
The life event "Internet shopping" with video materials on the portal mana.latvija.lv
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Traders on the internet, like traders on the spot, are subject to certain laws and regulations. Customers, when shopping in internet, as in home shops, have the right to obtain proof of purchase documents which may be necessary for the exercise of consumer rights, such as obtaining a guarantee or returning to the seller.
If the company has its own internet store, it must be officially registered. The Internet shop's website must contain the merchant's properties: company name, registration number and contact information. By company name or registration number, you can search the website of the Enterprise Register (UR) to verify that the internet shop has registered its commercial activity and that there are no operational restrictions registered (suspended, terminated or prohibited). In order to obtain information on the exact limitation of activity registered with the company, a fee statement should be required from the UR. You can do this by using e-service "Issuance of information from the Enterprise Register Information website”.
Another form of distance shopping is the purchase of goods or services from sellers, most often from individuals who have placed sales advertisements on websites (social networks, advertising platforms). In this case, it is appropriate to check the information available on the web on both the seller and the website on which the advertisement was published.
If the seller markets the goods he or she produces or provides any services, he or she must be registered as a performer of economic activity. Data on economic operators can be verified in the State Revenue Service (SRS) database.
The performer of economic activity must issue a check, receipt or other business identification document to the consumer. Consequently, the consumer has the right to refer to the merchant within 2 years from the date of purchase of the goods with a requirement regarding the elimination of the non-conformity of the goods. Whether to provide goods with a guarantee is an individual decision of each merchant.
If a person sells any property intended for his or her personal use, he or she shall not be registered as a performer of economic activity.
A natural person does not have to pay value added tax (VAT) when selling his or her personal property once over a period of 12 months, because one such transaction within the meaning of the VAT Law does not constitute an economic activity. Consequently, there are no grounds for registering in the VAT register of the State Revenue Service (SRS) and for paying VAT in the budget.
When shopping on the internet, consideration should be given to the potential cost of delivery of goods. They tend to depend on the type of delivery: delivery by courier, mail or parcel terminal. In some cases, you can also receive an order in-house on the premises of the internet shop, which saves delivery costs.
Shopping in the internet shops of other European Union (EU) countries in terms of the process is the same as shopping in Latvian internet shops. When purchasing an item in an internet store of an EU Member State, your rights are protected by Directive 2011/83/EU.
For shipments within the EU, all charges are already included in the purchase price, and in these countries consumers' rights are protected uniformly, and consumers may feel safe enough – just as they do when shopping in Latvia's internet shops. Otherwise, there are cases where goods are shipped from third country internet shops.
When shopping in internet shops of third countries (not members of the European Union (EU), Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland), pay significant attention to the credibility of the internet shop. It is desirable to check the information available on the internet on the internet about the internet and the trader. For more about safe shopping, see the section on Safe Buy Terms.
Information on the procedures for the receipt of postal items from third countries and the payment of duties payable on imports of goods (customs duties) is available at the website of the State Revenue Service.
For the purposes of natural persons, the simplified “Import customs declaration for postal items” has been introduced, which may be submitted if:
For example, if you order an item from China and the order is delivered by express mail or Latvijas Pasts, you must complete and submit a simplified item Customs declaration of import for postal consignments. If you have ordered an item subject to a restriction or the total value of the goods exceeds EUR 1000 or the weight of the goods is greater than 1000 kg, it will be necessary to complete the standard import customs declaration.
You must connect to the Electronic Customs Data Processing System (EMDAS) in order to electronically complete and submit the simplified Imports Customs Declaration to mail. This can be done by:
For more information on consignments of import customs declaration for completion steps, available video Presentation of import customs declarations for postal items.
In order to complete the declaration, you need data from the vendor and vendor (express mail or Latvijas Pasts, such as the value of the item, weight and the item tracking number. This information can be found in the shipping notification sent by the supplier.
The calculated tax payment can be made online after the declaration has been completed.
You can check your customs payment status on the Latvija.lv portal with a free e-service Check the status of implementation of the customs duty.
The information available in foreign internet shop is usually published in the language of each particular country, with the option of selecting one of the international languages, such as English. If you need to translate the content available on the website during the shopping process, use an automatic translator from English to Latvian in the portal Hugo.lv by inserting the internet shop address into the translation field and pressing the “Translate” button.
In view of the vast online market in which the most unthinkable things can be purchased, regulatory enactments have been adopted, which are also binding on ordering goods on the Internet.
The international law governing the circulation of postal items provides that postal items are prohibited from inserting:
When ordering different goods from abroad, always make sure they are not covered by any restrictions or prohibitions on movements of goods, or are not violated by intellectual property rights.
