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Latvia
Source
: National Report on the Implementation of the PoA, 2010 
Date
: 06/05/2011
National Report
: 2010
 
Contact
: Ms Diana Krieva, Second Secretary, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Division, Security Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Email
: diana.krieva@mfa.gov.lv
 
 
 
 


National laws, regulations and administrative procedures:

In the Republic of Latvia there is no manufacture of arms. Marking of arms is regulated by the Law on Handling of Weapons as well as Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No.538 “Regulations for Classification and Use of Weapons, Ammunition, Special Devices, Explosives, Equipment and Pyrotechnic Products” that provide that circulation of unmarked ammunition, pneumatics or explosives is prohibited. This applies also to SALW in the possession of government. According to the Law On Handling of Weapons section 7 part 1 clause 3 the handling of non-classified, non-marked or self-made firearms and high-energy pneumatic weapons, self-made munitions, except the assembly of cartridges of sports and hunting weapons from components industrially manufactured is prohibited in the Republic of Latvia. According to the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No.538 of September 23, 2003 a merchant has an obligation to mark produced firearms or high-energy pneumatic weapons and their substation parts. Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No. 159 of March 1, 2005: “Regulations for the Purchase, Registration, Record Keeping, Possession, Transportation, Forwarding, Carrying, Realisation of Firearms, Ammunition and Gas Pistols (Revolvers), and Building of Collections thereof”.

 

 
 
 


National Marking Practices:

According to the Law marking of a weapon is understood by incorporation of numbers on a weapon or main components thereof, which allow them to be differentiated from other weapons. The method used for marking is engraving. According to Latvian legislation firearms and their essential parts should be marked with official abbreviation of the Republic of Latvia (capital letters –LV) as well as numbers containing data of production, serial number, caliber and quality control sign.

Marking at the time of import:

Marking of SALW in the possession of government armed and security forces:

Weapons marking procedure in the National Armed Forces is carried out entirely for all weapons purchased since 7th January of 2004. Weapons shall be marked according to the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Latvia Order Nr. 3 issued in January 7, 2004. "On the establishment of the identity marking sign in the National Armed Forces of the Republic of Latvia." The method of marking weapons is manufactured – in the form of engraving. Logistics Command of National Armed Forces is in charge of marking of military weapons in Latvia. All weapons, including those subject to destruction, are marked and registered in a special database of the Logistics Command.


Measures against the removal or alteration of markings:



 
 
 


Accurate and comprehensive records for all marked SALW within their territory:

Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No. 159 provide that three days after a firearm has been registered information on the firearms and its owner is entered into the Official Arms Register of the Ministry of Interior by an office of State Police. This provision applies to civilian possession of arms both by government service and natural persons. All documents on export, import and transit of small arms and light weapons (licences, certificates, end-use certificates and statements) are computerized by the Strategic Goods Export Control Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and all information related to same is entered in the data base and kept indefinitely, which permits easy access by one or several key definitions - names of traders, specific goods or their groups, states, periods of time. This database permits also statistical analysis of development trends in export, import and transit of goods of strategic nature, including small arms and light weapons. A separate database - dictionary - explains and provides additional information on definitions and abbreviations of arms and ammunition, including small arms and light weapons, with an explanatory picture. The data base of goods subject to control, also small arms and light weapons, are also used by representatives of other Ministries, members of the Strategic Goods Control Committee, Customs, Border Guard and agencies monitoring export control, using a specially allocated access password. Exchange of information with other States in matters concerning the transfer of arms takes place based on international agreements on co-operation in the area of the interior, including the area of combating organized crime and terrorism, as well as agreements on international assistance in Customs matters.

 
 
 


Measures taken for undertaking traces and responding to tracing requests
:

The International Co-operation Department of the State Police of Latvian Ministry of Interior holds authorized right of access to Interpol`s International Weapons and Explosives Tracking System database (IWeTS) and Interpol’s Firearms Reference Table (IFRT). The IWeTS is used in cases when it is necessary to run the operative information check and for tracing of weapons. The IFRT assists in the identification of the firearm including the importer and/or country of origin. In future it is planed to ensure online accesses to the IWeTS and IFRT for other competent of law enforcement offices in Latvia. Orange Notices are received from Interpol Central Office on requests concerning different kinds of explosives and firearms, e.g new modus operandi, new techniques, routes of smuggling etc. that are regularly sent for the information of the competent authorities. The IWetS database has a special template that is used to report on cases of seizure of firearms or explosives to Interpol. The templates are filled by officers of Interpol National Bureau based on the information provided from local police authorities. The template exchange with Interpol is operating on permanent basis.

Operational Informaton Exchange:

Latvian Interpol National Bureau has appointed a contacts person – competent representative of the antiterrorism unit of the Security Police relating to questions on combating the illicit transit and use of firearms and explosives. With assistance of the contact person the regular information flow is run in the framework of combating terrorism, trafficking of explosives, firearms and nuclear radiological substances. Orange Notices are received from Interpol Central Office on requests concerning different kinds of explosives and firearms, e.g new modus operandi, new techniques, routes of smuggling etc. that are regularly sent for the information of the competent authorities. The IWetS database has a special template that is used to report on cases of seizure of firearms or explosives to Interpol. The templates are filled by officers of Interpol National Bureau based on the information provided from local police authorities. The template exchange with Interpol is operating on permanent basis. Exchange of information with other States in matters concerning the transfer of arms takes place based on international agreements on co-operation in the area of the interior, including the area of combating organized crime and terrorism, as well as agreements on international assistance in Customs matters.

Needs and Request for Assistance::

Implementation challenges and opportunities: