Departure to Riga

Customs and import to Riga

Home > Expat Guides > Europe > Latvia > Riga

Latvian customs regulations are governed by EU legislation. Accordingly, the customs regulations that you will encounter when entering the country depend on whether you are travelling to Latvia from another EU country or from outside of the EU.

Within the EU, i.e., when travelling between EU countries, there are generally no limits on the amount of items that you can take with you as long as they are intended for personal use. The only exceptions are the amounts of tobacco products and alcoholic beverages.

For more detailed information please see the information for travelers within the EU prepared the European Commission.

When entering the EU you have to be aware that there are restrictions on the amounts and/or monetary value of tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, fuel, coffee and tea, perfumes, and electronics. It is prohibited to import products of animal origin such as meat and milk products, as well as animals and plants that are protected by the convention on Washington.

For more information please consult the information for travelers entering the EU prepared by the European Commission.


If you want to bring your pet abroad, it can be done but takes planning and preparation. Taking your pet into another country usually includes:

  • Microchipping - Verifies the pet's identity. All microchips conforming to the ISO standards are easily readable.
  • Vaccination - Vaccinations range from country to country, but in general every pet older than 3 months must be vaccinated against rabies. The vaccination must be administered at least 21 days before arrival. However the vaccination cannot be older than 12 months from the date of arrival. Dogs may also get full shots for Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvo, and DHLPP. Cats may also be vaccinated against Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calcivirus, and Panleukopenia.
  • Certificate of good health - Issued by a vet after an exam. You will usually need to get an official form from the consulate or embassy of the country you are moving to.
  • Passport - Your pet also needs to have a filled-out passport. A PDF document with a model passport, as well as an example of a health certificate, and other documents for brining your pet to Latvia can be found on the homepage of the Latvian Food and Veterinary Service.

For more information on moving with your pet please also refer to the article on Expat Pets on EasyExpat blog.


Some airlines allow pets to travel in an airplane's cabin, provided their cage is small enough to fit under your seat. Small birds may also be able to travel in the cabin, but tropical birds such as parrots are usually not allowed.

If your pet's cage does not fit under your seat, you will have to ship it as checked baggage. Since the outside air temperature also affects the temperature in the cargo bay, airlines may restrict the transportation of pets during certain times of the year. Airlines have special requirements for containers in the cabin and cargo bay. Make sure you get detailed information from your preferred airlines before purchasing a cage or kennel.

Before leaving, acquaint your animal with the kennel or container. Add some familiar toys or some of your clothing items, so your pet has a sense of familiarity during the transport. Sedation of your pet during the trip is generally not recommended and should only be used as a last resort.

There are also pet relocation companies that figure out all the details of the move. These services tend to be quite expensive, but take away the stress of doing it yourself.


A pet is quarantined only in cases when the owner has failed to provide the necessary documentation (i.e., microchip, passport, and proof of vaccinations) and will be released as soon as the formal requirements for bringing the pet into the country are met. For in-depth information of the current regulations for bringing your pet to Latvia consult the homepage of the Food and Veterinary Service of Latvia.

Custom's Resources

U.S. Citizens: The free pamphlet "Know Before You Go" at is very helpful. (Click on "Travel" and then click on "Know Before You Go! Online Brochure").
You can also contact:
U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP)
1300 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20229
Tel. 877/287-8667

Canadian Citizens: "I Declare", issued by the Canada Border Services Agency (tel. 800/461-9999 in Canada, or 204/983-3500 ) is helpful.

Australian Citizens: A helpful brochure is available from Australian consulates or Customs offices called "Know Before You Go". Call the Australian Customs Service at tel. 1300/363-263, or log on to

For information on moving to (and within) the EU consult the EU Immigration Portal or contact Europe Direct central information service online or call 00 800 67891011 (only from EU countries).

Update 26/08/2015


Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Pinterest Addthis

Recommended Service Partners

International Movers

When you move internationally you are taking a big step. Lots of things are changing and you have a million things to think about and take care of. If you are able to select a top of the line moving company that moves for a modest price, it can take a big weight of your shoulders in busy times.

Our network of international removal companies can move your furniture & possessions to Latvia and anywhere overseas.

Filling in the form at the bottom will allow you to request up to 5 quotes from various moving companies. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Do you have comments or personal information to communicate about this article? Add your comment.

Go to the Forum to talk more about customs and import to Riga, departure.

Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).