More information on external trade measures imposed by the European Union and the Republic of Latvia applicable to goods when moving them across the customs border of the European Union (EU) is also available at - Integrated tariff management system.
Only the distribution of over-the-counter medicinal products registered in Latvia or included in the Latvian Register of Medicinal Products is permitted in Latvia through the website, and only licensed pharmacies can deal with it. The list of online pharmacies in which non-prescription medicinal products may be purchased can be consulted on the website of the State Agency of Medicines.
In order to protect patients from the risk of the purchase of falsified medicinal products, the European Union and the countries of the European Economic Area have been introduced uniform logo for pharmacies which offers residents to buy medicines on the Internet. The single logo consists of four colour bands (grey and three-shade greens), under which there is an image of the Latvian State flag and the text “Press here to check whether this website works legally”. Clicking the logo on the pharmacy's website directs patients to an online register of the State Agency of Medicines, which lists all Internet pharmacies legally operating in the country.
For information on a particular medicinal product (on availability, package leaflet, maximum allowable price in pharmacies, whether the medicinal product is included in the list of countervailable medicinal products and other information on medicinal products), use: Latvian Register of Medical Products.
In some cases, medical products may experience supply outages, for example due to manufacturing difficulties. Special list shall be created on the website of the State Agency of Medicines List of product supply breaks in which it is possible to see if the medical product has a supply interruption and when the medical product will be available again on the Latvian market.
As a natural person, you are entitled to receive medicinal products for personal use in a postal item, if they are in the original packaging, their manufacturer and the country of production shall be identified on the packaging and the medicinal products shall bear a document certifying their purchase.
The amount of medicinal products received for personal use from abroad may at one time be:
Medicinal products received from third countries shall be issued by post against a prescription issued by the doctor or a document issued by the medical treatment institution, which shall be presented in the Latvian Post Office upon receipt of the consignment. Documents shall be accompanied by a certified translation in accordance with procedures by which translations of documents into the official language shall be certified.
Remember that a prescription issued by a doctor or a document issued by a medical treatment institution will need to be presented in the Latvian Postal Department also in case of non-prescription medicinal products ordered abroad.
By post, a natural person may not receive psychotropic and narcotic drugs, narcotic analgetics, new psychoactive substances and active substances, anabolic steroids, testosterone, growth hormones or analogues controlled in Latvia.
To see your current e-prescriptions, your children, or those under custody, get an overview of purchased medicines, and make statements about creating new e-prescriptions, use the Latvija.lv portal's free e-service “My e-recipes”. From 1 January 2018 in Latvia national countervailable medicinal product prescription movements are carried out only electronically, but prescribing ordinary e-prescriptions (blue) is voluntary for doctors.
Some foods can also be ordered on the internet. Such an activity model has been chosen by both large traders and some Latvian rural benefit traders. On the internet, you can order foods that can be delivered without losing the quality of products. Foreign internet shops often offer a variety of delicacies, the term of which allows them to be transported further.
Food movements are monitored in Latvia by Food and Veterinary Service therefore, in the case of poor quality products, it is recommended to refer to this body.
To make remote internet shopping as safe as it is possible, it is important to respect the principles of safe shopping.
It is always advisable to check the trader information before making a purchase transaction. You can do this both by searching for data and feedback on the Internet and by checking whether the Latvian company is officially registered in the Company Register (UR). If a company is registered, information on its operating restrictions can be found on the UR website, or when requesting a UR statement. Also in the UR register of insolvency information should also be available on whether or not the company has undergone insolvency proceedings.
Data on economic operators can be verified in the State Revenue Service (SRS) database.
One of the security prerequisites is also exploring an Internet shop website. It must contain full company information, its legal name, registration number, registered office, telephone, e-mail address. In order to dispel doubts, it is recommended to contact the internet shop before making purchases in order to make sure that it is realistic and accessible for communication. Check other consumers' feedback on the particular internet store before you order it.
It is just as important to pay attention to the technical security of the internet shop. Technical safety may be indicated by:
Before purchasing the goods, you as a consumer must have access to information on the characteristics and purchase arrangements of the product, including payment, delivery terms and withdrawal rights.
If you've noticed a misogyny activity on an Internet sales site (misleading advertising, unsafe goods, etc.) in your shopping experience, report it to Consumer Protection Centre (PTAC).
PTAC has been created a list of suspicious websites identifiing potential irregularities. Merchants who have failed to comply with the decisions imposed by the Consumer Dispute Settlement Commission are listed in the “Black List”.
More information on consumer rights and consumer disputes can be found in the description of the life event Consumer rights.
