RIGA - The Saeima today started the adoption of draft amendments to the law on excise duties to keep people from making frequent trips to Russia and Belarus for excise goods.
Under the bill proposed by the government, the time period in which an individual can import excise goods for personal or family use without having to pay excise duty on them has been extended from seven days to 30 days.
The bill has been drafted because of the need to urgently reduce people's trips across the Latvian-Russian and Latvian-Belarusian borders. Many people cross the border frequently to buy cheap cigarettes, alcohol and fuel for personal use.
The exemption of excise duty will now be applied to certain excise goods that a person imports for personal use in personal baggage not more frequently than once in 30 days.
Currently, the time period in which the exemption is applied is seven days, which means that the legislative amendments will lengthen this period fourfold. A similar regulation for excise duty exemption has been introduced also in Estonia.
The Finance Ministry, which drafted the amendments, indicated that because of the tense geopolitical situation, the amendments are intended to prevent Latvian citizens from traveling to Russia and Belarus too often.