Reinforced customs controls of pet imports from the third countries

 Published: 25.10.2021. 16.30

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A significant increase has been recently identified in cases of pets being imported into the European Union with commercial intent from Belarus and Russia through the border of the Republic of Latvia. Customs reminds that entry of pets into the Union must be carried out in compliance with the legal requirements on customs formalities and tax payments.

If a person residing outside the European Union is importing a pet into the European Union with the intent to sell the animal, a customs declaration must be lodged at the border crossing site and the respective tax payments have to be made similar as is the case with any other goods. Please also note that live animals are subject to the controls of the Food and Veterinary Service. Controls of live animals by the Food and Veterinary Service are carried out at the border crossing sites Terehova and Paternieki. Additional information on the requirements is available on the website of the Food and Veterinary Service.  

Import customs formalities at the border crossing site must also be completed by persons residing in a Member State of the European Union when entering a pet purchased in a third country. If an individual is entering the European Union and is importing a pet purchased in a third country along with other goods without commercial intent and the total value of the goods does not exceed EUR 300, then such importation shall be exempt from tax. However, if the value does exceed EUR 300, then the customs duty and the value added tax have to be paid. The additional requirements concerning the importation of pets have been described on the SRS website (Movement of Pets).   

Similar to any other goods, pets are subject to the legislation governing the customs valuation that provides that the customs value shall be set in accordance with the basic method – transaction value or, in cases where the basic method cannot be applied, in accordance with one of the secondary methods applied consecutively (detailed information on customs valuation is available on the SRS website under the section Customs value (in Latvian)).   

Please note that the declared value of the pet has to match the price at which the respective goods would be sold in the ordinary course of trade in normal conditions of competition.  

If the customs will have doubts as to the compliance of the declared customs value of the pet with the applicable legal provisions, the goods will be released for free circulation subject to provision of a security, i.e. the difference between the amount of customs payments calculated on the basis of the information provided in the customs declaration and the amount that might have to be paid if the customs value will be set according to the information at the disposal of the customs authority.