When ordering an item on the Internet, the preferred choice of the consignment is registered (recorded) or express mail. In the “track-trace” system of such a consignment, it is possible to track the consignment path at all stages of its transhipment, but in the event of damage/disappearance, as appropriate International Postal Convention the client is entitled to qualifying for appropriate compensation.
When shopping in an internet store, it should be noted that sometimes in reality the appearance and quality of the product may differ from that seen on the computer screen. After receiving an order from an internet shop, it is important to assess the quality of the item. Does the characteristics of the item correspond to those published in the Internet shop? Are the units of measure as specified in the order? Perform an assessment of the item immediately at its receipt so that, if it is not detected, the seller can be informed as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that you can only check the item to the extent that it would be possible on the spot in a normal store.
Read more about consumer rights in the description of the life event Consumer rights.
A distance contract understanding any sales contract concluded between the trader and the consumer without the physical presence of the parties through means of distance communication (mail order, internet, telephone) shall be concluded when making a purchase on the Internet.
According to the European Union Directive 2011/83/EU the trader must execute the order no later than 30 days after the conclusion of the contract unless the parties have agreed otherwise on the delivery time.
If you find a deficiency for the ordered item, please refer to the return terms that must be set out on the Internet shop's website. If the conditions do not specify that the return costs of the goods are borne by the buyer, they will have to be borne by the seller. Consumer rights in the EU provide that the buyer has the right to reconsider and refuse to order goods in an internet shop within 14 days. The seller shall be obliged to repay to the buyer, within 14 days of receipt of the refusal, the money he has paid for the goods. The seller may suspend the refund until he has received the goods back or when the consumer has provided proof that the goods have been returned.
If you are in contact with a situation where the delivered item is damaged during the shipping process, remember that the trader is responsible for the item until it is placed in the consumer's physical possession (unless the supplier is chosen by the consumer himself). As far as possible, check the condition of the item while it is still at the courier. If you find that the product has been damaged or not in conformity with the terms of the contract when opening the product packaging and believe that the item has not been damaged because of your fault, lock the condition of the item and turn to the seller to exercise the right of withdrawal.
Unfortunately, sometimes the seller refuses to comply with the consumer's requirement or the consumer is not satisfied with the solution proposed by the seller, in which case the consumer may be consulted. Dispute settlement process and apply to the Consumer Rights Protection Centre (PTAC) in order to resolve the dispute arising. You can easily submit the application to the Latvija.lv portal using e-address, if the application has been signed with secure electronic signature.
Always save a proof of purchase document – check, receipt, invoice!
If the item was purchased in an EU registered internet store and after sending a written complaint, the shop does not address the problem or does not respond to the complaint sent, please refer for assistance to European Consumer Information Centre in Latvia (ECC Latvia).
In the event of problems and the registration of a particular internet shop outside the EU, the submission of a complaint to an international online dispute settlement network is one of the solutions - econsumer.gov (if the country concerned is involved in the project).
Also by purchasing a commodity from merchants on social networks, such as Facebook, the trader must submit a business-affirming document to the consumer. The consumer has a right of withdrawal of 14 days and he or she may, within 2 years from the time of purchase of the goods, refer to the merchant with a request regarding the elimination of the non-conformity of the goods. This applies only to situations where goods are purchased from a merchant. In the case of a person buying a goods from another private person, these Regulations shall not apply. In Latvia and the EU, these rules are the same.
If you are suspected of counterfeit, contact State police, while in case of suspected product safety, contact Consumer protection centre. If you want to inform customs about infringements of intellectual property rights, you may contact State Revenue Service.
If the counterfeit goods have been purchased in third country internet stores and the counterfeit is detected during customs control, the customs shall confiscate the consignment and it is therefore not possible to return the goods to the seller.
Public-private cooperation has resulted in the fight against counterfeiting general characteristics of counterfeit goods and manuals, to focus on searching for goods on the internet to protect themselves from counterfeiting and fraud risks.
The deliberate purchase of counterfeits or illegal downloading and streaming of music/films is theft, infringement of intellectual property rights.
Purchase of an item should be evaluated against 7 criteria:
Make price comparisons before purchasing an item on the Internet. Counterfeit and original goods tend to have a higher price difference. After receiving the order, check the quality of the item – packaging, materials, logos and printing, instructions for use, etc.
The purchase of goods in an internet shop outside the European Economic Area does not guarantee the compliance of the goods with the safety requirements established in the EU, and consumers are exposing themselves to different safety risks.
If there are doubts about the originality of the item, you can contact the original product manufacturer, whose website may contain information for product recognition.
If you have inadvertently purchased an item that is counterfeit, inform the Internet store or platform where the item was purchased and leave feedback instead of purchasing the item, thereby alerting other consumers.
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